Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Awful morning, better day.

Well today started out rough. My alarm never went off this morning so I ended up waking up 30 minutes later than I should have. Thankfully Dad was getting up around then and was able to wake me up. As I rushed through my morning routine I realized that my pants hadn't dried fully in the dryer overnight, so they needed to go in again. Once that issue was solved and I was ready to leave, I hopped in the truck and left. Lots of traffic, tried to go a different way to save time (it didn't work) and eventually ended up there at about 7:03. Not a good start by my standards. Thankfully I was actually the first one there, so no one knew that I was late.

To start off we went to the commissary to pick up our supplies. The commissary is where all of the animal's food is kept and it's all layed out for us by the lovely people that work in that department. God bless them because everything is ready by 7am and I don't know when they get there....We put everything in the truck and headed off to drop things off and do some feedings.

Once that was done I started on lower with zookeeper Amanda, and did the same routine as yesterday with them. Cleaning, some feeding, shifting animals. After that was done we stopped for lunch and then we headed off to do some cleaning and feeding that didn't get done in the morning routine (we ran out of time). After that there was a tour that we needed to do for the Grevy's zebras, and the giraffes. This was my first interaction with these animals at all. We have another subspecies of zebras on the upper road that I met, but I hadn't gotten to meet the Grevy's or the giraffes. I was very excited, but of course to remain professional, I tried not to show it too much. To my surprise I was able to feed our male giraffe, Beau, right out of my hand! He's extremely gentle when taking food, today it was some butternut squash. They are truly magnificent animals. We then went on with the rest of the tour and then headed up top to check in with people.

After that I was able to watch an artificial insemination of some cranes we have. They cannot mate together on their own because the male has an injured wing that cannot be fixed and it prevents him from mating with her. I didn't get to see much up close because I couldn't go into the enclosure with them (it's also a fairly large enclosure and they were towards the very just so happened that's where the cranes were). It was interesting to watch from what I could see though. I was also allowed to look at the sperm under a microscope which was very interesting since at school we only have pre-made slides of different sperm and none of it is live.

After that Amanda and I went back through lower to feed and shift animals again, plus check on everyone. We also did some training with the Grevy's zebras, Chris the lion, and our tigers (Luther and Anala). It was really cool to see her working with them. I got to help a little bit with the training of the zebras but I just watched with the cats. They're all very good with what they need to do. We train the animals to help with medical procedures so we train them to do things like open their mouth, show us their paws, show us their belly, etc. It's all to make life easier for us and them.

That was the end of my day, but I'd say that it was pretty eventful!! Now I'm off to bed, hopefully my alarm goes off tomorrow morning....maybe I'll set two....

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