28.01.2013 - 28.01.2013 32 °C
This morning was another example of the favouritism for Chelsea. She was given the job of feeding the giraffes their breakfast in their enclosure whilst Liam was cleaning out the monkeys. Chelsea really enjoyed the giraffes and they have quickly become her favourite thing about the park. She met an old toothless man at the gate who didn’t speak a word of English. She followed him around for a bit while he got stuff ready and then when he started to feed she just got stuck in so he knew she wanted to help. By the end he was bossing her around and letting her do everything. He is really sweet and can’t communicate in English so pointed to things and made noises when it was too much food or too little and he showed her what to do. It was such a nice experience. She filled up troughs with pellets first and then they have some veg. They are very different in their enclosures and quite shy and timid so you can’t stroke them as they back off but she got to hand feed them bananas with vitamins inside. It’s really funny when you first walk down to them because they are hungry and drooling and the drool is like a meter long.
Whilst Chelsea was having fun with the giraffes Liam had cleaned out 5 monkey cages, a great reason to get up at 6.30am. Chelsea turned up in time for the last monkey, Gramps, who is the oldest of the monkeys here and is the nicest, he quietly waits in his back cage whilst you clean his enclosure and scatter around his food. On her way back she managed to see the some of the parks newest arrivals, a pair of leopard cubs. Liam saw them yesterday, and they will soon be handed over to the volunteer group to look after. They are beautiful balls for of fluff with bug blue eyes.
After breakfast we were set the task, with a few other newer volunteers, of building a ladder for one of the monkeys. It was a way of seeing what we were capable of with the hand tools. We were shown the way to do it at first and quickly picked it up. Chelsea was surprisingly good and eagerly worked away and was made the new teacher of hand tools. We had to saw a tree in to 5 equal pieces, around 2 foot long, and then saw and chisel out grooves at either end for the rope to sit in. The most difficult part was tying the knots. We decided to put the ladder in Jam’s cage to encourage him to move around more; however Jam is incredibly strong so we needed it to hold up. Fortunately we have two volunteers from China who came yesterday and seem to be whizzes with knots. They had to show us several times how to tie the knots as they were so fast with the rope.
We all ate our lunch down by the tiger cubs together and a lot of tourist came to see Blue, the huge tiger chained to the table which wasn’t very nice to see. They climb all over him and take pictures and he just sits there. He makes the park the most of its money but we are working with the owners and the customers to show that the park came make more money with Blue off the table. With the break for lunch the ladder took us up to around 3pm. We had been told that we would be able to go see the elephants and see if the Mahouts (elephant trainers) would let us ride them, but they were out in the jungle so this will have to wait for another day. We spent the some of the time before the evening feed simply collecting dried leaves for the enclosure floors, and we also planned tonight’s English lesson.
The evening feed is better than the morning feed as you get to feed a monkey directly. In the morning we leave the food in and around the enclosure for them to find but in an evening we get allocated monkey each and feed them by sticking a piece of food on a stick for them to grab. Today Chelsea fed King Kong again, and Liam fed Trousers. After the feed we got to see King Kong enter his new enclosure. He had briefly been in yesterday but he shook it all so hard that he broke the climbing frame so today it was repaired and strengthened. He is very happy with it and now has twice the room he had before. We also let Jam in with his new ladder, although he completely ignored it. We will bribe him to use it tomorrow with some food.
The only negative of today was that a staff meeting for the safari park was called at the same time as our English lesson was supposed to be so no one showed up. We are really enjoying teaching the English and have another session scheduled in the village tomorrow.
Today has been another great day, and as usual we are shattered. The days go so fast, we cannot believe we have done five days already. Tomorrow promises to be a good day too, as Chelsea gets to go feed the giraffe’s breakfast again, but this time Liam gets to tag along and be introduced. The idea is that Liam will then introduce someone new the day after so the lovely old man gets used to us being in there with him.