She meets her first love here while playing truant

She meets her first love here while playing truant

SINGAPORE- Ms Natt Haniff, 40, remembers writing to then-CEO of the zoo, Mr Bernard Harrison, "begging for a job".

"I'd just graduated and I desperately wanted to work at the zoo," the assistant corporate communications manager says.

There was only one reason. And that reason weighs about 3,300kg.

Ms Natt was in her teens when she first fell in love with Gambir, the Malaysia-born Asian elephant.

"It was in 1991 and my sister and I had ponteng (Malay for skipped) school to go to the zoo. That was when I met her. She was still being bottlefed and I got the chance to feed her," she says.

After graduating from the National University of Singapore, Ms Natt decided to work at the zoo to be close to her newfound love.

So Ms Natt volunteered: As a guide, then as an elephant volunteer, an education facilitator - in her words, it was "all ways and means to be part of the zoo fraternity".

"I was at the zoo practically every day, even during the weekends. The keepers asked me cheekily whether I even had a life outside," she says with a laugh, adding that she met her husband at the zoo when he was working there.

Then an opening in the corporate communications team came in 2007.

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