23.04.2013 - 27.04.2013 40 °C
Tuesday has been another nice day. Chelsea went on giraffes in the morning so she could get some photographs of them. They have these weird black markings on them as if they have a skin issue and one of the zebra has bad legs so we took some photos to get them diagnosed by a vet. Liam cleaned out the leopards this morning and then went straight on the cub walk and stayed on cubs all day.
After breakfast Chelsea and the rest of the team went litter picking in the jungle. Currently under construction is a tree house and some camping spots so people can come and visit and stay in the jungle so we needed to clear the area of all the rubbish. We didi that all morning and between us all managed to clear up the whole area. After lunch Chelsea went on monkeys, feeding them frozen watermelon in the midday sun and scattering their seeds. It's nice to go down in the day as part of a small group as the monkeys can be themselves when they are not stressed out by big groups of people.
Liam had a lovely day looking after the cubs all day. He went in with Tat as much as possible to get her used to people spending time with her without food or toys. He did some training with her and quite a few customers came in to have their picture with her. Late afternoon Liam and Talei were leaning on her enclosure and Tat the tiger bit Talei's arm. She wouldn't let go and Talei had to go to the hospital to get in checked out. Everything is fine, it's not very serious but she is definitely getting too big for her enclosure. She can almost jump out. While Talei went to see the doctor Chelsea helped Liam on cubs which was nice. We sat in with Tat together and Chelsea went in to feed and stroke Latte for a while.
After we all went to feed the monkeys their evening feed. We both feed our favourite monkey every night, Chelsea feeds Gramps and old macaque who is really nice to wo en and hates men and who loves Chelsea and Liam feeds Junior. He is really head strong and often quite afraid which makes him aggressive but Liam is working with him to bring him round. All the monkeys are lovley but we all have our favourites. Chelsea also got to feed buddy the baby owl after the monkeys. He eats bugs that everyone catches throughout the day but today we got him a little frog. He absolutely loved it and flew it back to his perch and ate it all.
Wednesday it was Chelsea's turn to go on the cubs with Danni. In the morning she went to the safari night enclosures as we are mapping which animals stay inside and which go out. There is meant to be a rotation so every animal gets to go on the safari so we are mapping this to check if this is happening. There are some really beautiful animals there and we are currently in the process of getting acces to this area to enrich and work with them. Chelsea's day on the cubs was great. She spent a lot of time just sat with both Tat the tiger and Latte the leopard as we are trying o get them used to people being around them. Currently they are very excited when people enter their enclosure so we are training with them and spending as much time as possible with them so customers can enter and it be safe.
Liam started building storm shelters with Dean, who was here when we first came, left to travel and and has just came back. He is a carpenter so Liam learnt alot working with him. We built boxes with wooden frames and then clad them with more barked wood to make them look natural. There is seven to build and we managed to do five of the the frames and clad one.
In the evening we had English class and did nature. We took the kids for a walk and gave them things to find and pick up to learn the English names for them. They seemed to really like the change to the classroom. Then we went back to a our normal setup for a recap and finished on a game. after we took a time out from everyone and went to the local village for a drink on our own, it was really nice to get away for an hour and talk.
Thursday and Liam was back on the cubs, the training is coming on really well. We are clicker training her so she recognises the sound of a click with a reward so eventually we will not have to reward for every behaviour we can just click and she will know eventually she will get a reward, in her instance meat. The first step is just hand feeding her a few chunks and clicking every time so she associates the click with the reward, this will carry on for the next few training sessions.
Chelsea spent the day with Dean making storm shelters for the monkeys. They managed to finish four which is a large chunk. Chelsea really enjoyed herself making the shelters and Dean is a really good carpentry teacher. They had to stop early as they ran out of wood but They got to go on an adventure in the back of a pickup to find more wood. There was a load inside the safari where the deer are but it has all been used so a wood finding mission will need to take place.
In the evening there was a big storm which blew away half of the Binturongs shelter and smashed a lot into the cage. It is made from asbestos so we can't clean it without the help of the Thai staff. Luckily they have a double cage so we were able to move them into their other enclosure.
Yesterday we both got a turn on cubs, Chelsea in the morning, Liam in the afternoon. This morning Chelsea got to give Tat the tiger a shower, she always loves playing with water and flicks it with her paw as it comes out the hose pipe. Towel drying her proved more of a challenge however. Her back and belly were no problem but drying her front paws was an issue as she just wanted to bite and play with the towel. The training continues to work, she will now sit calmly during her training rather than excitedly pacing the enclosure as before. We are really excited for the possibilities of the training, and hope to train her to do things that will help us work with her but also be entertaining to give us the option to have a tiger training show when our Big Cat World project is finally completed.
We also welcomed Adams mum from Czech yesterday. She speaks zero English and is really nice and brought us all some Czech food. In the evening along with our Thai meal we had sour dough bread, salami, cured sausages, pate and onion. It was a real treat and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
Today Chelsea was on cubs all day and took two of the volunteers who had not had a chance to meet the babies yet. We walked them to their enclosure. Latte was a dream, she just walks nicely all the way. Tat was a bit different. For the first ten minutes she was so excited she was jumping all over and rolling around rather than walking but after that she was good and walked nicely the rest of the way. Both the baby girls have been really good and calm today. Having people sat in their enclosures all day and coming in and out is really helping to calm them down and not react when people enter. At one point Latte was laid down and Chelsea laid next to her and she wasn't reacting or jumping, Chelsea almost fell asleep it was so relaxed. Both the babies got a watermelon to play with today. They loved it. They were rolling around with them and biting and pawing them until they were totally destroyed. It was really cute.
We also got given two squirrels by a what seemed like a slightly crazy thai man. As a result Liam and dean have spent the whole day building a temporary cage to house them. The had to scavenge timber from around the zoo to build it with, most of which was dire and we had to remove staples, nails and remove rotten bits. The cage is 60cm x 100cm, more than big enough for two squirels and has been really problematic to build, mainly due to terrible materials and tools.
Tonight has been a quiet one, seven people have left today, most temporarily for visa runs, just leaving five of us. The morning cleaning is going to take a while tomorrow....