OUR VISIT TO AUSTRALIA ZOO
Have you ever wanted to be a zoo keeper? Want no more. You can do just that at Australia Zoo, as my sister and I did during the Zoo Keeper for a Day School Holiday Program. During our visit we were supervised by Nick and Tina of the Australia Zoo staff. They were really awesome people; I learned a lot from them.
First we were given nametags, then hats and water bottles because it's really hot in Queensland right now. Then we began our zoo rounds. We first fed the kangaroos, which was loads of fun. Then we went to Bindi’s Pony Trails where we were assigned one of three jobs. The jobs were: filling buckets of water for the ponies to drink, grooming the ponies, and organizing the riding helmets by size. Next we went to the Wetlands exhibit where we fed the jabirus. We threw half a fish over the fence toward each jabiru hoping it would catch the piece of fish. But most of the time the wild ibises ate the fish because the jabirus didn’t catch many. Nick called the ibises “scumbags” due to their habit of stealing food. I thought Nick was really funny. After the wetlands, we fed the echidnas. (Echidnas are monotremes, like the platypuses my sister wrote about earlier.) It was fun feeding them because the echidnas are really cute. My sister even went back the next day for a second encounter with them. Next we moved on to elephant feeding. Each kid was given a bucket with pieces of carrots, apples, and honeydew melons. We selected one piece of food at a time and the elephant would wrap its trunk around the food and toss it into its mouth. I was not afraid to feed the elephants because elephants don’t have teeth in their trunks so there was no way the elephant could bite me. Even though the elephant’s trunk felt prickly and left slime on my hand, it was still fun. After the elephant feeding, it was time for my feeding. The zookeeper program included lunch. I had a chicken and mayo sandwich which I ate because all that work had made me really hungry. During lunch we watched the Crocoseum Show. First up were the elephants we had fed. Next came the reptile crew. After the reptiles, it was time for birds. The show finished up with the crocodiles – the main attraction! After the show we fed turtles. There were three different types of turtles. One had a snake neck. When I was feeding it, it tried to bite me. But I was too fast. It didn’t get me. Another had a head like a water dragon. It looked really cool. The last group to be fed looked like normal everyday turtles. When we finished taking care of the turtles, we all got our pictures taken with a baby alligator. Then we moved on to tortoises. Zoo keepers scrub their shells to keep them clean, so that’s what I did. Next up was poop scooping at the Kid’s Zoo. It was actually okay. Poop scooping is just part of being a zoo keeper. Then we shoveled clean sawdust into rubbish bins that would be emptied into the enclosures when needed. We spent a few minutes grooming the farm animals. I got to brush goats. My day as a zoo keeper was the best day ever!