We were zookeepers for a day!
This week I spent a day out of the office doing something completely out of my comfort zone - my sister took me along on her Shadow A Zookeeper experience day! She received the experience as a 21st birthday present back in April, so I was all too happy to join in. We got up to some amazing stuff so I thought I'd share it with you all!
Our activities throughout the day ranged from feeding some of the animals (from otters to coatis, lemurs to red pandas), mucking out enclosures (not actually that gross since the alpacas seemed pretty house-proud), some bloody FALCONRY with a beautiful owl, and generally just having lots of cuddles with animals like ferrets and baby tapirs. If you love animals, this is totally for you! The keepers were also all too happy to take pictures for us so that we didn't have to worry about fiddling with cameras while enjoying the experience.
|These guys claimed not to know King Julian...|
We booked the day at Paradise Wildlife Park, which is just over half an hour away for us. On arrival we had a quick cuppa, signed some health and safety bits and got straight into it. The schedule for the day was a jam-packed 9-5 one, and we spent time with a different keeper at each exhibit. The only thing that was really off limits were the big cats, but I can't say I would've enjoyed being thrown into a cage with a tiger and we did watch them getting fed at the end of our day!
|These guys were best buds|
|Not pictured: the severed mouse tail in my hand that got her to stay put!|
As I mentioned, we moved throughout the park over the course of the day meeting different keeper at each area. That meant we got to learn so much about the animals, their diet, habits, training and care. I couldn't believe how much goes into running a zoo/wildlife park, and with many of the staff there on internships to support their training, it was clear how passionate they were! We also heard a lot about endangered species - shout out to Steve and the amazing talk he gave us on the gibbons (who were also hilarious!).
If you fancy a day away from the ordinary, are a budding zookeeper or just love fuzzy creatures, then an experience like this would make an amazing present! You can book yours here for anyone who's interested in giving this as a gift, or doing it yourself for that matter, and I think the day is also available at a discount from some experience day sellers like Virgin or Buy a Gift!
|Bear? Fox? Panda? Angel? I don't know, but it's cute!|