14.02.2013 - 14.02.2013
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Our usual morning clean out ran smoothly this morning. Chelsea left early to go help walk the cubs whilst the rest of us finished off and put the sacks of elephant poo we made yesterday into the cage of Coffee the leopard. It went better than expected; he ripped it open and tossed it around, and the whole time smelling the bag and its contents. Tomorrow we get to try in on Fang and Nala, we don’t think the result will be as good.
Chelsea spent the day doing what she loves, playing with and looking after the cubs. She loves both the tigers and the leopards but they are so different. The leopards are 7 weeks old so are babies, always wanting to play and jump but the tigers are three months old so they are happy to sleep for a lot of the day and play in between. She is confident to look after both pairs and the tigers are very comfortable with her now, even the little girl tiger who can be very difficult. Toy, the tiger keeper has such a bond with all the tigers, they love her. She can lay with Blue, the fully grown bengall tiger while he sleeps and cuddle him and he is comfortable with it. Today she was laying with Blue and Chelsea went to take a photo and she insisted that Chelsea lay with him. Chelsea refused several times as he is a fully grown tiger and we have seen him growl and swipe his paws but she dragged her on to lay with him. Chelsea got off straight away but Blue is amazing. His face is perfect and he is huge and placid most of the time. Its hard to see him on a chain all day.
Liam spent the morning in the common room researching some new enclosure ideas for the park. Basically there is a large area of unused land within the grounds, and we have some animals we want to re-home so Liam was given the job of finding out information about each animal to see what we can do.
First there is the Cassowary that currently lives where we hope to build the new Tiger playground so he will need to move. Luckily the enclosure for him will be quite easy, as long as he has room to stretch his legs, and plenty of water to bathe and drink he will be happy. Secondly, the park owns a sun bear that is locked in a cage 24/7 as it does not get along with the moon bears that are on the safari. Liam knew very little about the sun bears but after researching them and seeing what they should be doing and how they live he is determined to help the poor fellow here. They should have plenty of room to climb, dig around, forage and sun bathe, and they are also quite intelligent so good enrichment would be important. That in Liam’s opinion is now one of the top priority cases here. We also want to move an Asiatic gold cat we call Toast from of the cages with the monkeys into a new enclosure. He has been locked up for 10 years after been caught in a trap to which he lost his front right paw. Then there is Coffee, the beautiful leopard too energetic for safari so he was locked into a cage, we are supposed to have some funding for him and we want to put him as the star attraction with the rest of the animals above.
After lunch Liam was supposed to go on an elephant ride with another volunteer but unfortunately the mahouts were only willing to take one person so Liam let the other volunteer go and went down to the cubs to help out with the afternoon rush.
We had a successful English class but at one point we did not think it was going to go ahead. We were waiting fifteen minutes and no one had arrived but just as we were leaving they turned up. Chelsea came up with the lesson plan and we taught weather. Once they had a grasp of that we showed them the clothes we had taught them a few lessons ago and linked what you would wear in particular weather. Chelsea had the idea for a game so we took down some of our own clothes, shouted out a particular weather and the kids had to run, pick the correct item of clothing put in on and run back. They really enjoyed it although we didn’t get very long to play it. We also taught the same to the two adults that attend, Nancy and Toy, but we made it slightly more difficult and taught them to ask how the weather is and then answer in a full sentence. We told the kids that we only have 4 more lessons with them tonight and they were all genuinely really sad. The hardest part of leaving will the leaving the English School. The children love it and attend 5 days a week hapy and eager every time. We are really hoping that someone will take responsibility for it when we leave as we think it needs a long term volunteer to do it to know and recognise the progress of the students. It is a big commitment though as it is 5 days a week, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.