Firstly I wanted to apologise for the lack of posts last week. Life was busy and I didn’t get round to writing anything. But I’m back today with a post I’m really excited to share with you.
A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to take part in the “Keeper for a Day” experience at the zoo. They were filming it for the website and I was one of the ones asked if I’d like to take part in this. My boss was great coving a shift for me meaning that I could become a Keeper for the day.
Our day started with breakfast and a little briefing about what we’d be getting up to during the day, as well as meeting the others who were taking part in the day with us. It was lovely to meet some of the London Zoo team and we all had a great day together.
After breakfast our first stop was the Chimpanzees. We were making up some enrichment for them. Enrichment is basically little activities for the animals to do which keep them busy and active during the day. We made up some plastic containers of fruit and veg, as well as some containers of porridge and jelly. We then went outside to throw these in for the chimps and it was great fun watching them try to find it all.
After the chimps we headed on around to the Asian Rhinos. Now, I’d already had an encounter with one of the Asian Rhinos as part of my induction when I started working at the zoo. We spent a little bit of time cleaning out the rhinos before getting to meet Behan and give her some food. Asian Rhinos (along with all rhinos) are beautiful animals and I loved getting to feed one of them again.
After feeding Behan we headed to the bird show. We had the choice of 2 birds to fly and I picked Gizmo our little White Faced Owl. She was so cute but struggled flying in the wind!
Next up was the elephants. Again, I’d already been part of the meet the elephants experience for the zoo but it was great to see them again. We spend a while helping to clear out their enclosure before preparing some enrichment for them. Then we had the chance to go and see them and feed them some food. We had the chance to throw some food in for Sam, Mya and Emmett, as well as learning about them from some of the staff.
From the elephants it was time for lunch. Where we enjoyed some time together chatting and sharing stories about our respective jobs at the zoo.
Then it was time to visit Colombo our sloth bear. Colombo is the cutest animal ever (but you wouldn’t want to get in with him), and we again prepared some enrichment for him before throwing it in for him. It was the cutest and funniest thing watching him grab the piping then rolling on to his back to suck all the treats out.
The next part was something I was very excited for. We got to go and see the penguins and feed them. When I say feed them, we at Whipsnade don’t hand feed them. We simply throw the food into their pool and they have to go swimming for it.
After we’d fed the penguins it was time to head off to see the lions. We have a group of 6 African Lions at the zoo and we had the chance to feed them. We were quite lucky here in that we had a lot of opportunity to feed them as they were trying to get quite a lot of video footage of this. I was actually quite surprised how lazy all the lions were, but I suppose at the end of the day they are getting old.
The last part of our Keeper for a Day experience was to visit and feed the giraffes. This was so much fun and I loved every second of it. The one thing I was so surprised about was actually how strong they are. Our male giraffe was actually lifting me up as he was stripping the leaves off the branches.
All in all I had an incredible day making new friends and meeting more of the animals at the zoo. Would I recommend this? Yes, definitely! Especially if you love animals and want a chance to see some of them up close. I’ve linked the two youtube videos below where you can see what I got up to for the day.