Class Year: 2018
Hometown: Troy, OH
Internship: North Savannah/Registrar Intern
Location: Dallas Zoo
|Eliza (left), Myra (middle), Myself (right)|
It is the end of my second week here in Dallas and I am finally getting accustomed to the swing of things. I work Monday-Friday 7 A.M to 4 P.M. Every day I wake up at 5 A.M. to get ready and eat a huge breakfast because I need the energy. The day starts out with a morning meeting in the North Savannah section. This is when the keepers decide what animals are going out on exhibit and what the goals of the day are. Then I normally accompany a keeper or two out to the various exhibits to clean up from the animals the day before and prep them for today. This includes scooping poop, checking the automatic water dispensers, pulling weeds, filling in huge hoof prints, and putting fresh food out. We also set up the feeding platform where guests can feed giraffes lettuce, carrots, etc. This includes bringing up the food to be dispensed and affixing browse to the platform as a reward for the giraffes when they come out on exhibit. After all is prepped, we shift the designated animals out onto exhibit.
|Cleaning the Holding Yards|
Shifting animals can be a complicated process involving many people with specific roles. Someone to open the doors/gates in the barn, another to open the gate to the exhibit, and many others to station animals at their posts. Stationing an animal is calling an animal(s) to a designated location in the exhibit and giving them a reward for doing so. This is important because we do not want the animals to attempt to go back inside before the gates get closed. The North Savannah has giraffe, zebra, ostrich, lechwe, greater kudu, and guinea fowl. Many of these are featured on any given day in a mixed species exhibit. So far I have been trained to station giraffes. I stand on a platform above the exhibit and my job is to call them over and reward them with giraffe crackers until all animals are on exhibit and the gates have closed. I have also observed the stationing of the zebra, ostrich, and greater kudu. This whole process can take anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour.
One of my favorite things about this summer is that I am doing something different every day. At the end of my first week I was fortunate enough to watch and be of help in a veterinary procedure where we shifted an animal from one section of the zoo to another. I was responsible for helping carry the animal to the van and then into its new home. I was also able to observe the routine checkup!
|Myself and Chris|
Overall I am having a wonderful time in Dallas and I cannot wait to see what else it has in store for me! Look for more posts from me in a few weeks!