Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Last week I had my final day at the safari, marking the end of my internship. It was a very sad day for everyone as we each realized we wouldn’t be seeing each other anymore. I have made some very good friends over the course of this internship and will be sad to leave them. Each of the keepers I worked with at the safari helped me grow as a person and as a member of this field, and everyone was incredible to work with. I want to thank each of them for their help and support through these past twelve weeks.

derrickmaltmanlastdayofsafari

We ended the day on a happy note by having a small party in the department eating cake and talking about different things that happened over the course of my stay with them. It was nice to think about everything that has transpired at the safari and made me realize how far I’ve already come in this field, from simple book learning to practical hands-on knowledge and fieldwork. It is strange to think about going back to Unity College and not coming in to work at the Predators Department each day. After our little party I said my farewells to my friends and spent the next hour on a quiet contemplative walk around the safari, stopping at each of the enclosures where I worked, and said goodbye to the animals that I have come to know and love. It was a heart wrenching and I’m not afraid to say that a few tears were shed. I have come to love each of the animals that I cared for over the course of this internship and will miss them terribly. The silver lining in leaving is knowing that I will get to come back and visit over Christmas break.

I want to thank everyone who followed this blog and commented on each of my posts. I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventures as much as I have had living them. A big thank you goes out to the Unity College Marketing Department for helping me put this blog together and to my internship sponsor Cheryl Frederick for encouraging me to look for internship opportunities outside of the United States.

Derrick Maltman

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