Monday, July 9, 2012

What a Week....

Tuesday-  Tuesday went like any other day usually does. To start the other interns and I went off to the tiger exhibit to cut down some bamboo. That stuff grows like crazy....who's idea was to put it in there! Oh well...at least the red pandas at Children's Zoo can eat it...

After that I went off to bottom with Nicole and we started the routine by cleaning the wildebeest house, which is normally left for last. I enjoyed getting it out of the way though so that we would end at camel, which is only a short walk away from our service yard. Cleaning it was quick since it was just a spot cleaning. Nicole left me alone to do this because she had to go medicate our female camel, which can take a long time.

Once that was done I headed off to Kori to strip their stalls. Which is super easy because they're very clean birds so it's really just getting all the shavings up off the floor. No scrubbing involved. Later on in the day Jazzy seemed a little unsure of the new clean shavings....I think it might have been the first time we striped it since he arrived.

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When Kori's feel threatened they make a low sound with their throat. If you can't hear it, watch his throat. It puffs up each time he does it.


After cleaning camel and lunch, the interns and I went off to do some minor projects on our own. We de-scratched some carvings in the lion's windows, cleaned the educational skulls that are on display, and weeded in front of a service gate to the Savannah.


When that was all completed we got to watch some camel training being done by Nicole and Erin. Most of the training was to get Ciera's medication on her. Recently she's been itchy and has scratched so much on the fence that she got some little cuts which turned into a bacterial infection. So now twice a day she has to get two different topical medications along with the other medications that she's on for her arthritis. She's quite a piece of work haha.

Gulliver trying to get in on a piece of the action.


Then it was time for close up and everything went smoothly until Chris didn't want to come in. Thankfully we were able to entice him in after several minutes.

Wednesday- OFF! 4th of July.

Thursday- Once again I was on bottom and we did wildebeest first. Which I thought was good, right up until I accidentally let the bottom of the hay tub hit me and it was covered in mud. So instantly I was filthy. Oh well...

Then we went off to camel to clean and decided to strip the stalls. We also scrubbed the walls down and that was very satisfying to watch all the grime come off. The stalls looked so beautiful after!! I'm sure the camels were so happy.

After lunch we went to go on delivery where we received some banana leaves from the horticulture department. They were trimming their plants and had huge stalks to give us. At the zoo we try not to let anything go go waste, particularly plants. If something will eat it and can eat it, they should be able to have it.

This picture was taken from the far end of the truck bed looking out...they were pretty much as long as the bed.


Once that was over and the leaves had been given out, we went off to weed a yard for the camels. Because of Ciera's condition it makes it very hard for her to get up and down hilly areas. Normally their big yard would give them lots of area and grass to munch on, but the hill is so long that if she gets up their it's very hard for her to get back down. So currently they're in a smaller yard with sand to help with the pain of walking. There is a yard next to their current enclosure though that has almost no slope at all that we are hoping we can put them in. It hasn't been used for a long time though so we need to get rid of all the toxic plants and just clean it up in general. So we worked on that for a while until I had to leave.


Friday- We started in the wildebeest house and put the girls out onto exhibit, but they were being very stubborn this morning so it took a bit of effort to get them out there. After that we went down to camel to get Ciera started on her meds and I went to clean the yard. The stalls looked so nice from scrubbing, although Gulliver clearly thought they should be dirtier since he pooped on the wall. Typical camel. Oh well.


When the outside yard was done and Ciera had her meds, we headed off to cats to get them ready for the day. I was very happy about this because I hadn't gotten to see them in a while and I particularly enjoy talking with our female tiger. Today the tigers were going out particularly early because the summer camp kids at the zoo had made an enrichment "antelope" for them. Basically the kids painted some boxes, attached them, and gave it some paper towel roll legs. We sprayed it with some perfume before the cats went out so they would be a little more interested in it. I didn't see the cats destroy it, but Anala did knock it off the rock we had perched it on accidentally, which made the kids happy. One of them had fun with it later on though because when I went in to get it at the end of the day it was torn to pieces.


Once the tigers had their prize, I went off on a little field trip. Pearl, my supervisor, chose me to join her on a trip to home depot, which isn't the most exciting trip in the world, but it was a good chance to talk with her one on one.

When we got back it was time for lunch, and then after lunch the other interns and I went off to a class. Today our two classes were on the do's and dont's of zookeepers, and then another class on how zoos work with each other. It was interesting to hear how things work behind the scenes.
After class was over we headed back to the service yard, and I went to go to the bathroom. As soon as I walked in I saw two baby mice on the ground that looked as though they were dead. All I could think of was "Great, now I've got these guys to clean up." So I grabbed a paper towel, picked up one and then went to pick up the other when..."Squeek!" The second was still alive! So now I was thinking, well what they heck am I supposed to do with you?! So I brought it to Pearl who asked me if I'd like to raise it (uh, no thank you!), and upon my answer decided she would give it to the cranes as a treat. So I went back to the bathroom and upon further inspection found another little guy hiding behind the door. So I brought that to her, she offered them to the red crowned cranes, but they didn't want them. So they went to the hornbills who gladly took them and displayed their treat in their bills to anyone that would watch.

So once that ordeal was done we went over to bongo and noticed that the two adult female were having an argument over something and we duking it out and chasing each other. I hadn't seen them fight before so it was interesting to see them so active. I caught a small clip of it on my phone to show you all...


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Once we were done watching them we went to go work in that camel yard again for a little while, and then helped out with medicating Ciera. My job was to distract Gulliver with a Russian Olive branch, which worked out pretty well.


Then it was time to close up and head home for the weekend!