Hooray!!!!!!!!! We passed our zoo inspection! Everything is rainbows and lollipops :)
The zoo's Africa expansion is scheduled to be completed at the end of the month. I haven't been to the new area for a few weeks, but from the outside everything appears finished. Most of the workers I see are painters and landscapers. Everyone is sooooooo excited! The current plan is that the month of October will be used to finalize every detail and get everything ready for the new animals who will begin arriving in November. It's beyond amazing that what has been planned for years and years is so close to completion! Just writing this, I have to keep stopping typing to force myself to breathe. Wow.
My favorite thing about working at a small zoo is that I get cross-trained to work with ALL of the animals. I have my primary string of animals I care for most days, but I occasionally work with snakes, monkeys or sea lions. It's cool to get to work with such a diversity of creatures. I always thought it would be incredible to work at a large zoo until I realized that the keepers tend to specialize in a certain area. For example, a carnivore keeper may work with a variety of big cats, bears and wolves (awesome!!!) but may never work with a bird, reptile, fish or other large or small mammal.
In October I'm scheduled for giraffe and rhino training at three other zoos. This will be completely different from anything I've done before and I'm really excited. I imagine the new animals will require an epic amount of time and patience, but... I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready-eddy, eddy, eddy, eddy. Bring It On!