I didn't work that many days that the Zoo this week, but I worked longer hours. This week was my week to help with Zoo camp, which happened to be the 2nd and 3rd grader week. Oh man...talk about crazy! The theme for this group was habitats and the animals that live in them. I only did a few activities, mostly crafts like making paper plate owls and making their own field guide page. I went in on Tuesday which was a rainy day. At one point we tried to take the kids to the park, but half way there it started to sprinkle. So after standing under some trees we decided to walk to the wolf den and see if the rain would stop shortly. Nope, couldn't be that easy, instead it poured and poured. You try telling 14 eight year olds not to go out in the rain. Then Thursday we took the kids to the park being it was so sunny outside. We let them run around for about 45 minutes in hopes that they would wear out and be more behaved when we brought them back. We ended up learning that if you just give kids animal books and confetti they'll calm down.
After camp was done for the day I was able to get some handling in. I completed all of my handling sessions on the larger birds so now I can handle them when ever I want. I just have to give my short talk to my supervisors so I can take them out for programs.
Friday was the worst of the three days by far. Started off with me giving presentations on the Ferret and the Hedgehog, so Nadia and I could use them for the Wildlife encounter later on. Then it was Zoo camp time and I ran the first program, creating a field guide page. All the kids were surprisingly well behaved. Then Nadia and I had to prepare for the Wildlife encounter, which was given to the Accomack County Migrant Program or something to that extent. The fun part was getting the Red Tailed Hawk into a carrier, and it must be noted that she hates carriers. Nadia tried to put her in three times, getting her half way in each time before she would jump off the glove. We decided we would give it one more shot before we chose another bird. We let the hawk jump off the glove and hang by her jesses. Then I held the carrier at an angle and we slowly dropped the Hawk inside. She surprisingly didn't freak out when we got her in there.
We waited on the stage for a half an hour before Brandon came out saying they were going to be late. Program was supposed to start at 10:30, we didn't start until 11. Also the group was only suppose to bring 90 or so people, they ended up bringing a little more than 2oo people. And they had there own itinerary, which we told them no that they had to go by what we planned for them. So Brandon sent the first group to the stage, but they never showed up. The second group showed up on time, but half way thru more of their people showed up and we were already packed. THEN, the first group showed up before the third group showed up, so we had to tell them to come back for the forth program because there would be way too many people. Third group showed up and left on time, and the fourth group was MIA. We were just glad we had enough time to which out our bird and mammal so they didn't get too stressed out.
After a much needed Intern lunch break at a pizza place near by, Nadia and I finished the aviary and did handling. I had to pull the poor little Screech Owl out of his nest box, so he was a bit testy. It also didn't help they are working on rebuilding the Ed holding building right next to the aviary, so some of the birds were a little agitated by all of the noise. After the birds we went back to the Visitor Center were I got to feed the Hognose snake a Toad. It was so cool watching him shove that whole thing in his mouth.
I learned, well rather reinforced something very important this week. Patients is a very good thing to have. Being calm and just waiting things out is a very good skill to have in any job. I'm also learning hold to respond to different age groups when giving a presentation. I love my job at the zoo and it's kind of sad that I only have 5 weeks left.
Hopefully I'll have more stories next week!