Sallys Worldwide Adventure
In Zimbarbwe I was working in Park called Antelope Park, as a Volunteer on a Lion Breeding and rehabilitation project, organised by a company called African Impact. My main hours of work were 6am to 6pm, so it was quite exhasting, but definately worth it!! The main duties were as follows. Snare Sweeps-On a snare sweep we were given an area of the park to cover. We had to walk though the area in groups, about 20 feet apart from each other looking for snares that poachers have laid. Pretty boring really, but luckily it didn't happen that often. Breeding Program-This is just basically cleaning the older lions enclosures. The lions have to be moved into a holding pen whilst we went into to clean. We had to pick up poo, bones and left over meat. And then clean out there water troff. Cub Sit-Basically you just sit with the 3P's and encourage them to play and climb trees and stuff. Meat Prep-This is absolutely disgusting!!Your given part of a dead cow or horse that needs to cut up and stuffed with Vitamins. The meat still has its fur on and every thing, there has even been a whole head! And worse dead fetiouses, where there mothers have died or they were still born. This had to be done every 3 days. Cub feed-On the cub feed you go around to all the lion enclosures, go in and give them there meat. We had to watch the lions eating for 30 mins monitoring there eating behavior in data sheets. We were looking to see if they were aggressive or not and things like that. This is done the day after meat prep. Enclosure Clean-This is the same as breeding program cleaning, only the lions remain in the enclosure whilst you clean. This is done the day after cub feed. Lion Walk-Lion walks happen twice a day, once at 6am and then again at 4pm. On walk we open the enclosure and the Lions come running out to greet you by rubbing the heads against you. We walk them through the bush, for between an hour to 2 hours. Lions see us as part of there pride, so genrally they'll just follow us. When we sit down they they will also sit with us. Ocassially we would see prey and then watch and monitor there hunting behavior. We also have to do data capture on all walks, were we monitor their walking behavior, whether or not they walk amongst us, next to us, behind us, etc, also whether they follow us with out and encouragement. There is also a personality sheet, looking at how the lions behave during a walk, if they are playful with other lions and humans, if they are alert, inquisitive etc. These tests help to see what a Lions personality is like, then also helps decide who they should be breed with in the future. Clients join us on some walks, so we have to look out for there safety aswell as our own. The Lions are very playful, especially if its cloudy or cooler, you have to watch your back and every one else's constantly, as in a playful manor they will jump on you from behind or ankle tap you to trip you up. Horses-This is at 7 in the morning, we have to go to the stables and prepare the horse feed, then let all the horses in, and whilst they are eating we groom them. Stables-This is cleaning the horses tack, polishing the leathers and cleaning the brass. Elephant Training- We had to help the trainers train the Elephants (who understand 3 languages). Then go for a ride down to the river, and leave the Ele's there whilst we cleaned there pens. We got to Zim on the 5th April, we were met at the airport by a guy called Gerard. As soon as we walked though to arrivals I saw him standing there holding a piece of paper with our names on. Zimbabwe was a lovely country from what I saw of it from the park. The workers at the park were so friendly and caring, and they always seemed happy, although most of them had to walk for over 2 hours just to get to work, and get paid less than 20 GBP a month!!