Kenneth Chin: the deaf aquarist who hears Mother Nature’s call

Kenneth Chin has been fascinated with animals for as long as he could remember. At home, he keeps fish, frogs and reptiles. At work, he’s part of the sea jellies team which cares for and breeds various species of sea jellies.

Kenneth Chin
Apart from keeping the sea jelly habitats clean, Kenneth also has to feed them at stipulated times. Here, he is feeding the Malaysian Sea Nettles individually with a turkey baster to ensure all gets fed.

His hearing disability does not get in the way of his passion for wildlife. With his cochlear implant and ability to lip read, he usually has no problem understanding and communicating with others. But there are exceptions.

Kenneth: “Sometimes the ambient buzzing noises at back-of-house areas can interfere with my hearing. Or when I’m in a big group, like during team meetings, it can be a challenge to figure out what everyone is saying. Luckily, my best friend and team mate Vivian is there to fill me in on what I have missed out.”

Kenneth Chin
Best buds at work

But being an aquarist wasn’t at the top of his list when he was studying for his Diploma in Veterinary Technology. He had wanted to be a vet. But the competitive veterinary industry in Singapore made him change his mind.

Kenneth: “Upon completing my internship at S.E.A. Aquarium, I decided to become an aquarist to learn more about marine life and husbandry. One day, I hope to translate my knowledge and experience into a comic book series that depicts the workings of an aquarium. This includes the nitty-gritty stuff we do every day and the risks we face, such as having skin reactions after being stung by sea jellies.”

Speaking of art, one of Kenneth’s many talents lies in drawing and painting. This painting below is just one of his many masterpieces. More can be found here.

Kenneth Chin

Outside of work, Kenneth is an avid herper (someone who enjoys searching for amphibians or reptiles). Earlier this year during one of his herping trips, he came across this 2.5m long White-bellied Rat Snake which happened to be one of his favourite snake species.

Kenneth Chin

Forests and nature reserves are his favourite haunts where he seeks out these creatures and takes stunning pictures of them, like these below:

Kenneth Chin

For a passionate nature lover like him, what’s his bucket list like?

Kenneth: “Someday, I hope to explore the Amazonian and Madagascan forests. The biodiversity there is just amazing. And there are still so many species that remain undiscovered.”

“But right at the top of my list is to swim with humpback whales in Tonga. That is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Kenneth Chin

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