Saturday, November 04, 2006

Zoo Day

I was at the zoo for most of the day. We rotate through different sections - Nature Projects, Animal Handling, Guinea Pig Playground, Lemur Leap.

Today I learned how to pick up Thumper the giant rabbit. Well, he's a 20 pound rabbit with wiggle-itis and a love for biting hard on fingers so maybe he seems bigger than he is. You have to kind of grab his back feet gently and the scoop him up between your forearms. His sides flop over your arms as you turn him around and cradle him like a football with his head tucked in by your elbow. If you aim his head as far away from fingers as you can get, you're usually safe. Did you know rabbits have to lift the front of their body up to move forwards? Their spines are curved and they lift up with their front feet and then use their back feet to launch themselves forwards - hippity hop! So if you want them to stay in one spot, hold your hand gently on their shoulder blades - they can tell you are dominant and they can't get the leverage to move upwards to move forwards. I am the giant rabbit tamer! We also learned the signs of animal stress so we can tell when to put the animals back in their enclosures.

Then I got to take out one of the guinea pigs who is about a pound and a half of squeaking fuzz. I had Chocolate out on my lap and he insisted on resting his back foot on my pinky finger, got really squeaky mad when I moved it. The armadillo was off exhibit this week and I couldn't find a zookeeper to tell me what was up with him.

On my lunch break I walked over Habitat Africa to see the baby mongooses (mongeese?) that just went on exhibit. For lack of a better size description, they are about the size of a hot dog with a face *hee hee* They definitely just waking up from a nap as they were climbing all over Mama as she sat blinking and looking groggy. I wonder what kinds of sounds they make?

I stayed an extra hour to help out even though we weren't really busy, this time of year is when attendance is down at the zoo. I don't mind too much as it gives me more time to take the animals out and it's less stressful on the animals too, with the lack of crowds.


At 11/05/2006 12:25 PM, Blogger Rashenbo said...

found you off the nablo list, just wanted to say hi since I stopped in.



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