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Zoo Volunteer

A day as a volunteer.

My day starts nice and early. I put on all my green clothes and black jeans, my Tassie Blundstones and an old coat i picked up from the op shop for $5.00

I decided to put aside the same clothes each week so that i knew which ones to keep separate for washing later.

Lastly i tie my hair back, put on sunscreen and my Zoodoo Cap. Ready for the day ahead and new experiences.

I call into the local supermarket for provisions and a fresh cup of coffee and i am away. I takes me an hour to travel to the Zoo, with traffic its a bit of a drive. But, i think worth it.

My shift starts at 10am. I store my stuff in the locker and head out to check on all my little buddy friends. I head up to the Zebras first. One of the zebras called duchess is pregnant and we are expecting a new arrival any day now. Did you know the gestation period for a zebra is 13 months. Phew thats a long time.

As i head up to the zebras i say good morning to a few of the zoo keepers and look in on what they are doing. They are weighing one of the spotted quolls, so cute.

Another zoo keeper walks past me holding an emu egg. Spring brings new life. Duchess is still as big as ever as her big day approaches. The zoo keeper tells me her udders have come down. So that is a good sign. A sign that the impending birth is not too far away.

I head bag to the staff area and pick up my bucket and gloves. Time to check out the large walk through bird avery and give it a clean. As i am cleaning and sweeping, I notice a few stains on the footpath and lean over to clean it up and 2 cockateels decide that i am a good landing strip and rest on my back. I slowly move upwards as they climb to my shoulders. They decide to stay on my shoulders for the next half an hour. Ive decided that the budgies really enjoy dive bombing me. Flying over closer to my head with each bypass. Cheeky buggers.

Next its time to wash the windows of the animal enclosures (on the outside) I head over to the wombat enclosure and to the my joy the wombats come running from their burrows and up to me. "Im sorry " I say , i don't have any food. They sit watching me while i clean the windows and watch as the soap suds fall down the glass.

I walk past the monkey enclosure and wash a few grubby finger marks off the glass . I notice a lot of grubby paw prints on the inside of the glass and wish i could wash those too. I head inside, to the nutrition area to do the washing up.

The dishes are piled high in the animal feeding room. But, it is kind of satisfying to know that i am helping in my small way to help all the animals to be looked after. I am elbow deep in dishes and soap suds and a zoo keeper asks me to help him.. I am intrigued ..

" Ok" , I say

He said "I am going inside the monkey enclosure to clean up. Would i like to wash the windows on the inside" Great minds hey.

"Sure, Ill just grab my bucket, where will the monkeys be?" i said

"I have locked them away in the other enclosure" he said

and off we went.

It didn't take long but we left the door open much the intrigue of the school group, who all peered inside. " What have you done with the monkeys? have they all escaped?" said the kids.

We assured them that they were safe and sound.

Next it was out into the kangaroo and wallaby paddock. I spend 90 mins in here before lunch. I chat with the visitors, help the children, do some weeding and pick up any stray litter that may have been dropped. I love this part , the kangaroos are amazing. We had some

visitors arrive last week and they spent 6 hours in the Kangaroo paddocks. They had never seen kangaroos before.

Lunch time and its time to relax and have a coffee. I have another look in the gift shop. Im sure i need something.

After lunch i spend my last 90 mins of the day in the barnyard. I love this area its full of rabbits, guinea pigs, chooks, sheep, cows and emus. I like this area so much because it reminds me of when i was a kid and i volunteered at a riding stables. But, thats another story.

I sweep up and clean and chat to customers, much the same at the Kangaroo area. Children love the guinea pigs with their little squeeky noises.

My day is done, i am tired but happy tired. I head back to the locker and one of the Zoo keepers ask me if i want to feed the meercats, sure, i say. She gave me a small bowl of wriggly worms. Yum, but of course the meercats love them as i put them into the meercat area.

I do feel a little sadness each time when i leave the zoo. Its a long week until i see my little buddies again next Wednesday. Hopefully we will have a baby zebra then.

stay tuned....

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