So I have just spent the last week volunteering at Australia zoo (which if you didnt know is Steve Irwins Zoo) on a starter volunteer scheme. I have to say it has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Each day I was rotated to be working with different departments. I was assured, reassured, double checked to see if I had been assured, that there would be vitually no contact with the animals and that most of my duties would be menial so going in I had no expectations.
Its true that with most departments the first few hours were spent doing back braking boring tedium work but then each day seem to hold a jewel:
Day 1 - was spent with the reptiles and the high points were hand feeding giant tortoise infront of about 50 guests while the keeper gave her presentation. Also being on hand for the feeding of the poisonous snakes (at while apparently one of the keepers after i left got bitten by a brown snake and rushed to hospital.
Day 2 - was spent with the crocs and the high points were handling a 2 yr old aligator, 4 yr old aligator and then a 6 yr old aligator
Day 3 - was spent with birds and although they were the dept that least interested me this was also the best day. I got to hand feed Kookuburros, and handle semi wild parrots
Day 4 - was spent with natives (roos and wombats) I didnt do a whole lot with the roos but did manage to take a rather elderly wombat for her daily walk around the zoo! These lil guys are quickly becoming my favs. Plus I got to stroke and play with an echidna.
Day 5 - was spent with exotics and was probably the worst day in terms of animal interaction. The high point was taking a 700kilo Camal for a walk and assisting with the elephant feed!
All in all the experience was brill - and even though I had to get up at 6.30 am every morning and spend most of the day on my feet - I still came home with a smile on my face!
I now have some days off until the co-ordinator comes back to give me some feedback although before she left she did say I got great feedback and would be asked to return so I look forward to that. I think if i had this much fun doing what must be the worst of the job then it could definately be a potential career for me. However again I found out that it is next to impossible for me to get a job with them on my current visa - so I will need to see about changing my visa.
Hope everyone is great and enjoying 2009. I hear tell that it is a wee bit on the nippy side in UK? Now is probably not the best time to report 30 deg sunshine and blue skies so I wont ;-)
I will try to get some more pics together if anyone wants to see them. Oh and I have a webcam now so skype should be easy although I did get the first season of Rome and the first 4 seasons of The Wire on DVD so spending most of my hours watching that!
Well I am going to jump in the pool and cool off (sorry shouldnt have said that either! Hee hee)