Zoo Keeper Day Part Deux

By | June 5, 2013

Twycross ElephantsThis is the second instalment of what I got up to on my zoo keeper day at Twycross Zoo recently.  A very thoughtful Birthday present which I thoroughly enjoyed and will remember for the rest of my life.  Experiences for me give a lifetime of memories rather than something glittery which will sit on your dressing table for most of the time.

They remain forever in your head.  Seriously, if you want to give something to a loved one then an experience is one to be treasured.

Right, enough with the infomercial.  Lol

After taking a break with the keepers in their Portacabin and enjoying a nice cuppa and a couple of slices of toast I was back to work.

I was lead to the elephant house doors and drew in a  quick intake of breath at the thought of wielding a shovel and pushing a barrow, picking up gigantic animal poo.

To my delight I was greeted by a wet and freshly hosed down enclosure surrounded by strong steel fencing which would hold back an…  You get the picture.  🙂  An interesting feature of the fencing was the inbuilt inspection area where the keepers can get up close and examine feet and ears through apertures in the fencing.

They make a habit of getting the animals to present body parts to them so should they develop an illness it can be more easily examined, treated and managed.

Animal management and husbandry has come on so much since zoos first appeared as simply a menagerie to display specimens.

Once I had checked out the elephant enclosure it was time to assemble in the kitchen and grab buckets of food for the eagerly waiting pachyderms in the outside enclosure.

I learned that all the elephants were female as bull elephants couldn’t be kept together as they tend to attack each other.  The ones in the enclosure were ex-logging elephants from places like Indonesia and have tattoos which indicate their company affiliation on their flanks.

How I delighted in throwing food to these lovely animals as they pushed their trunks through the bars and cables to reach it.  I threw cabbage, carrots and turnips at them and they hoovered it up with the end of their trunks.

I was making a conscious decision to ensure that all of them got the same amount of food but when so many trunks are coming at you at one time you can never be sure.  Lol

There’s much more to come so stay tuned it really was an animal packed day.  🙂