Yet again the keepers at the Safari have decided to test the knowledge and skills that I have learned over the course of this internship, and picked up from my classes at Unity College. A few days ago, I was told I would be working the bears section of the department–no big deal I’ve done that loads of times by now. Except for one detail: I will be working with the bears ALONE!!! This was definitely something new.
From eight in the morning until eleven I was in charge of everything that went on with the bears including, but is not limited to: cleaning indoor and outdoor enclosures for seven bears; shifting them; feeding them; preparing food for their lunch and their nighttime meals; and preparing food for the second round of feeding that goes out to the whole department. When it came time to shift the bears and open/close doors, the head of the department came down to make sure nothing went wrong, but then I was again left all alone.
I have to say it was both frightening and exhilarating. The level of trust and respect that the Safari is giving me is incredible and I was humbled that they trusted me enough with such a big job. It is a healthy reminder of when I showed up here, only a few months ago and only knew the things that I learned in a textbook.
However this day of wonder and excitement also gave me a shadow of fear when I learned that the evaluation paperwork from Unity College had arrived in the mail and that the department head would be filling it out after my performance with the bears.
Maybe you’re wondering how I did? Pretty well I think, but I guess like me you’ll just have to wait and see.
Until next time.