Today, Megan assigned to me the ‘Exotics’ department… exotic mammals that is. The day started off with sprucing up Teela’s enclosure. Teela is the zoo’s dromedary camel. After that task, it was on to cleaning Roxy and Kit’s den (the zoo’s two foxes). Barbara said, “It’s not unusual for volunteers to find the smell of the fox’s den a bit overwhelming. It’s stronger than the smell of a wet dog!” I said, “Then I’m the right person for the job; because I can’t smell a darn thing!”
When the den was cozy and refreshed, it was off to the pony rides… yes, that’s right, pony rides. (It’s a zoo… you’ve got to have something for the little kids.) My task was to fit the kids with the proper helmet for the pony ride (and entertain them while they were waiting for their turn to ride.) I’m surprised I enjoyed it so much… I was really getting into it with the kids.
2 pm was the Croc Show in the Crocoseum where 'vollies' help direct guests to their seats and make sure the stadium is safe for the show. Reptiles and exotic birds, as well as the crocs, are part of the show. Then it was back to the pony rides until the end of the day.
DJ and me.
When it came time to transport the ponies back to their paddock (a few kilometers away), Lucy, one of the zookeepers said, “Come with us, Jeff. We’ll introduce you to DJ, one of the zoo’s white rhinos!” (The rhinos are not on display yet; their enclosures are part of the African Savannah area and will be ready in about a year.) What a treat!!! I got to see and touch and feed a two-ton white rhino. They are so impressive and beautiful in size and stature. Zookeeper, Deb, went out of her way to coax DJ (with some alfalfa-like hay) over to me so I could view him up close and feed him. I was very grateful to the zoo staff as they took time at the end of a very busy Saturday to make this special encounter possible for me!
Tomorrow I’m on Koala duty...
Close up of DJ, a two-ton white rhino.
Zookeeper, Deb, bribing DJ with sweet grass, over for me to meet.