04.02.2013 - 04.02.2013 35 °C
Today is Chelsea’s birthday, and Liam would like to wish her a happy birthday and to make sure that she knows how much he loves her.
Liam has struggled due to where we are to get her anything for her birthday, he could not even find a card to buy so we will celebrate properly when we are back on the road and can spend a few days doing exactly what Chelsea wants. Unfortunately she has not felt very well today, so she has spent most of the time back at the common room researching ideas for our resident gibbons. We are moving the male gibbon into the cage next to the female to see if they get along as the long term plan is to release them together on an island. So they do not fight straight away we need some toys to keep them busy so Chelsea researched this all day. We have decided to make some sensory toys so they have loads of new things to smell and touch and poke around with to get their food. We have to make the cages identical so soon we will have a busy day building all the toys.
Liam on the other hand has had a busy day with the cubs again. It started with a walk after the usual morning monkey feed. Normally when we arrive at the cub’s day time enclosure everything is prepared so we can just feed them and settle them in for the day. Today that was not the case. Liam had to make 4 bottles (2 for tigers, 2 for leopards) , clean out the leopard enclosure, checking for centipede’s, scorpions and any snakes that might have moved in to the hay overnight, whilst supervising a volunteer had not looked after the cubs before as Chelsea was ill so couldn’t be with them. To top it off we had a tourist straight away (which never happens) that wanted to feed the tigers their chicken breakfast. There was not any distilled water to make the bottles with either so Liam had to buy a couple of bottles of drinking water from the gift shop to make up their milk.
Once all the cubs were settled in and sleeping it was more relaxing, Chelsea showed up for a while to play with her babies and give them another feed until she had to leave because she didn’t feel well and it is dangerous for the cubs as they haven’t being vaccinated yet and a cold could really be serious for them. We had the usual stampede of tourists in the afternoon, most of which are idiots, that poke and provoke the cubs and Liam is getting tired of constantly telling them off. We feel sorry for the big tiger chained to the table because these particular tourists have no regard for him and climb all over him and pull is tail. We cannot wait to get him off that table. We did get some good tourists though who played with the cubs and got some good photos holding them and petting them.
After the cubs we had the evening monkey feed and then English class. It was slightly more educational tonight as Chelsea made a big clock and we taught them how to say the time in English. They are so good and pick everything up so quickly, it is becoming harder to keep them engaged and think of new topics to keep them interested but so far we are doing well. Liam got them all to sing happy birthday to Chelsea which was unbelievably cute.
After class Liam and the team had a surprise for Chelsea, Liam had told the guys about her birthday a few days ago and planned to go up by the river on site and eat our tea round a fire and have a little picnic. Chelsea did not have a clue about her surprise and she enjoyed it. We gave her a handmade card and the team also managed to get her a cake. They did a really good job and it meant a lot. We sat on big hay bales around the fire and ate our tea with our two dogs and two puppies. We stayed by the river for a while, watching the fire flies and talking but we had to leave abruptly as someone was burning the field at the other side of the river and it startled an elephant on our side of the river. The elephant got quite close and we didn’t want to stress it out anymore as they can be very dangerous so put out our fire and left. The safari is such a surreal place. It has not been a typical birthday for Chelsea, but Liam has tried to make it has fun has he could.
After our campfire picnic we came back to the common room, we were all shattered so it is another early night for us. One of the 4 dogs they have here, Scruffy, seems to have taken a liking to us and has decided to spend the night in our room, which is fine by us as he is our favourite.
The volunteer project here now has a website; www.safarivolunteer.com if anyone would like to check it out, it has pictures of all the monkeys we talk about so you can keep up, as well as a rolling news feed and other stuff. It is fairly new and still a work in progress so some sections are blank at the minute but it is been worked on daily.