Off to the Races!
Once everyone arrives in the Volunteer Services Office for roll call, we all know that it is going to be a hot day. In fact, one of the hottest days of the summer so far. All the animal handlers make their way to the red barn to start the day. We
check the heat index to see what animals we can go ahead and take out, it was already 91 degrees! Tyson, the turkey, can”t go outside after it reaches 85. We all look at each other, and I know we are thinking the same thing….what now? I head outside with the group to see what the other TRIBE members were up too. We saw a group of “Fungineers” with some chalk by the tortoise exhibit, so that is when we decided to have tortoise races.
We set up the start and finish lines, and also drew our scoreboard. Our racers were a group of male tortoises named Samuel, Robert, and Garth! The visitors enjoyed it as much as we did. Some even messed around and pretended to bet on the tortoises. In the beginning, it seemed Samuel was gonna blow the others away, but Garth came out with the win!
Each TRIBE member has a mentor, and my mentor is Kate! She runs the overnight programs at the zoo. Occasionally, Kate will come by and check in with the teens, and recently she has been gathering groups to help her socialize Dilbert, the six-banded armadillo! Dilbert is just a little…okay, a lot over weight. He is on a diet though, and now he has TRIBE members come and play so he can exercise! We also got to meet Olli, the white-throated monitor.
Since it was so hot, Kate got all the animal handlers and took us over to to the education building to get special training on baby hedgehogs! There is the most adorable little boy named Detric, and a little girl named Smiley. Right now, they are being socialized so that they can be animal ambassadors. Our job is to help them get used to being handled, so that they are not afraid of visitors. We had a great time, and we got to hang out with some of the awesome mentors such as Rachel, Kate, and Melinda as well.
It was a great day at the zoo!