Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cape Cod Canal

I have finished my first week working as a Park Ranger for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the Cape Cod Canal. The Corps employs many civilians at sites across the nation, of which I am one.

As a new (first-year) seasonal employee at the Canal, I will be spending my first few weeks in training. Most of that training takes place at the office. I have also spent two days at the Visitor Center, which is in a different location. A lot of the training consists of boring agency-wide computerized "courses" that have absolutely nothing to do with the job.

Yesterday we had our first big event, Water and Boating Safety Day. The Canal has a remote-controlled mascot called "Seemoor the Water Safety Sea Serpent." He is this purple character with a decidedly porcine face who drives around in a little boat on wheels. For most of the day I was his "companion" as he interacted with children who came to the event. He was controlled by a returning seasonal named Andy, who was hampered by the fact that the earpiece on his headphones didn't work, meaning that he couldn't hear anything that the kids and I said to Seemoor. Later on, Seemoor's voice changer started giving us a lot of feedback, so from that point on he was mute as well as deaf. (Andy, of course, had to stay out of sight, which meant that he couldn't always see Seemoor, a fact that caused the fiesty serpent to crash into my legs twice. It didn't really hurt and, besides, it was better to have Seemoor slam into my shins than to have him take out little kids.) No matter; the kids loved him anyway! At one point, two sisters and a brother (all of them under the age of 6) who had met Seemoor at the event last year brought him a picture as a gift. It was a page torn from a "Hello Kitty" coloring book, and they presented it to Seemoor with considerable ceremony. It was the cutest thing.

As I finish with training in a few weeks and learn more about the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) at the Visitor Center, I will get to start doing what I came here for: creating and presenting Interpretive programs. My boss, Sam, has already told me that I'm probably going to be doing beach walks, among other things. I think this job is going to be fun, and it will definitely help me learn skills for my future career.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

week 3 and they're still coming!

It is now my third week here at Fawn Country, and we now have 4 fawns! And they are a handful! We feed them goats milk as a substitute for their mother's milk and they are fed every three hours from 6 am to 12 pm. Phew! Fortunately since there is a second intern besides my self, one will do the 6 am feeding and the other will do the 12 pm feeding. There will be a third intern arriving in June, and she will be arriving just as all the does start fawning out. And that will mean more babies to feed and more butts to wipe!

Yes, we wipe their butts at each feeding to stimulate them to go, just as their mothers would do, except we use baby wipes.

Another exciting event happened this week. The pregnant does (owned by a mix of owners) were moved from one ranch to here, to fawn out (although, one doe did so a few days prior to the move). There are 25 moms to be that are 2yrs+ in age. While I was not there in person to help with the move the night it happened, (some one was needed to feed the babies) I was told how it would work. Over the course of the week, a shute was set up outside the pen. This shute was then lined with thick black plastic. Plastic that is thicker then say the plastic of a milk jug.

**The plastic is to prevent to does from injuring themselves on the fence, should they become spooked and decide to try to jump it. Deer are the ultimate optimists. If they feel threatened and feel the need to flee, they will look for an escape route. And if that route is a hole say only four inches around, they will be sure they can fit through it and will attempt to do so.

So, at the end of the shute, there is a large horse trailer. This is where all the does need to be moved to. The black plastic is left up for a few days, so the does loose their fear of it. And the night of the move, they were slowly herded into the shute and into the trailer. The fawns were put into a lined dog crate for the trip. The fawns were then watched the next day to make sure their mom was still feeding them. Fortunately she was.

Now that the pregnant does are here, the new intern and I spend time each day in their pen. This gives the girls time to get to know us, and for us to learn to identify them and learn their mannerisms. It is important to know who is who and how they behave, because a change in behavior can mean a change in health. It also gives us a chance to look at the deer for any possible sign of injury, and to look to see if any of the girls are developing a milk bag. A bag is a sign that she may be giving birth soon.

There should be more fawns with in a few weeks. Its going to be crazy!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mountaintop Removal Week 1

Emily Pike, Environmental Policy Major, Advocacy internship on Mountaintop Removal with Christians for the Mountains in Appalachia

17 May 2009
Day 1
I arrived in West Virginia today for my grassroots internship. The flight was smooth as I landed on the first flattened mountain I’d ever seen. I rode a few hours across the state and saw vast, beautifully forested mountains. The roads wound around them and over the top. I arrived at my destination for the week: the Mountain Justice Training Camp. I will learn the basics of mountaintop removal, what it causes, and how I can change this terror. I will attend workshops to teach me about the area’s culture, nature, economics, and policies. So far I have watched a video about the health costs of mountaintop removal in local communities. Needless to say: it’s devastating.
18 May 2009
Day 2
Today I learned the basics about mountaintop removal. Basically “mountaintop removal” is a misnomer, it’s more like “mountain removal.” I learned about the environmental hazards to air, water, landscape, watershed systems, and natural disasters – mainly floods. I learned about the human hazards from the devastation to the environment and lands tied close to the hearts of the Appalachian people (mind you these affects are physical, mental, and emotional). I also learned about the sheer corruption of environmental regulation agencies in Appalachia. The DEP, EPA, and the surface mining agencies are so influenced by the coal companies. Since 2004 Massey Energy and other big coal companies have broken an average of 2 reported laws a day and should have been fined millions of dollars for this. However, they were only fined $4600 and haven’t even been asked to pay that. Also, these are only the cases that the agencies reported and took note of; thousands of other illegal actions have been ignored. I also learned about how to work with and around the media. This included messaging and framing and the process of involving the media in direct, non-violent actions. However, the most important thing I learned today was about Appalachian culture and ethnicity. The Appalachian people are greatly stereotyped and misunderstood. They are not the dirty, stupid, hillbillies that we usually think of. The Appalachian people are genius musicians, artists, and writers. They have played major roles that have remained hidden in the abolition of slavery, the New York Times, tearing apart segregation, and many other important historical moments. What I gathered is that Appalachian people are basically rural Mainer’s. They love their land, they hunt, fish, they argue about who makes the best pie, hotdog, or cornbread, they work hard, and they’d rather have a pick-up with big wheels than a Mercedes. Because of this cultural connection, it is not hard for us to understand how they feel about the destruction of their mountains, their struggle between finding work and protecting these mountains, and how they feel about the destruction of the homes they worked so hard to build and keep up.
19 May 2009
Day 3
I had a discussion about what theory means and what democracy means; it was a bit tedious, unnecessary, and annoying. I learned about the necessary steps for campus organizing and leading campaigns, how to connect campuses to communities respectfully and remove the college ‘bubble’, and the history of the opposition to strip mining and mountaintop removal. Did you know that Senator Rockefeller came to West Virginia as a Vista worker and worked hard to completely abolish strip mining? When his following election went bad, he switched sides and is now a staunch supporting of mountaintop removal. I also heard from some local activists: their stories and adventures. They all sleep with guns because their lives have been threatened as they act to protect their lives and lands. Some really interesting things were said, like how the coal companies are trying to pursue mountaintop removal in Alaska! The best were the quotes that I gathered: “The problem with the environmental movement is that ya’ll are good people. You’re too easy on ‘em” (Cecil Roberts). “We dread the blasts every day: the shake and dust – silica dust from the rock, ammonia nitrate and diesel fuel to block up the rock, heavy metals, and particulates small enough to be absorbed into your blood stream” (Bo Webb) and “The thing that made the rallies in the 60s so popular compared to today was good food, good music, and sexy girls” (Judy Bonds, Goldman Environmental Prize winner).
20 May 2009
Day 4
Today I learned about the Kingston Coal Ash Disaster. In Kingston and Harriman, Tennessee a coal ash impoundment (where coal ash is stored when brushes collect it from smoke stacks at coal powered power plants to reduce air pollution) broke loose and flooded the river-side community with millions of gallons of coal ash: cancer and destruction. TVA (the power plant) told the people to boil their water to get rid of the chemicals. Boiling water only kills bacteria, the water in Kingston was black and polluted with chemicals – boiling would only concentrate the pollutants. We never heard about this (the biggest environmental disaster in years) because TVA has their own federal police that stopped media from coming in, arrested relief groups, and blocked the roads to anyone but residents and sometimes close family of residents. Check out this before and after video that a resident made .
I also learned the basics of community organizing and discussed problems with economics, economics in Appalachia, and Solidarity Economics. Jack Sparado came to speak and we watched the video “Mucked.”
21 May 2009
Day 5
I learned how to exhaust administrative remedies. Basically request mine site visits and personally interviews with the regulation agencies to pin illegal actions on the coal companies, bring along judges and congresspeople to see the true disasters, or to find endangered plants or animals to get a mining permit revoked :D
22 May 2009
Day 6
I learned about underground mining. It eventually makes a mountain collapse in certain areas: still completely destructive but less so.
23 May 2009
Day 7
I left camp today and went to the house I’ll be staying in for the rest of my time in West Virginia. Everyone else from camp went to an action: some got arrested and others not. Ex-Senator Ken Hechler of West Virginia (over 90 years old) tried to get arrested because the publicity would do wonders for this issue, but the cops wouldn’t do it. Hechler said that had he known he would have placed himself in the cop car to get arrested. While everyone else was at the action I sent a letter to every Senator in the US about mountaintop removal.
Check out the action here:

While everyone else was at the action I sent a letter to every Senator in the US about mountaintop removal.

I wrote this at some odd point in the week:
I feel like screaming at people because of what's happening here. Mountains that people live on are being blown up, people are breathing in the coal, drinking black water, dying from floods after it rains because the trees are gone and are replaced with valleys filled with all the rock blasted away from the mountain, dying from floods because the sludge ponds broke (ponds where they put the mine waste), getting covered in inches of coal a day in refinery towns, people in coal power plant towns dropping like flies with cancer. It's so sad and we don't need to mine this way. And the Appalachian people that are most affected by it aren't getting a voice because people think they're stupid hillbillies, which totally isn't true. They are Mainers essentially. The culture, ethnicity, and values are the same as us and they are just as smart. The only difference is that rich people don't care about their mountains enough to protect them and the coal companies have always owned their mountains anyway and as a result they're dirt poor. This type of mining requires fewer workers, so it's reducing jobs. Towns without mining are beautiful booming towns, while the mining towns are so destitute. It's absolutely horrible.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

week 2 with 2 fawns

Hello everyone!

My second week has come and gone, and we now have two fawns with us here at Fawn Country. One arrived last wednesday, Miss Ann, and the second arrived just last night. Its been rather quite here as there are only 2 fawns, but more, many more are expected in a week or two. Soon, the pregnant does will be moved here to the ranch, and the yearling bucks will be moved off.

I will hopefully have more next week. but for now, here is a picture of Miss Ann (sleeping) and her friend who has yet to recieve a name.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Week 2...Some red, some white, and some blues.

Well, my second week has come and gone, and I feel like I have been less than adequate as payed help. Unusually, the best day of the week was a Monday. The picture on the right is the first task for the day. We went to a condo complex and pruned a whole bunch of storm damage. This 3-ledered maple proved to be a fun tree, and I was even able to jump to an Ash tree and do a quick cut on that. However, one of the three stems has so much damage I made the decision to cut it down. I then went over to an Arborvitae hedge that had been hit hard. I topped two broken leders, and then tied up a third that had bent all the way to the ground. It was so large, I had to make weight cuts and have my ground-man use a come-along to winch it up. I uploaded a picture of the hole that was left from the damage.

The next three days, we spent at another condo village and pruned 5 groupings, or short hedges, of White Pines, and one group of hemlock. The first day went well, and as usual my neck was sore after staring up all day, but we got 7 trees done out of 24 or so. We ran out of gas in the chipper and called it a day. The second day went even better because of the amount of help we had. We blew through six more trees, but ran out of room in the chip-truck for all the chipped brush from that day and part of the previous days brush. That day I decisded to try out the new company A-shirt. Well, it would have been great if I remembered sunscreen. Needless to say I got really burned, so I am red and white striped. The last day is where the blues set in. My boss had me climb one group of pines and top them while he did another group. On my last tree, I was having trouble getting the tops out of the tree. Well, as I let one go, it got caught, flipped, and the butt-end went crashing through a side window of the condo. Needless to say, I had a bit of the blues after that. My boss took it in stride and we discussed what should be done in the future to prevent accidents like that. On a surprising turn, the condo residents were not very mad about it. Infact, the wife came out and gave us all homemade whoopi pies! It was definetly one of the best I have ever had. I took a picture of my co-worker holding his up.

On Friday, my boss and i went spraying while my co-worker stayed back and fixed up the equipment. We got quite a bit done, and I was even given a walk through tutorial on spraying a cherry tree for Winter Moth and a Mugo Pine for sawfly. With any luck I'll be able to get my applicators licence for the State this summer. We then went and did a couple of specialty spray and fertilizer jobs. For two, Dwight (Dewey) my boss, made up his special fertilizer blend, the Dewey Delight*. I won't give out his recipie, but he has put years of experiance into this blend and it gets the job done!

Another week gone by, and we are looking foward to what the summer has to offer. Some good pruning jobs lay ahead, a little more fertilizing, some right-of-way clearing for the town of Uxbridge, and as always, some take-downs. I cant wait!



This Week I Learned an Important Lesson

This past week I have been doing a lot of work with our hawks. One of our red-tailed hawks that I have been working with has been making good progress. I could not get him to take mice from my hand using a glove because he is so afraid of gloves. He came from a rehabilitation center where he was handled very roughly with gloves. So in order to get him used to the glove, I have been leaving his food on the glove so that he has to eventually eat from it. Now he takes his food right away, so soon I will try putting the glove back on my hand to feed him.

One of our other hawks is a broad-winged hawk, and today I learned to be very careful when opening and closing his enclosure. When we first got him about a year or two ago, he could barely fly. That's not the case anymore. Today I fed him and cleaned out his water bowl. I am always very careful going in his enclosure and making sure I shut the door behind me, but as I was closing the door today he flew past me and out the door. I did not have any gloves or a net with me to go get him, so I ran to get another keeper, Amy, who was about to start an animal presentation. I showed her where the hawk went because he couldn't fly to high, so he landed close by. She had me go do her animal presentation with Pinky, who is a 3 month old Dorset sheep. After the show, I ran back to find Amy and another volunteer in a thorn bush trying to catch the hawk. I felt horrible, and by the time I got to them and they were all scratched up, they had caught him. I definitely will never let anything like that happen again.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nils Bell ~ First Days in Deutschland, Germany

Hallo from Germany! My internship hear in the forest near Phillipsburg has gotten off to a quick start. Herr Brecht, my employer is to the point and practical, a classic German. He had me out early in the morning and working 5 days ahead of schedule. The number one task at the moment is managing the exploding wild boar population. Their numbers have increased at an unprecedented rate despite the Jaegers (hunter) best efforts. A typical litter is around 7 Frischlinge (new born litter) and all of these pigs can and often do produce their own litter during the same year. Recent years have seen a 200% increase in wild boar in Germany.

These pictures were taken in a German Naturgehege (Nature Park).
The German Wildsau (wild boar) weighs around 150 to 200 kg when grown up, but have even been recorded in the 300 kg range! The Wildsau is an omnivore and eats absolutely everything on the forest floor. This and the lack of large predators have allowed their population to flourish. Wolves have made a comeback in Germany though and it is the hope of Landjagdpaechters (forest land owners) like my boss, Herr Brecht, that this will someday soon help keep the wild boar population manageable.
So far I have been assisting Herr Brecht and his group of hunters to lay down corn in strategic areas with Hochsitze (high seats), to help lure the pigs into that area so the hunters can do their thing. Though I have hunted in the states and Namibia I am not allowed to partake in these culling efforts. The hunting culture in Germany is very different in than in America, and acquiring a license over here is a long and difficult process that can take anywhere from a few month to half a year.

Feed is distributed out in heavily traversed areas which can be easily spotted by the muddy overturned earth the pigs leave in their wake. The Wildsau enjoys the lower lying areas of the forest that are have more moisture and can be described as swamp-like. The pigs role in these muddy spots, cooling their bodies from the hot sun and getting rid of pesky parasites. In these areas we make small holes in the ground and scoop a few handfuls of corn into them. Feed is only allowed to be put into a certain number of locations depending on the size of the forest being hunted on. The forest area I am working on is approximately 250 acres and German hunting laws permits us to put out corn in up to 5 areas.

Well, I have just started work but I can already see its going to be a busy, interesting summer. More in a few days. Talk to you later Unity.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Today is May 11th 2009. It's my first day at the maine wildlife park. I started at 11:00 this morning and I will be working until 4:00PM. I was shown around the park, and at all the different animal exhibits they have here. I was also shown the ideal location of the 5 new enclosures they hope to build (with my help) this summer. I was given a list of animals that need new enclosures which include; skunks, a fisher, raccoons, opossums and woodchucks. For the first couple weeks my job is to go out on the computer and find different ideas, and habitat needs for these different sorts of animals. I am also required to call different zoos, and ask them about animals they have similiar to these, and of their habitats. After the first few weeks, I will hopefully get started on some of the construction of the new exhibits. And come up with drawings and ideas for all the the "furniture" inside the exhibits. As well as what I have listed above, I will also be helping with enrichment for the animals here (mountain lions, lynx, fox etc) so I'm excited about that. I will also be helping with some food prep, and hopefully get to have some hands on time with animals in the park, if all goes well. I made up my own schedule and gave it to my "boss" today. The plan is that I am working every mon, wed, and fri 11-4 for the first two weeks. This will put me at 30 hours after the first two weeks. Then starting the 25th of May I will be working mon 11-4. Wed 11-6 and friday 11-4. which will put me at 17 hours per week. Which means by July 24th 2009 I will have a total of 183 hours, and July 24th 2009 (friday) will be my last day interning at the Maine Wildlife Park. I learned right away that I should have brought my camera today, the park has already recieved an owl and another bird this morning, and it would have been great if I could have gotten some pictures. I will deffinitly have to bring one on Wed. Also all the animals were up and outside this morning, and it would have been great if I could have gotten some shots of them. Hopefully I will get some on Wed.

Thanks, I hope to hear from you soon, and I hope that this e-mail met all the requirements it's supposed to for my internship. Keep in touch!
- Lindsay

Maine Wildlife Park~ Gray, Maine

Hey Nicole. Just wanted to keep you posted on how my internship is going. Today is the second week of my internship at the Maine Wildlife Park. It's Monday the 18th. I started working today at 11:00-4:00. It's really cold here today, but the park is really busy. I've been doing my usual computer research, for construction of the enclosures we will be building here pretty soon. Today I'm doing research on both the woodchucks and the opossum. It was kind of a slow morning.....UNTIL around 12:00, one of the women that works in the office here with me (but also works at the park, and graduated from Unity in 2007!) told me that over the weekend they got a baby moose at the park. Someone had brought it in because it had been abandoned by it's mother. So right after she had told me this, Curt (the guy I set my internship up through) offered to take me down to look at the baby moose. We walked down to the center where they keep baby animals they receive. Curt showed me where the baby moose (which they name Wilbur) was being kept, and opened the gate to let me look at Wilbur. He is so cute! he's about a week or two old, and he's VERY skinny. I would say he's about 3-4 feet tall. But he's so sweet! He came right over to me and let me pet him. Although he's very sweet, and adorable, I could also tell that he was really scared. He kept calling out for his mother the whole time we were in there, and after we left. He was very soft, and actually looked sort of like a baby donkey, mostly because of how big his ears are and the shape of his head. Of course today I forgot my real camera, but I brought my cell phone, so I took some pictures with that. Luckily Wilbur will be at the park for most of the summer, so I should have plenty of time to take pictures later on. I'm sure he will grow really fast though, and then I wont be able to play with him anymore. I will keep you posted! talk to you on the 25th! also I will e-mail you the picture of the moose from my phone, so you can see how cute he is!

- Lindsay

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Week One Under the Sun

What a week!

Imagine a college student used to sleeping in having to get up at 5:30am. Not so bad, but one phone call had me starting on Monday morning at 5am, which mean a 4:20 wake up call. Let's just say the cup of coffee I made was a plus. However, the early start was well worth it!This week was unusually short, however, I felt as if in just these 3 days I have gotten back into the swing of things and working my butt off as usual.

This week was good because of the grab-bag style jobs kept me on my toes.Monday started early, and my boss and I spent the entire day treating trees for spring pathogens. At the first place, which was a shopping plaza, we sprayed horticultural oil mixed with Conserve* as an ingestion poison to most Lepidopteran larvae on Malus spp. (Crabapple) to protect against Eastern Tent Caterpillar. We also sprayed a red pine hedge to deter aphids and other sucking insects. Last, we noticed an ailing birch that was suffering from root rot. For this we did a soil drench with a fungicide. At this job, I started my training driving the big Ford truck, since we were in a parking lot. I did well, and was even able to defensively avoid an accident. Next, we went across town to combat an infestation of Winter Moth on some Maples. We used the horticultural oil with Conserve* mix. We were spraying at 400psi and reaching 50+ft. We then proceeded to cross town again and sprayed a hemlock hedge with straight horticultural oil as a preventative action against Woolly Adelgid and other pathogens. Dwight, my boss, has had much success with this in the past. Our last stop for the day was a condo development in Marlborough. Here we sprayed Hort. Oil mixed with conserve on some Malus spp.

Tuesday was a mixed day. We started at an estate working in some Norway and Sugar Maples. Regretfully, I don't have pictures up yet, but this pruning job was a good one to get my feet wet again. I went up a 6-ledered Norway Maple and removed weight off the ends of the branches in order to ease the ailing tree. I also cleared all the deadwood from inside it. When I got in the tree, I expected an easy walk from stem to stem, but partway through realized it was out of the question. It turned out that 1 leder was inaccessible from my tie-in point and the others turned out to be too far apart to use just my one tie-in point and my buck strap, so I did some stretching, shimmying, and not to mention some pull-ups. After I finished that tree I moved to a GIANT sugar maple and removed some lower deadwood. I tied in almost half-way up and when I glanced at my rope realized that that spot was past 45ft. This tree was BIG. Sadly, one of the dead branches had housed a robin's nest. After that job, my boss sent the other two workers to another quick job and to dump chips, while we rode back out to Marlborough and did another condominium complex. This turned out to be a long day. We sprayed the Rhododendrons to shield against Black Vine Weevil, and sprayed the Hemlock Hedges as well. Today, Wednesday, we went to Mendon and pruned a Hemlock hedge, a Lilac infested with bittersweet vine, two Callary Pears, and cleaning up some Red Pines crossing the property line. I pruned the lilac off the house and out of the front pathway. I also removed some stems that were infested with a Borer. Last, I finished creaning out the entangled bittersweet and put together a boquet of lilacs for the homeowner (who was quite happy). Next, i moved to the Red Pine Branches hanging into the yard and growing into and above the Arborvitae hedge. That was done solely with a pruning saw due to property issues. Last, i moved to the Callary Pears. I used my 192-TS Stihl chainsaw to raise the lowers. I then used a pole-saw and pole-pruner to make weight cuts and thin the tree. I also climbed them in order to thin the top. We chipped the brush and finished for the day.And that was my week. Although only three days, it felt a little longer due to the long hours put in. Now, I will be going to field training for the Army Reserves for a long work-filled weekend, then back into the trees on Monday! I can't wait!


Friday, May 15, 2009

Fawn Country Internship

Hello everyone!

My name is Kristen, and I am doing a Fawn Nursery Internship. I will get to hand raise baby deer for the summer. But as of now, there aren't any fawns. We aren't expecting any till early June. But yesterday was a big day. The yearling does were moved from this ranch to another where they would receive vaccinations and ear tattoos. Getting the does onto the trailer was tricky as they were scared and kept jumping into the fencing.
They had an interesting contraption at this ranch. They have a shute with four chambers. each chamber can hold one deer, and are separated by doors that can be operated from the outside. once the deer enters the fourth chamber, they are held by their trunk, the floor drops out from underneath and they are easier to manage and vaccinate. Much of this work was done under red light, as the deer cant see red. I assisted by keeping record of what deer received what vaccinations, and any other treatments for injuries.

This method is easier on the deer. while it is stressful, it does less damage to their immune system then darting them and knocking them out will. After all the does were treated they where moved to another ranch were they will stay. Today I visited the deer in their new yard and fed them grapes! They love grapes!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Some pictures to share

Today I made something for Oscar our opossum for enrichment. I took a cat litter pan and filled it with mulch. In the mulch I placed an egg, two mice, some fruits and veggies, and some dry cat food. I woke him up when I placed it in his exhibit (which he wasn't too happy about) but he went over to smell it right away. He didn't really know what to do though. He was having trouble figuring out how to get to the food. Hopefully he will figure it our tonight.

One of the animals I am really excited about working with this summer and doing presentations with, is Lily the skunk. I really like skunks. I try and handle her everyday so she gets really used to me, and today I had my picture taken with her.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The first few days

Hello everyone,
In case you do not know me, my name is Bethany and I am doing my internship at ZooQuarium on Cape Cod, MA. I am interning as an animal keeper and educator. This summer I am basically in charge of knowing how to take care of all the animals in the zoo and more. This is my 3rd summer working at ZooQuarium, but I am still learning a bunch of new things. For example, today I got to handle a squirrel which I have never done before. His name is Rocky and he is blind in at least one of his eyes and he has other issues as well because he was hit by a car when he was younger. I learned how to test the pH levels on salt water fish tanks, and fed our red fox Fleck for the first time as well. I also learned how to catch and handle alligators, and I did my first presentation with our skunk Lily. Soon I will be training some of our hawks. We have two red-tailed hawks and a broad-winged hawk. I am also working on some new enrichment ideas for some of the animals. Tomorrow I am going to make something for our opossum, Oscar. It will be something he can dig in, like a litter pan of dirt and sand with treats in it for him to find.
Hopefully the season will start to pick up down here on the Cape very soon and we get plenty of people in the zoo.
Well that is about all for now, I will be posting pictures soon.
Bethany Boucher

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Open season

Just finished processing our 89th internship for this coming season, it could be a record summer for the number of students we have completing internships for credit this summer. Also just sent out an invitation to this blog to all 89 interns.