We are a family run business, launched in February 2014 and based in Bedfordshire, England. We also cover a wide surrounding area (please phone to discuss your location or visit our FAQ page). There is no travel charge for locations within a 20 mile radius of our base in Flitwick. If you have a child who is animal mad, if you are a teacher looking for an inspiring presentation or workshop, or you’re looking for an unusual, educational, attention grabbing feature for your event or party- we may be just what you’re looking for! Our animal encounters are 5 star rated on Facebook.
We are a limited company, registered with Companies House and are have public and product liability insurance with up to £5,000,000 of cover. Our presenters are enhanced DBS checked (previously CRB) and Becky, Tara & Russ hold a performing animals licence. Teaching Talons has a Type 1 Animal Transporter Authorisation Certificate. We don’t own, or use any animal classed by law as a DWA (Dangerous Wild Animal). Any animal we own that is protected by CITES (Convention for the International Trade of Endangered Species) has all relevant paperwork, such as Article 10's and our birds are registered with the Independent Bird Register.
Tel: 07718 923708
To transform the way children and adults alike see the natural world through 'edutainment'. We aim to provide fun, engaging, informative interaction with animals that will inspire our audiences interests and passions for wildlife.
Becky Shaw- Lead Presenter and Animal Manager
Becky is an experienced animal keeper, presenter and trainer-
having worked in the zoo industry at three different animal collections (Woburn Safari Park, Combe Martin Wildlife Park and Amazing Animals Ltd.). She set up Teaching Talons Ltd. in 2014. She has over ten years experience working and volunteering with animals (everything from kennels and stables to farms and a wildlife sanctuary in Africa!). Her qualifications include a BSc. Honours degree in Applied Animal Behaviour and Training, achieved at Bishop Burton College. Becky also worked as the lead education officer during her time at Combe Martin Wildlife Park and has guest lectured the topic of Animal Behaviour at North Hertfordshire College. In 2017 Becky completed BIAZA certified training in positive reinforcement animal training. She is a professional member of ABWAK.
Tara Shaw- Presenter and Animal Handler
Tara is an experienced bird keeper, previously working as the falconer at Combe Martin Wildlife Park. In this time she trained and cared for owls, hawks, buzzards, falcons, vultures, corvids and kookaburra. In 2015, she was a Senior Bird Keeper at Tropical Wings Zoo. Tara has flown and managed many species of birds, including macaws, vultures, seriema, ravens and eagles. She has a CPD certification in raptor health and longevity and has also completed courses in avian first aid and reproduction. Having a background in Art and Design, Tara is highly creative and designs our graphics, signage and website. She also works freelance to create educational signage designs for other zoological facilities, such as Green Dragon Eco Farm.
Russ Shaw- Director, owner and Animal Handler
Russ is our owner and director, as well as a fully trained presenter and animal handler for Teaching Talons! He is the business mind behind us and handles all of our accounts and records. Russ is emergency first aid trained and is Becky and Taras Dad! As well as Teaching Talons, his other passion is football. He coaches Flitwick Eagles under 15's and several 'walking football' sessions. He has a wealth of experience working with children and SEN groups.
Our second owner and director is Wendy Shaw. She helps with the general day to day care of our animals, such as daily food preparation and cleaning enclosures. She also makes a great packed lunch for the team (animals included!) when we are out for the day and often attends fete and fair bookings. She is Becky and Taras Mum!
'To transform the way children and adults alike see the natural world through 'edutainment'. We aim to provide fun, engaging, informative interaction with animals that will inspire our audiences interests and passions for wildlife, whilst maintaining high animal welfare standards and husbandry.'
Becca Barrow- Animal Keeper and Presenter
Becca officially joined the Teaching Talons team in 2016. After completing 300 hours of work experience with us as part of her course, we were so impressed that we employed her as our trainee keeper and presenter. No longer a trainee, her and Becky make up our main presenting team.
Becca has achieved Level 3 in Animal Management at Oaklands College, with distinctions Animal Handling and Safe Working, Exotic animal Care and Husbandry & Behaviour. She has also completed 6 months volunteering at a local riding school. Beccas passion is reptiles and she owns a corn snake and a rescued royal python.