Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Weeks 1 and 2

Due to some technical difficulties (my hard drive decided to crap out on me) I've decided to combine my first two weeks's shenanigans into one post! Never fear, I will continue to update weekly!

Sunda the Asian elephant
Hope (left) and Sgt. Peppers (right) or "Sarge" for short 
On my first official day at the Topeka Zoo I worked in the Animals and Man (A&M) area of the zoo. There's an African Elephant, an Asian Elephant, a Nile River Hippopotamus, four Reticulated Giraffes, two Black and White Ruffed Lemurs, and an African Crested Porcupine. I learned how to clean the hippo and giraffe enclosures in the morning, then got to watch elephant training in the afternoon! Both elephants knew a surprising number of behaviors, and were very motivated by animal cracker snacks. Over the next few A&M shifts, I learned the basics of how to clean the lemur enclosures, the giraffe areas and the elephant areas, and now that I have the technique down, I can work on improving my speed a little so that there's more time for side projects. Some examples so far include putting together a lemur exhibit, learning how to weave fire hose for enrichment purposes, and a fellow intern even made some frozen treats that the animals really liked! 

Jesse (left) and Dolly (right)

Hector (let) and Fernando (right)

I also worked in the Children's Zoo (or CZ) section. The children's zoo has several goats one sheep one llama, and its newest addition, a two month old baby cow. The children's zoo section is also in charge of the three African Wild Dogs, two Addra Gazelles and two adult Sumatran Tigers, as well as the three tiger cubs that were born about a month ago. The cubs won't be on exhibit until they're a little bigger unfortunately. Sad face.

The last section that I've worked in so far was North Range (NR), which has two Black Bears, two Golden Eagles, two coyotes, a bobcat, two Mountain Lions, and two North American River Otters. I got to see a painting session with one of the black bears, a training session with one of the coyotes, and several training sessions with the otters. I even got to feed one of the mountain lions!

All in all I've had a great time at the Topeka Zoo and my summer is only beginning!

1 comment:

  1. I'm reading it. I'd love some more detail about some of the stuff you're learning...Looks good so far.