Lions, Tigers, and Bears...oh my!!
Week 2 at the Sanctuary was began on 1/14/12 and it was amazing. It was my first full day. I arrived around 11a.m. You can be there anytime between 10am-12 to start the day. The temperature was a brisk 25 degrees, but the sun was out and no snow. Just a chill in the air……
I met with the 2 full time workers and other volunteer that a.m. It was us 4 out to get the job done for the day. The day on Saturdays includes cleaning all the enclosures out, sweeping, cleaning dishes, feeding, and just doing anything necessary. Yes you got to do the dirty work sometimes to get to a higher position at a job, but every animal you take care of no matter what kind, needs food and cleaning. And even if you don’t get to the higher position, you are still rewarded with monkeys making noises at you and tigers roaring, I mean to me, that’s pure satisfaction!
I learned a lot this day. You got to be real careful when you walk by any enclosure because you don’t know if you’ll get a swipe of the paw from a coyote, monkey, or domestic cat! I had a glove on and was just walking by and Sam, the macaque, tried to grab my glove. Maybe out of anger or just to be a jerk- I don’t know! But apparently he is not the friendliest, and of course I find him the cutest.
Here is another Macaque – very photogenic little guy, but I can’t remember his name.
They have about 9-10 Lemurs. Here is a lemur eating his monkey treat
Here is the big guy Alex. He is one scary Baboon in my opinion and in the staff’s opinion. Only certain people can go NEAR his cage but they can’t even go real close. Don’t try to move his food bowl. He will swipe things from you if you go to close. I feel bad though and he has a reason to be angry because someone kept in in a garage as a pet for 3 years. In a garage- how can someone think that is ok?! He does have his very sweet moments though. He sits with his feet up on the cage and holds his toes and you say to him something like “look at Alex’s feet!” and it’s just a cute thing. He sits a lot like a human, it’s pretty crazy. He has a BEAUTIFUL face unless he stares at you; YOU look away because that means you are challenging him and trust me this guy will win. I def know this because when I saw him yawn and saw the size of his teeth and the sharpness- def. an animal I would not want to mess with.
Here is Alex, he is sitting like a human!
Here is a white Artic Fox eating his food. He eats a mixture of red meat and dog food! He is like a big fluff ball
Here is Mrs. Stinker; she is a full grown skunk that weighs like 5lbs. She is so tiny and cute! (I have never been up close to one before but she is descented so I can be. Her face is adorable! She climbs the cage like cat and tries to spray at you but does not succeed
We did all the feeding so I got to see what all the animals eat, esp the tigers red meat that is cut up there. They butcher their own cows to feed the carnivores. Every enclosure has a trap door so the animal can go in and out of to make cleaning and feeding easy and safe. Apparently no one there is a “huge” reptile or bird person and I am, more so reptiles, but they are going to have me watch them and tend to them the most. I am currently making a list of the foods they can and can’t eat.
I cleaned there enclosures, soaked the iguanas and tortoises, and fed them a bunch of goodies. The one iguana has an eye problem and needed a lot of his “dead skin” to come off so I tended to his needs.
After everyone was clean and fed, we did a small walk around- I got to finally see the beautiful white tiger Mohan and the bears all came out for their food. They usually don’t come out unless they are pacing which shows they are hungry in the winter only- since they eat less and hibernate.
The entire small staff is so nice and after a 6 hour day of work (and fun) we called it quits at sunset. I wait now for my week to fly by to get me to Saturdays where I can interact with animals; it seems to make me so happy, as I have always known it would.