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Old 12-30-2013, 04:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
DaniFani
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Oregon
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Default Pics & Videos from Days Working at the Zoo

I don't think I've shared my pics and experiences with training and working with the animals at the zoo! I did an internship with the African Keepers at my local zoo. I was able to observe and assist in training and caring for all the animals (lions, wild dogs, caracals, mongooses, swamp monkeys, rhinos, giraffes, hippos, etc). I was able to conduct the training myself with the mongooses and the meerkats. It was all shaping training with lures and bait. All were behaviors necessary to get them checked/examined by a vet without having to sedate (present side, open mouth, stand up with feet on cage to exam chest, etc).

The lions and rhinos were my favorite. The male lion, Zawadi, was terrified of men. He would let out a huge roar and charge the cage whenever a man walked in or a woman he didn't recognize. It was all show, he was pretty skittish By the end of my term we were getting him to come into the demo area with crowds, though. Which was pretty cool. My husband got to come on my last day and meet all the animals. I didn't tell him about how Zawadi was with men, so he walked in the door and was met with a roar even scarier than the one in the video I attached.

The caracals (bobcat/linx like cats) were awesome. The male, Cricket, purred and meowed like a house cat. Begging for attention. He was surrendered by a woman who was trying to keep him as a pet. The female caracal had babies when I was there, so I got to be on watch while she had her babies. Then I got to hold them and handle them for weight checks...it was overall a pretty amazing experience. Although, I was 8-20 weeks pregnant for the whole thing and suffered some pretty horrible morning sickness, especially in cleaning of the bat exhibit and the swamp monkey exhibit. PeeYew!!

The rhinos were pretty awesome too. The female, Zuri, was like a big dog. She would come running when she heard us coming in the door. And run up and down the cage to get a scratch on her ear and an apple. The Hippos (in the same holding area) were friendly as well, and loved scratches under their chins and apples. :-)

Anyway, here's a bunch of pics and a short clip of a Zawadi Roar. Enjoy :-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIa5lLQwMGQ
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