Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Zoo - The Marine Side

Lately, I have had the opportunity to observe/work with some of the marine mammals at the zoo.  As it turns out, I LOVE THE MARINE ANIMALS!!  They are so fun and interesting to watch.  The keepers that I work with have been spoiling me beyond belief and have been letting me do lots of fun things.

This is Lucy, one of the harbor seals!

They let me feed them all the time!

This is Arura the walrus.  She is one of my favorites.  She can do LOTS of tricks.  I have a couple videos that show some of them.
My keepers gave me a painting from Arura!  It was pretty cool to watch her paint.  They would put the paint on a plastic board and then she would rub her whiskers in the paint.  They would then hold up a canvas and she would rub her paint-covered whiskers on the canvas.  I got a picture with her and her masterpiece.
She loves to check new people out and came right up to my face and started feeling me with her whiskers.  I have also had the opportunity to feed and kiss her!

These next ones are from the 'dry side' where I usually work.
I tried to get a video of one of the tigers roaring.  There is a radio on in the background but hopefully you can still hear it.

For enrichment, we put pepermint extract on these logs.  Petya, our male tiger, LOVES it.

I also love the gibbons call and tried to get a video of them

As always, my pandas

More lemurs

Sunday, October 14, 2012

More Zoo

Just a few more pictures and videos!  As always, I love my otters!

If you look at the otter laying on his back, right next to the fence, you can see him tossing a little pebble in the air like he is juggling it.  I see them doing this every now and then and I find it hilarious 

Here is one of them juggling/playing with a cricket right before he eats it.  He was tossing it a lot longer but it took forever for my camera to load so this was all I was able to catch.  He also would push the cricket up the wall and let it slide down and do it over and over again.

We gave Kiak a little pumpkin the other day.  It is on the tree and then she smashes it.

She took a couple pieces into her pool with her.  If you watch the whole video, towards the end she gets more active with it!  Earlier, again before I got my camera loaded, she was putting the pieces of pumpkin in between her toes and lifting it out of the water.  In the video you can see her balance the pumpkin on her head and hold it on the bottom of her foot.  After seeing videos like this I just can not understand how scientists think it is a faux pas to give animals anthropomorphic characteristics....

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Zoo Video

Ok, here are some of the videos that I have taken while working with the animals at the zoo!!  Yall may not find them as enjoyable as I do, and if that is the case, sorry for how many there are [=

I mentioned before about how much I love Leela the red panda.  Here I am feeding her some fruit.  I love how she wraps her paw around fruit!  The next video is of the otters (asain small-clawed otters).  I can't remember if I mentioned this in my last post but the keepers refer to the otters as land piranhas because they are ALWAYS hungry and will eat anything they get their hands on.  And whenever they see us they chirp and chirp and chirp...

This is Luke, the lemur that left us a little bit ago.  Here I am feeding him some cheerios.  I love how he will reach out and grab my hand and pull it in closer to him!
Here he is eating a piece of banana.  He licks his fingers at the end of the video, very cute!

Some more of the otters!

This is Mi-Kal, the male bear.  He LOVES to chew on rope.  I am actually surprised that he gave up before he made it through the rope.
Kiak in the pool.
Ciela the tiger, during one of her training sessions.

This is the baby collard lemur.  He usually is just wrapped around his mothers stomach so it has been fun watching him as he has finally been bouncing around!

You probably can not see them in the video but I put some of her fruit higher in the tree so she had to climb to get it.  Turned out it wasn't that hard for her!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

First Month of Internship

The past month I have been doing an internship at the Indianapolis Zoo.  It has been a great experience thus far, extremely exhausting, but completely worth it.  I am working in the Forest Biome which consists of the brown bears, tigers, red pandas, muntjacs, gibbons, asain small-clawed otters, lemurs, and bats (although I can't work with the bats since I am not vaccinated for rabies).  I work alongside of the normal zookeepers and just help them with the work.  I clean the exhibits and holding areas, prepare their diets, feed them, help set up enrichment, and mainly watch but help a little with the animal training.  I think that pretty much summarizes what I do. 

While at the zoo I have been able to take a few pictures/videos with my phone.  They aren't always that great (they'll be better once I get my iPhone 5!!) but at least it is something to show and remember my experience!

One of the tigers, Andrea.  We have 3, 2 female and 1 male.  They are impressive looking animals.  They have HUGE shoulders and thick limbs.  Obviously we are not able to actually go in the cages with these guys but I get extremely close when I am with them in the holder areas.

This is one of the 2 brown bear.  We have 1 male and 1 female.  This is the female, Kiak.  She is the larger of the 2.  Same situation as the tigers, can't go in with them but I get VERY close in the holding area.  Whenever I am back with Kiak, she gets real close to cage wall and takes in really deep breaths like she is trying to smell/taste me and then smacks her lips, or something like that.  It can be kind of eery at times but the bears are probably one of my favorite animals so far.  They are so much fun to watch, especially when you give them different enrichments to play with.  They seem to be very playful/curious animals.   

These are some of the ring-tailed lemurs.  As you can see I am able to go in with these guys.  They are very active and bounce off of EVERYTHING, including me.  I had one jump off of a tree limb, off my back, then onto another tree limb once.  It was weird because I barely felt it.  I also love their hands, they are sooo soft.  I actually find that interesting since they are constantly hanging from things and such, but I love it when they put their hands on my leg when they come up to get food. 

This is Luke, a Collared lemur.  I loved him.  He actually got shipped off to another zoo shortly after I met him.  I have a bunch of videos I'll try to post later and one of them is of him eating a piece of banana, so funny!

This is a red-ruffed lemur.  They are probably one of my least favorite animals, only because they will randomly start this obnoxiously loud call.  It seriously is mind piercingly loud.  Whenever they start doing it I have to stop whatever I am doing and plug my ears.  It is the worst when you are inside with them (a foot away at times) because it echos off of the walls.  I would try to get a video of it sometime to try and show you the madness of it, but that would require me to have my ears unplugged for an extended period of time....  Besides their scream, or whatever you want to call it, I guess they are pretty cool.  I'll go in the cages with these guys as well and hand feed them.  They also have the really soft hands!

Another picture of Kiak.  Not sure if you can see it or not but she reaching for a piece sweet potato.  I try to scatter her food around and hide it in places so they have to work a little more and 'forage' for their food.  Plus it is cool to see them stand up like that! 

This is the male, Mi-Kal in the pool in their exhibit. 

This is Leela, one of the red pandas.  The keepers call her a crazy girl but she is one of my most favorite animals.  She is really cute and fun to feed and watch her eat (again, hopefully a video to come).

This is Jill, one of the keepers I work with feed one of the muntjacs, Rama.  We have 2 muntjacs, a father and son. 

Just last week we were sitting in with the ring-tails and one of the little girls, Rowan, decided to climb on my back.  It was pretty cool.  She was licking my head, ears, cheeks, and nose and even nibbled a little on my ear. Luckily it wasn't a bite!  I have a bunch of pictures of it because most of them didn't turn out so I just put them all on here.  Again, hopefully they will turn out better once I get a iPhone 5 with a better camera on it!!

This is Shannon, another one of the keepers.  Rowan spent some time with her as well. 

This is Reagan, the lone male in with the ring-tails.