09.02.2013 - 09.02.2013
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Today is the eve of Chinese New Year, so from the early hours of the morning firecrackers having been going off all other the place. The whole day has been a celebration for the locals, the safari has been open as usual but we have had the owner’s family here, and there have been large amounts of food that we have been given and has all been delicious. If only the firecrackers would stop, as it makes our work with the cubs and monkeys really hard because they get scared.
We had our usual morning routine and Liam walked the tiger cubs with Dean, another volunteer who is leaving tomorrow. When Dean leaves it will mean that every volunteer who was here when we got here would have left so we will be the most experienced apart from Ned and Tat. We have started to discuss leaving soon as we want to re cooperate before Myanmar.
We spent all afternoon by the cubs, but we had a couple of small tasks to as well. Chelsea drew up the plans for the tiger enclosure idea we have to present the group later. Basically it includes three sections, a section for each the tigers and leopards that customers can still enter and play and feed with them and a third section which is more a display section that customers can watch the cubs play and swim and climb. We came up with a couple ideas the team like, Chelsea drawings really helped, our main idea was a 360 degree viewing area in the middle of the enclosure that was camouflaged and customers could sit and secretly watch the animals within the enclosure. The idea is similar to a bird watchers hut but will just have slits and peep holes so the cubs are not scared and we can rub different smells on the hut so the cubs will come really close to investigate and the customers will get close up eye to eye contact, without any risk.
All the tourists today were pleasant so it makes our job easier. Liam filed down the edges of a big concrete giraffe bowl that is to be used as a swimming pool for the cubs. It is still incredibly hot and that made the work hard but the cubs will love playing in the water.
We gave both sets of cubs toys today and they loved them. The tiny leopards were scared at first but then bounding all over and Ned the tiger cub liked his so much he started to growl at anyone who came near it in case they took it off him.
At 4pm when the cubs go back to the night time enclosure we headed back to the common room. The plan was an early evening feed with the monkeys so we could go chill out and go fishing. Unlike Wednesday when this was originally planned everything ran smoothly and we were soon sat by the river. Needless to say we did not catch anything but it was nice to relax with a couple of beers, and watch the sunset with our fishing rods. Liam caught a few rocks by getting the hook caught on the bottom a lot of times.
There are only four of us tomorrow, us and the new volunteers, Dean leaves and Tat and Ned have taken a rare day off. It will be a busy day but we hope to get into Kanchanaburi after English class to take part in the Chinese New Year celebrations. As we are writing this it has started to rain, and it is the first time we have had rain in over a month.