It was a rainy and overcast today, so there were not as many visitors as usual. Sue, Grace, Alex, and I began our shift as usual. The first hour, I had Star, a ball python, and Grace handled a Sand Boa. Despite the bad weather, we talked to
over 100 people about our snakes. Next, Grace and I took turns with Fluffy, the African pygmy hedgehog. I showed Grace how to handle Fluffy since it was her first time with her. Fluffy is a favorite with zoo visitors. While we worked with Fluffy, Sue took out Mozart, the African hornbill. Hornbillls are also called “Firebirds” because they will fly into brush fires, making an easy meal of the insects trying to fly away from it. You can tell a female grey hornbill from a male because the female has red on the tips of their beaks–like lipstick! After returning Fluffy, I signed out Pearl an Angolan python. She got her name because of the unique texture of her scales–they feel like Trouve sur le fleuve attrayant Fox, le Grand Victoria possede beaucoup plus de 1100 machines a sous et une gamme de jeux de table dont la jeux la roulette , Blackjack, Three Card Poker, le Caribbean Stud Poker, le Baccarat et le Craps. hundreds of little pearls. She is a beautiful snake and I was eager to show her to people, but the light rain turned into a downpour and we didn”t see too many people to talk to. When it was time to take Pearl back she got special treatment. I carried her while Sue held an umbrella over her! Pearl was probably the only one of us that didn”t get wet. Even with the rain, it was another great day working with the animals.
July 21, 2010 Comments Off
Another day is done and the summer is going fast. The first thing I do whenever I arrive at the zoo is visit the Rhino Cafe for some LaRosa”s pizza! Next I head to roll call and then over to the Children Zoo to begin animal demonstrations. To
day, I started off with Star, a ball python. She was not the lightest thing to hold for almost a hour,but she was my favorite of the day. Ball pythons get their name honestly as they will literally roll into a ball either for casino online protection or to constrict prey. They are found in South America. Star had a pretty scale pattern, as shown in a picture below. My next animal was a speckled king snake named King Tut. They somtimes called “salt and pepper” snake because of their distinct scale pattern. These snakes are native to the U.S. and they have been known to give off a foul odor to scare off predators. My last animal of the day was an Eastern box turtle named Jasmine. These can be found in your backyard, but remember it”s not a good idea to keep a wild animal as a pet. Most people confuse them with snapping turtles, but you can tell them apart by the length of their tail–snapping turtles have longer tails. Jasmine was bound and determined to get away from me and she looked like she was swimming in mid air! I always finish my day there with some UDF ice cream or cold Mountain Dew. Overall it was another fun day at the zoo and I hope to see you there soon.
July 8, 2010 Comments Off
This past Tuesday was my first day of the summer & my first day volunteering! I had to learn the what my daily routine would be like…
First, there is roll call and loggin
g my hours in the Volunteer Services Office. Next, I head to the Children”s Zoo where I either sign-out an animal to show to guests or work in the goat yard. I share a shift with Alex and we go back-and-forth between animal handling and working the petting zoo.
Tuesday, I handled the animal first while Alex headed to the goat yard. Mark, our adult volunteer took me to the newly rennovated building, they keep the animals in. Once there he showed me how to check the sign-out book to see which animals where available. The only animal available at that time was Stokely…a corn snake.
For every animal there is a different way to prepare them. In Stokely”s case, I needed a deep styrofoam box, a pillow-case, and duct tape. I set Stokely in the the pillow-case and pulled it up gently around him. The tricky part is the pillow-case. It must be tied and this isn”t an easy task. You have to hold the top of the bag and slide one hand down to make sure the snake hasn”t tried to get out. Then, you keep the snake in place with one hand and with the other hand twist the bag to the top and tie the knot. This is safe to practice at home, but I recommended using a fake snake! The lid is then put on the box and secured with duct tape on each side. Stokely is ready to go now.
Mark and I got a spot in the Children”s Zoo and I got Stokely out. I must admit I was nervous in the beginning. Stokely is a young corn snake and didn”t really want to hold still. After a little bit I relaxed and so did he. It was fun to see the reactions of little kids as they saw the snake. They either ran right up and reached directly for the snake”s head (which is a big no-no), or they were afraid of Stokely and wanted to know why he wasn”t biting me. Mark and I would ask the children who were brave enough to touch Stokely what they thought he felt like. One said he felt like gummy bears (?) and another said he felt like boots! After showing off Stokely, I took him back to his enclosure and returned everything I used. I signed the snake back in and I logged how many people I talked to. Mark counted that I spoke to 136 in about 45 minutes!
Alex and I switched spots, it was my turn to help in the goat yard.
So for a first day, I”d say it was pretty good! Looking forward to next week already!
June 24, 2010 2 Comments