05.02.2013 - 05.02.2013 34 °C
Today Chelsea has been ill all day. There are not enough people at the minute to do giraffes so everyone went down to the cages to clean and feed the monkeys. Liam was forced into his first binturong poo clean-up. Their poo is the worst and everyone tries to avoid it. We have been here nearly two weeks and he hasn’t done it once so he was forced into it and laughed at the entire time as he apparently is reminiscent of Karl Pilkington.
Liam went down to the cubs for the day and Chelsea took it easy in the nice air-conditioned office and planned some English lessons as we have been winging it a little the past few lessons so thought it would be good to have some structure. She managed to plan 4 lessons which are really useful for us. The cubs were mayhem as usual, bottles, customers, cubs climbing out, tigers crying. We can’t wait for the new tiger enclosure and have been assured it will be finished by Friday so both the baby leopards and the tigers will have their own area. The problem at the minute is that the tigers are just out in the open on leads so customer try and approach hem constantly and we continually have to tell them to stop.
At lunch Chelsea drew up the gibbon ideas to submit to Ned and Tat. We have decided on both some food oriented toys and some permanent fixtures in the enclosures. We are going to scent seed pods and place them around the enclosure, fragranced with coriander, mint, cinnamon, ginger and lavender to keep the monkey engaged and distract them from the other gibbon. Also a log with holes drilled in it filled with fruit paste, honey and seeds so they can pick at it for a while and a few other bits such as monkey bars to swing on and a high nest box for them to sit on.
After lunch we both stayed down at the cubs, Liam on tigers and Chelsea on customer duty. It gets quite busy in the afternoon with tour groups so we have to have one person just watching over and talking to customers as they can get quite rowdy and crowd the cubs which cares them.
Liam is determined to make a bond with the female tiger cub as she is quite aggressive and scared of everyone except Toy, the tiger trainer. Today she has been really friendly with Liam. He has been able to pick her up, stroke her and Ned the male has been as placid and gorgeous as ever. Hang Heng was on the table again as blue is still sick. Hang Heng is only 18 months old so he just wants to play. Liam sprayed him with water this afternoon and he loved it and rolled on his back so he could have his belly sprayed. The leopards were as cute as always and Chelsea had to sit outside the cage so they don’t get sick from her.
Chelsea couldn’t feed the monkeys either due to her cold so sat and relaxed with a coffee while everyone went to feed them before our lesson.
Today we learned our kiddies adjectives and they really enjoyed the lesson. Today all the more advanced kids were sat together which meant the kids with less English skills were finding it hard. We decided to split them into teams so we could have a mix of abilities as they seem to learn better like this and make it a competition and they loved it. We learned, fast, slow, big, small, stripes, spots, tall, short, Scary and cute and linked this to the animals we have previously learned in order for them to practice. We played some games and sang a song and they got right into it. We started high fiving them today and they love it. Liam got a bit too into it and Chelsea had to talk him out of making ‘team Liam’ badges as it was getting quite competitive. We don’t have class tomorrow but on Thursday we are going to carry on with adjectives as there are a lot more they can learn and they were really enjoying it.
When we got back Joe, the man that runs the park was in our common room. Tat and Ned have weekly meetings with him to propose new ideas and invoice materials etc. They asked Chelsea to attend the meeting today to talk about the cubs and the tiger on the table and to put forward any problems or improvements that could be made. We discussed Blue’s health and he has apparently injured the tendons on his leg. We said he needed more exercise so Joe is looking into getting him a new bigger enclosure for when he is not on the table. We discussed the tiger on the table and the impact this has on customers and the tigers themselves and got a really positive response. The cubs are making quite a lot on money on a daily basis now and Joe has said that as soon as a new enclosure has been built to house Blue and Hang Heng where customers can come and interact with them then the park will change the way it works and take the tigers off the tables. We are all very excited about the prospect of the park agreeing to this. We discussed Mocha (the male leopard cub’s) nose rubbing in his night time enclosure and talked about installing something for them to climb on rather than the cage itself as this is dangerous. The main issue we have been having recently though is not knowing what the cubs are eating and the amounts when they are not with us so have proposed a care sheet that will be completed every day and shows what the cub has eaten, whether its toilet time is normal etc so we can care for them a lot better as they are extremely sensitive and can get sick easily if under fed or over fed.
We have had a productive day today and Chelsea hopes she is better tomorrow so she can spend time with her baby kittens tomorrow.