Or at least this is what I’m told. I like to think I’m getting better now that I’m adjusting to everyone going highway speeds on back roads.
I like to think I’m adjusting to southern life in general. I think I may still stick out a bit though. A bit, like a sore thumb.
So some interesting things have happened in the center the past few days. I absolutely love going, it’s so eye opening. Every day is just so incredibly interesting and there are so many new things to learn. Like today I went around putting calcium supplement into animals food who didn’t get whole prey in their diet. If they have whole prey and the bones then they don’t need the supplemental calcium. I also learned a new thing. I kind of knew this. I know that cats are really bad at chewing their food. Even house cats will just bite of a piece sizable enough for them to swallow or swallow a piece whole. This is actually really bad for their teeth. That’s why, as anyone with a housecoat would know, they need to get their teeth cleaned as they get older and even sometimes have them removed. This is another reason the bones in the meat they get are so good. So anyway, one of the species, the binturongs get extra serving of dry dog food because they receive meat without bones in it. The hard food helps keep their teeth clean.
Also I cannot reiterate enough the amount of personalities these animals have. It’s honestly crazy just how much like people some of them are. Today I was cleaning one of the binturong enclosures. Cole seemed pretty ok with it, she was just sitting in her extra shift eating the food I had delivered, but then she decided to just climb up the side of the fence and start hissing at me. The big joke is that she thinks she intimidating and likes to try and scare people. So I just talked to her while I cleaned. Then I went to get some buckets of water to fill the pool in the enclosure (–> buckets of water, someone actually questioned what heavy lifting I could Possibly have to do at this job) and cole decided to take a run at the fence and scream at me. Have you ever heard a binturong scream? Probably not, it’s a little terrifying. She’s a big goof. Then as I was walking away from her enclosure to return my bucket the little caracal Naja had something to say about that.
Apparently Naja used to be just the sweetest cutest little thing. As a baby the keepers could go in and just pick her up and snuggle her and she didn’t care. Now apparently she’s in her “teenager” phase. She is now just too cool for everything and goes threw some serious mood swings. Normally she’s pretty happy to see me and runs over and purrs. Today I think I annoyed her because I took everyone else their food and not her (I didn’t have it the keeper did). I walked past and she just straight up hissed at me. The lions were a little sassy today too. I was coming past with a wheelbarrow and making noise on the rocks. Every single lion I walked past just slightly picked up their head from each ones nap and glared at me. Not going to lie, slightly intimidating.
I think my favorite thing today though was Wic. Wic is a tiger who live with two female lions and a male lion. So side note, today it poured rain for about two hours. I would know, I was doing work in it. So anyone, as anyone with cats would know, cats hate water and getting wet. Lions are no different. Lions do not appreciate being wet at all. Tigers however love it. So much, it’s slightly comical. So while all of the lions in the enclosure were hiding in their den box from the rain, Wic was stretched out in one of the hammocks probably 25 or 30 feet about the ground. Then when I walked by him he just rolled over and yawned at me, completely unfazed by the steady cold rain drenching both of us. He’s a hoot. I think his mates think he’s crazy.
Spending such a long amount of time outside has also opened up doors to a lot of other wildlife. I’m constantly trying to rescue frogs from the small cat enclosures and I’ve tripped over a few snakes while in the compound. Today was a lot more upsetting then this though. Today while trimming vine off the outside of a lion enclosure, we saw a birds nest with a little baby bird in it. Cute right? We decided to leave that foliage on the fence. Then whilst picking up some off the vines we pulled off, I found the sibling of this bird 6 feet below the nest on the cold ground getting rained on. The poor thing was just rolling around and kept opening its mouth at me like I was supposed to feed it. I was so upset. But the thing is, when you find a baby bird on the ground, you’re supposed to leave it lie. However it was laying there for so long that eventually we put it back in the nest and out of the rain.
So that was todays conclusion. Lots of sassy wet animals, but they’ll make it. They’re a lot of fun, and definitely more spunky when it’s not 90 degrees out.