Animal Diaries Archive
Three cheers - I mean years, for Sandi and Burrow (part 2)
28 April 2006
During the last three years keepers, too, have acquired a new look. The new uniforms were something I was very excited about - that was until I realised I had increased two pants sizes between ordering and receiving them!
My role as a rover has changed a little too. In the early days rovers were responsible for the pre- and post-ambles to the crocodile demonstrations. Considering I managed to deliberately avoid addressing an entire school assembly in twelve years of high school teaching, this task of talking over a microphone to thousands of people was somewhat daunting. Thank goodness we have more professional 'entertainers' to do this now.
Change is not just something for us keepers to get used to, though - our animal friends also need to adapt. Just like me, in her three years of life, Burrow has experienced many changes. Although an expanding Zoo means many new staff to get to know, it has probably been our expanding Common Wombat family that has affected her the most. As our first wombat baby at the Zoo, Burrow commanded a lot of attention. She lived with her mum Minibus, her dad Chisel and her pretend aunty Dozer. As the youngest there was always a keeper doting over her. Then Kato (the baby of Dozer and Chisel) came along. Although Burrow still believes she is the cutest, she is no longer the youngest and Kato is stealing some of her attention. If that wasn’t bad enough, Dozer has another young in her pouch! More wombats has also meant that Burrow has watched as additional dens have been built within her enclosure - one of which she has been the beneficiary.
Walks, too, have changed. Once Burrow could wander along our shuttle track with only the shuttle to look out for, now she and her keeper must keep an eye out for our big cats as well! Quiet grazing by Cootha, our giant wooden crocodile, has given way to not-so-quiet grazing next to Cootha, a jumping castle, a Crocodile Hunter tea cup ride and a trampoline. Just as well Burrow likes a crowd. In fact, Burrow enjoys her daily walks with her roving keepers so much that sometimes she doesn't want to walk home. As a result, over the past three years, she has perfected what we like to call 'the procrastination scratch'. This is when another Zoo addition comes in handy. As neither Black and White nor Yellow Cabs cater for our wombats, they now have their very own blue trolley. One call for the 'Blue Cab' over our radio and a 'taxi' arrives to transport Burrow home. She loves admiring the view as she happily sits in the back.
Not to be outdone by the keepers in their new uniforms, Burrow too has changed her 'look' over the past three years. When she was young Burrow was a lot darker, not dissimilar to her mum Minibus. As she has grown older, though, she has obviously decided that blondes have more fun. So, with some genes from dad Chisel and the help of the sun, Burrow now sports a typically Sunshine Coast surfie look.
As you can see, although Burrow and I have only been at the Zoo for a short three years, many improvements have occurred. So, if you haven't visited us during this time, why not come and see for yourself all of these wonderful new attractions. Burrow and I hope to see you soon. Until next time, take care.
Our Amazing Common Wombats
On the mainland Common Wombats grow to an average length of 1m and 27kg in weight, yet may reach up to 1.2m in length and up to 35kg. The Tasmanian Wombat is no ...more