Today was my first day interning at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. I am an Animal Keeper Intern for the Giraffe House section of the zoo, meaning that I will be in the Giraffe House, the Barn Yard, and the Big Cats. Exciting, eh?
Today was the Barn Yard. Ann was my supervisor for the day. She showed me the ropes, told me what would need to be done first thing in the morning when I came in, and how to do it. Once that was done we (of course) went through and cleaned all the enclosures, fed, watered, and gave the animals their enrichment. There was a cow, lots of goats, a pig, chickens that we also needed to weigh, a pig, and donkeys! Not as exciting as Tigers, but still really cool and plenty of fun. Last we cleaned the barn owl's exhibit and left him his daily (nightly?) food.
Just before the exciting barn owl feeding time, however, I was able to watch on as my supervisor and a handful of other Keepers trained Angel, one of the Giraffes! She has a minor sore on her knee that needs to be medicated, so the keepers are working on training her to stand still as they apply antibiotics and moisturizer to the spot. The training was going very well! Angel held still as the medication was applied and the keepers had absolutely no problems whatsoever.
All in all I'd say today was an eventful and exciting day in which I learned a lot about what it takes to be a Zoo Keeper. Can't wait til tomorrow!