Crocodile feeding time!

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Africa » South Africa » Eastern Cape » Port Elizabeth
August 5th 2012
Published: August 9th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

Because of the high amount of alcohol consumed last night by the other volunteers, the members of my group did now show up to work on time this morning which messed everything up. The hyenas waited far too long to go for the walk because we were waiting for other people to show up. Since they waited so long, they were in rare form and we couldn't walk them because they wouldn't behave. When you walk hyenas, you need to have 2 people walking them and 1 person in the enclosure picking up ribs and changing their water. They get very territorial about their ribs so you always have to sneak them out when they aren't there. They also aren't big fans of people touching their water bowl. I don't know why because we are just making it clean, but to each his own. Oh well.

Since we didn't have enough people to go for the walk, we couldn't take ribs out or do much of anything really except feed them their chicken. After that was done, I ran on over to check on Shadow and clean his enclosure up. All's fine there, so I go to the restaurant for breakfast. The other members of the group finally show up 45 minutes late and I just want to be like, I don't care if you're hungover, that just means you can't drink next time, but I refrain.

We have scones again for breakfast so i decide to give it another shot, and I still don't like it. Last week I had it with butter and jam, this week cream, and I still think it tastes nasty. Next week I'll just have to have cereal. While we are all kind of just sitting around eating, Katrina gets up for a smoke and you hear this weird noise come from outside. Not long afterwards Katrina comes back in the restaurant covered in tape. AShley had taped her up so that she couldn't move. We had to unwrap her, and then she could go back out for her smoke.

Tamz had us clean up the breakfast mess and then we all sat around because there was stuff she needed to talk to us about. It was just standard stuff, basically if you don't know how to do something, they would rather you come and ask than do it wrong, because if too many people do it wrong, it'll be hard for the animal to learn the right thing to do. She also went through the basic schedule with us and what each of those things entails and what not. I knew most of the stuff already because I've been here so long but others didn't and its always good to have that reminder anyway.

Once the talk was over, one of the volunteers from town, Keagan arrived. It was perfect timing, and he came with the snakes for the new cages. This is good, because we've had empty shelving for a few days now and it looks a little silly. I got to talking to him as other volunteers painted another coat onto the gecko shelving. He's 17 and has been taking care of snakes for 3 years. He was talking to me about all his different snakes and I held a few of them. At first it was weird and I really didn't like it, but then it was fine, probably because he started to get cold because it hadn't been under the heat lamp for a while. Keagan has like 8 different kinds of snakes, we could only really hold the corn snake which is clearly not going to do anything to us, but it was still pretty cool to hold a snake for the first time.

Next we had to rake up the area between the fence and the electric fence in the puppy enclosure because something was shorting out the electric fence. We raked away a bunch of bushes and dug them out and everything and tried to dig a hole. That pretty much went worse than the one in the tiger enclosure. Shanzi was so excited. At one point, she even started digging herself. Apparently we weren't going fast enough for them. Pshh that's fine by me, means theres less dirt to shovel out. We were using the red rakes but they don't hate the red rakes like the lions do so they wanted to play with them and the shovels so we just decided that we should get the wheelbarrel in to just take all the leaves out in one pass. That wasn't the best idea either, they almost jumped in! Oy vey! We finally are about to finish up and Ashley walks by and locks us in! Once we actually finish we all are hiding in the little doorway between the two entrance gates until Natalia actually looks at the lock and he only dummy locked it! We were there for like 5 minutes and we probably would have been there for much longer had Natalia not looked at it. I didn't even bother looking because Ashley is known for locking people in, not with anything dangerous, nothing has ever happened because of it. He just thinks its funny and honestly, so do I.

Since I was on hyenas today, after we left from raking, we had to go up and make their bottles, its the same exact thing as the other bottles, but you need two people and Tams. Tams is there because they'll listen to her better than they listen to us and they really don't like it when you take the bottle away. Once you take the bottle away, you have to give them some toys to play with, but you have to stay in there until they get bored of the toys, which can take awhile. You have to stay in there because the toys can break, the hyenas have the second strongest jaw in the animal kingdom, following the crocs, so they can break a toy quite easily. I fed Ed, while someone else fed Shanzi and then we gave them their toys. Shanzi was actually breaking her toy apart so Tams had to try to get it from her, which did not go well. She didn't bite or anything because it was Tams, but she wouldn't give it up! It took forever to get it back.

Since it was Sunday, it was croc feeding day which is Keagans job. Who ever is on meat prep has to cut extra meat for the crocs. We have two of them Chris and Owen, when I got over there, Chris was the only one I could see. I still think the crocs look fake. When he was feeding Chris, he put it on a stick and put it in front of his face until he took it. The only time he would move was to snap at the food and get it in his mouth, which legit took less than a second to do. Then he just kinda chilled there with the food in his mouth, not even chewing it. It was the weirdest thing to watch. Keagan said it was a kind of weird feeding and he's been doing it for 4 months and that hasn't happened. It took him like 2 hours to feed them until he gave up and then he just put the rest in the fridge. He said it normally only takes 45 minutes.

Once they were fed, I went back in with the lions because they just lay around all day so they are so easy to handle compared to the tigers who are always playful and sometimes you just want to sit and not have to watch your back. While I was there, I had to do some more handlings which is perfectly fine because handling are easy to do. I just hate when they do something cute because you aren't allowed to take your own pictures.

Food prep went really smooth today, the only hiccup was that the people went to go get the legs late, so the gate was already locked and they had to wait for Ashley to get back and unlock it. While we were waiting, we just fed everyone else. I fed servals, and normally they are really funny and make a goofy meowing noise, but they didn't do it tonight. In order to feed them you have to go through the first gate and have someone open the second gate while you are crouched down with the food ready to put it on the floor. Otherwise they'll jump and knock the food out of your hands.

Once the legs were up, they almost threw too much food into one enclosure, because normally we toss all three legs into the enclosure, but with Amber still not feeling well, we aren't mixing them so we toss two in with the lions and 1 with the tigers. It would have been a pretty big disaster if all three were tossed into the enclosure, so thank goodness it didn't happen.

Early night for me tonight, I didn't go out, even though I should have because it was some of my friends' last day, but I didn't really feel like it. I was soo tired. I put Meet the Robinsons on and didn't even watch half of it before I fell asleep


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