Animal Diaries Archive
School holiday fun!
25 April 2008
Being a zoo keeper involves many tasks to ensure all of our animals are fit, healthy and happy. But zoo keeping is not only about the cleaning of enclosures, feeding animals and making observations on their behaviour, although these things are extremely important. Another very important aspect of being a zoo keeper is keeping the animals entertained and mentally stimulated in order to keep them happy and to ensure they are never bored!
One of the ways we achieve this is doing various training and enrichment with all of our animals and it is our job as rovers to make sure the animals get out and about and have lots of fun! During the school holidays, we have an awesome bunch of young zoo keepers from the ages of seven to twelve come into the zoo and help us with various zoo keeping tasks throughout the day. These special zoo keepers also help us with training and enrichment with some of our fantastic roving animals.
One of the animals that the zoo keepers helped us train is a little feathered friend of ours named Feathers. Feathers is a beautiful Bush Stone Curlew. With stunning big eyes and beautiful long legs feathers is always a show stopper. We have recently started bringing feathers out and about into the zoo and to get him more used to meeting new people our Zoo Keepers for a Day helped us out when it was time for feathers to go for a walk.
The young zoo keepers chose a pattern of a line to form, which was usually a zig zag and each got given one meal worm each (a live meal worm!). One at a time, the keepers would bend down to feathers’ level and call him over to the food until he worked his way in order down the zig zag which was stretched out ten children long, sometimes even working his way back up the line! Thanks to the great efforts of the kids, feathers completed his task perfectly every time.
Completing this exercise every day over the school holidays improved feathers confidence whilst out in the zoo around strangers. The training was a success and the Zoo Keepers for a day did an AWESOME job. Each and every one are going to make fantastic zoo keepers.