DISCHARGED from the Australian Army in 2015, Mary Cook has since used her spare time to turn her passion for walking into a business.
Officially opened in Hobart last month, Tasmanian Tiger Tails Walking Tours is running two-hour walking tours around Hobart and Tasmania’s south-west region.
Ms Cook has enjoyed hiking her whole life and feels at home when she is outside among nature.
While in the army as a full-time soldier, Ms Cook was deployed to East Timor, Darwin and Brisbane.
After being discharged on medical grounds, she returned home and was connected with Roxy, a golden retriever from the Operation K9 program.
Roxy assists Ms Cook with her post-traumatic-stress disorder and is an important part of the Tasmanian Tiger Tails business.
In preparation for setting up her business, Ms Cook went back to school to attain a Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation, Wilderness First-Aid CPR Practicing Certificate, Aus Swim Teaching Certificate and a Certificate III in Small Business Management.
During her time at TasTAFE, Ms Cook had to deliver a presentation project on the Tasmanian Tiger.
“I am a believer in the thylacine – I think it still exists, other say it doesn’t, but there is more proof that it does than it doesn’t,” she said.
The first Tiger Tails tour is in the Hobart area and kicks off at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.
“I want to tell visitors about our wonderful city and what it looked like in the 1800s and 1900s, and about endangered species – including the thylacine,” Ms Cook said.
“I hope that people who take the walking tour get some good exercise, knowledge and that they will take that knowledge and spread it around,” she said.
“Not many people know the story of the Beaumaris Zoo, the last thylacine or about National Threatened Species Day.”
Ms Cook’s passion for learning and nature is shown through her detailed walking tours around Hobart.
For more information, visit https://tigertails.net.au.
Caption: Mary Cook and her Operation K9 assistance dog Roxy will be running walking tours around Hobart and the south-west region of Tasmania.