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Sunday, February 28, 2010


So, this week at the zoo was totally different than ever before, so that's a nice change of pace.  Especially since I have to miss next Saturday because of section leader tryouts, so luckily I'll have a good taste in my mouth for a while.


There was some kind of giraffe keeper conference thing in Arizona, so a bunch of giraffe people were coming to Tucson that afternoon.  So everything had to get done fast because all the keepers had to join them on the tour at 2.  So I did tortoise, bird and dry feed stuff.  And three school groups came in during the morning, so it was a very busy morning.


No hoofstock, but carnivore area this time.  I was a little bit surprised, but hey, I'm down for seeing new stuff.  Getting all the food prepped is kind of ridiculous because there's way more to do, and there's a lot of birds, so there's a lot more bowls and stuff, so it's slightly out of control, and I would definitely have a hard time remembering all the different things that we had to take out there.

The first stop was the bird run, where we fed everything but the parrots.  The bird run is a little short, so I have to kind of hunch over just to walk in it at all, which is sort of annoying.  And there's a lot of birds, which isn't really that great.  The cockatoos can talk, so I had a really long conversation with them by just saying "Hi" and "How are you?".  So bird run, not very exciting.

Next we went over to the muntjac.  It's kind of like a deer the size of Kingston, just to give you an idea about how small this thing is.  It was really funny though, it likes it when people scratch its neck for it because it can't reach it with its short little legs.  There's some turtles in there too, but we just have to count them.  Then we went over to tiger, which was really cool.  Got right up next to it and I got some whisker and nose from it through the chain link fence.  He was funny though, he has a cool noise when he's happy, and he's happy when he's eating his big plate of meat.  While he was eating, we went in and cleaned, I cleaned the windows, and then sprayed cologne and some other scent everywhere, and rearranged his toys so he would have some new and exciting stuff to do.

Next up was Warty pigs and Sun Bear.  The sun bear is really funny.  She comes up to the fence and hangs on while you feed her.  She doesn't like to go outside because she's old and is blind in her right eye, so that's kind of sad.  The warty pigs are kind of weird.  They have this huge complex social system, and there's only three of them haha.  We fed all these guys and cleaned up their exhibit.  There was a dead bird in the warty pig pool, so that was kind of interesting.  After letting everyone out, we went over to elephants.

Elephants was just as cool this time as it was the first time, except I didn't touch its foot this time because it wasn't Cassie in charge of elephants.  They're so big! It's really ridiculous to stand there next to them.  After the two elephants were out we went back to the bird run to change out the water and feed the rest and hose down the floors.  Once again, bird run is not my favorite part.

When we were done with the bird run for the day, we went back to warty pig/sun bear to clean up the back area, feed the sun bear its lunch, and do some warty pig training.  But before training we went back to elephant where we put palm and bamboo on the fence for them and then watched them go around and pluck it all of after we were done putting it up.

The last thing of the day was to give the tiger a bone and clean out its back area, so we brought him inside, put the bone out on exhibit, and let him back out.  That was interesting because it was in a giant trash can, so he tackled the trash can, go the bone, ran across his little stream and went to town on his bone.  Then we cleaned out the back area, which took like 30 seconds because it was already pretty clean, and that was it for the day.

Only kitchen next week, but then the week after I go four times in a week, so that should be fun.

How many times can I break til I shatter?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

If You Could Only See

So, this week was pretty straight forward, so here's a list of things that are different than normal


Did dry food prep for the next day.  Other than that, just bird and tortoise diets.


Got all the animals out on time!

Picked up a tortoise to move him to his food.  That was kind of fun.

Went on an extension cord hunt for the zebra heater while Susie went to elephant.  Yeah, I missed out on elephants, but she promised me next time I would go, so there's always that.

If you could only see how blue her eyes can be when she says, when she says she loves me

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Smile Like You Mean It

Crazy week, mostly full of studying, and some more studying, but there was zoo time, so I did have some fun this week

Tuesday was a kitchen day, however, I made bird diets instead of tortoise diets, and we did giraffe feed again, when I saw the baby zebra on exhibit for the first time.  But giraffe feed was different this week because Stacey decided that we should clean up the ledge of the exhibit and fill the hay feeders, so we went to the giraffe barn and she gave me the quick tour (it's really really cool), and then when into the exhibit with the giraffes and filled up the feeders.  I wish they liked being petted, because it would be the greatest thing ever to stand there and pet them, but you can only get a quick little tap on the lower jaw before they pull away.  But that was way cool, and one almost knocked me into the exhibit with his neck.

That was pretty much everything on Tuesday, so exciting.  So today, Susie was late because her dog broke into her kitchen while she was in Flagstaff this week (yes, she went to Flagstaff), and so I was on my own to start getting the food and cart ready, but I didn't know if the rhinos were still getting special meds, so I didn't know how to make their food, so I got stuck early.  But luckily she wasn't too late, and we were still relatively fine timewise.

We went and pulled the male zebra off exhibit since he was on overnight and fed him in the back.  Then she dropped me off to clean up the exhibit while she went to go feed everyone else.  I took a wheelbarrow instead of a bucket, but the wheelbarrow broke, so that was interesting.  I couldn't get it back together for a while, so we didn't really make up much time since I didn't get much done while she was feeding.

After that we cleaned out the rhino exhibit, and then let the rhinos and gazelle out.  I love petting the rhinos every time we do this.  Then we went over to let the zebras and ostriches out, but we didn't know until after we put them out that the ostriches weren't supposed to be out with the baby, so we had to chase the ostriches back into the barn and rearrange everything in back so we could clean their area up a little bit.  And poor Konan was back there by himself in this little area all day.  I feel bad for that guy.  So we cleaned a little bit of ostrich and then went to clean out gazelle and rhino.  When we finished cleaning gazelle Susie let me hand feed one of the corey busters some fish, so that was kind of neat.

Then we put out the tortoises, fed them and took a short break before going to clean out the zebra barns.  In the middle of cleaning the zebra barns, we had a birthday party for Sue the supervisor, so I got to eat cupcakes and hang out with the keepers.  That was fun, they seem really fun and really cool, and most of them are probably in their early to mid 20s, so I feel like I can actually be friends with them, which makes this internship even more fun.

When the party was over we finished off the zebra barns and then it was time to go back to the real world.  The zoo is definitely the best part of my week every week, and I really need to find somewhere to apprentice and then become full time, because getting paid to do this would be a dream come true.

Dreams aren't what they used to be, some things sat by so carelessly

Saturday, February 6, 2010


It's weird how songs on the radio on my way home match up with what happens that day

Today was somewhat different than normal.  Starting out with getting all the feed, but the rhinos needed more than normal because they have more medicine now.  We went and fed them first and then fed ostrich and zebra. After feeding them and watching the foal for a little bit, I went out in the zebra exhibit and started cleaning while Susie went and fed gazelle and corey busters.

After cleaning zebra, I started cleaning rhino while she went and put Konan (the male zebra) and the ostriches out on exhibit.  After we were done cleaning rhino, we put them out with gazelle and the corey busters.  We actually had all the animals out around 9 today, pretty sure that was a first.

Once everyone was out on exhibit, we cleaned up all the barn areas, just like normal, except when we were done cleaning up the rhino back area, we went and got the giant ball that's been being passed around the zoo since today was the rhino's turn.  So we walked through the zoo, fed the giant crane in the rhino yard, and went over to lion to get the ball.  Once we had the ball, I rolled it through the zoo, trying not to run over any little kids with it, which was kind of difficult.  That ball is huge and heavy.

We dropped the ball off by the rhino barn, put food out for the tortoises, and went to clean up the zebra barns.  This took a little longer than normal because of moving around the baby and mom, so we didn't finish before it was time to put the giant ball in the rhino yard.

This was a big snooze.  The rhinos didn't even care, and I got to fill out an entire page of info that said pretty much that.  But I didn't have to spend that time sweeping up zebra poop, so I guess it's ok.  Plus while I was watching the rhino, the polar bear was pacing in his area that's right next to there, so I really watched the polar bear for most of the time.  And I got to hang out with the other keepers for a couple minutes, so that's always fun.  After I finished the evaluation of the ball usage, I went to the rhino barn to help finish up cleaning in there.  This didn't take very long, so I still had some time before the big intern meeting, so I got baby zebra watching duty for about half an hour.  This is just sitting in a chair and staring at the baby zebra to see if he poops, pees, runs or nurses, so luckily it wasn't for too much longer than half an hour even though I love that little guy.

And then came the intern meeting.  It was nice to see Sarah since I hadn't seen her since orientation and she's like the only one I really talk to, so I had a friend again :) The one girl that wasn't at orientation was there, and she looked and sounded like she knew way more about animals than I could even imagine at this point.  We all talked about different ideas, and this is when I realized I got hosed with my placement.  I never really leave the little corner of the zoo I'm in, and I'm really only out on grounds once a week while everyone else is out twice.  So I now like this opportunity, but now I know it could be so much more than what it is.  So that's slightly disappointing.  And I need some help coming up with an idea for hoofstock enrichment, so if you have any ideas shoot them my way....PLEASE!

After our meeting we went to the back area of polar bear, so I got to see one of the polar bears up close and personal, and he did a couple of commands for us, so that was pretty neat.

I somehow find that you and I collide

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mysterious Ways

So, originally I decided I wasn't going to do Tuesdays on here by themselves, but this Tuesday was so much fun I thought I would go ahead and post it, all be it two days late (physio and ochem raped me this week)

When I showed up in the morning, no one was in the keeper's quarters, so I just signed in and went straight to the kitchen, where there was tons of action and lots of stuff going on, but nothing for me to do.  So we went back to the other room for the meeting, where I learned the baby zebra almost died over the weekend :( but he was starting to pull through Tuesday so hopefully there is still a baby there when I show up Saturday morning.

So once morning rush was over, I got to help do monthly inventory instead of make diets.  It was interesting to see how little of each different food the zoo uses, and it was freezing cold having to stand in the freezer for like ten minutes counting mice and rats and all kinds of weird stuff.

When we finished inventory we did worms and crickets, which is always exciting.  But after that, we got to go work giraffe feed.  Climbed over the fence into the zoo and stood there in the giraffe feeding area, fed some giraffes, and gave biscuits to little kids that threw their's so they could actually feed the giraffe two biscuits.  About halfway through feeding time, the male zebra started following close behind one of the females, and then we realized what was happening.  Let's just say he was up and at em.  He never actually jumped up to mount her (which I think would have been awesome to see), but he did do enough to disgust me, and I'll just leave it at that haha.

On our way back, Cassie, the keeper that I see the most that I don't actually work with, needed help moving the giant ball that I saw in the elephant yard on Saturday across the zoo from tiger to lion.  So we rode over to tiger with her, picked up the ball, and drove over to lion.  I didn't see lions, but that's ok.  Then she drove us back to the kitchen, where I helped do capybara and tapir diets before I had to leave.  Overall, much better than normal, especially because I got to feed some giraffes :)

It's alright, it's alright, alright. She moves, in mysterious ways