Friday, June 25, 2010

Battle wounds and crazyness!

Hello there,

This week was a crazzzyyyy one. Monday was probably the easiest of the whole week. It started off with me doing presentations in order to be signed off on the animals. I was able to get the box turtle, corn snake, and barred owl out of the way. The Barred owl was pretty well behaved, she just stares at whoever is handling her. Then we had to go over Zoo camp, which felt like it took forever, but had to be done. Zoo camp is when people bring their children to the zoo for a few hours and we teach them about whatever topic they signed up for. I ended up picking out 5 activities to do the second week of camp. One of them is doing an animal presentation of 4 animals, and another is creating an owl out of paper plates. It shouldn't be tooo bad.

After a nice day break I came in and started the day round one handling. H andling doesn't take anytime at all. I did get my first battle wound though. We have some very temperamental Chinchillas at the Salisbury Zoo, they don't really like the whole "it time for me to take you out of your cage time". Stormy, the fatter of the two, is usually pretty good about the whole thing. She'll stand up on her back legs and occasionally spray and bark, but nothing more than that. This time I reached my hand in and she lunged at me, biting my finger. No warning or anything. It didn't hurt, just startled me because she usually isn't like that.

Handling took just enough time that when I went back to the Visitors Center to return gloves, it was time for me to observe Brandon's education talk. The Spectacled Owl decided to chew on his hand the whole time. She is the Diva of all of the birds. Then Nadia and I were supposed to stand watch in the Visitors Center, well rather keep it open. But sense there were already two docents there we decided to take out the Screech Owls for a walk. That plan didn't work very well, due to the constant Robins and Grackles dive bombing us. We ended up having to take the Owls back, they were getting way to stressed out. So after what seemed like forever in the Visitor Center, it was time for my Education talk. I took the Barred Owl out to what looked like 20 people. I think I did alright, but I still forgot a lot of things I was going to say. Brandon said I did fine so I guess that’s all that matters.

Thursday started off in a bit of confusion. Leonora redid the schedule and forgot to finish typing everything out. This resulted in both me and Noelle thinking we had to do the 11 am Education talk. Come to find out I was suppose to observe her do it. Instead Noelle did the talk and I started my roving early. I decided that the Corn Snake needed to go out for a walk and get some sun. Most people were fine about the snake being out. There was one woman that stayed like 3 exhibits away from me. Afterwards it was handling again, same old same old, except for having to take Crick out, our 23 pound Boa Constrictor. Lucky for me, no one came into the Visitors Center so I didn't have to take her into the back of the building.

Then came my second battle wound of the week. I went to go handle the level 1-3 birds in the aviary and went to do the Great Horn Owl first. In order to handle him we have to wear a welding glove, not just for the talons but the beak too. But this time it didn't seem to help any. I grabbed him by his jesses and went to go gently push him off balance so he would step up. He of course wanted nothing to do with it so he went to chew on the glove, finding a soft spot. Needless to say I have a bruise on my hand. Shortly after I had to do the 2 pm Education talk, in which I took the Ball Python out so he could get some sun. I waited for a bit and no one showed up, but as soon as I went to put him away a group of three showed up. I ended up just talking to them about the snake for a short time. It was way too hot to be outside.

Today was the craziest of days...It started off with Andre not being anywhere to be found. So I had to go off and find one of the keepers to make sure the alarms in the buildings were shut off. The keeper checked the Visitor center and said that the Education building was off. So I went to go open the door and low and behold the alarm was still on. Luckily one of the other keepers came over and turned it off. After that I did enrichment for the lizards, which didn't take long. All I did was rearrange the Alligators furniture and soak the Bearded Dragon. I spent some in the Visitor Center doing announcements before my talk, but that was a mistake. One of the older docents had me rearranging everything so that visitors could see the animals. The counter in the center had also flooded due to the storm we had last night, so she was complaining about that and questioning where all the water was coming from. Then I did my 11 am ed talk on the Ball Python. No one showed up until I was about to leave again.

By that time I though Andre would show up, but he was still a no show. So I started working on his list, that meant handling. After handling I found Leonora and tried to figure out what was going on with no one being in. Come to find out Andre called out at like 7pm and Leonora didn't hear about it until this afternoon. So that meant I also had to do aviary care, and being Joy was also off I had to do half of the Visitor Center care. I really didn't mind, it was just so hot outside. Turkey bird and Peregrine took a mouse from me, and Red tailed tried playing catch but missed. Docent training was also going on so there was 18 or so odd people in the aviary the same time I was. I was able to take the Alligator out and show everyone the little guy.

Lastly I went and did Visitor Center care before I left. We ran out of Crickets and Mealworms again so I didn't have to do much but scrub out water dishes. Right before I left I noticed one of the windows had cracked, but it was only one part of a two piece window, so it was fine.

This week was a little crazy but I was able to handle it. If anything it was really only today that bugged me. It was just one of those days. But it's just part of learning that nothing at a zoo really goes on as scheduled. It's just one more thing you have to adapt to. I also learned that just because an animal acts one way one day doesn't mean it'll act the same the next. At least I pretty much have everything I need to do on daily basis down pat. No if only it would get cooler.

Now it's time for me to get some much needed rest!

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