Monday, July 22, 2013

Week 5

Week 5: 6/24 – 6/28
Monday (6/24):
  • Giraffe Observations (9 – 11 am)
  • Giraffe Observations (3 – 5 pm)
    • I’m doing observations twice a day now! I’m the only giraffe observer, so this will help me collect enough data to analyze later in the summer.
Tuesday (6/25):
  • Giraffe observations (9 – 11 am)
  • Behind the Scenes Okapi
    • Got to tour the okapi barn and meet all of the Okapi!
    • We got to pet them and they were just so unbelievably soft!! One really enjoyed our lovins and made the funniest facial expressions…when you scratched her ears, her eyebrows went up and down really fast.
    • Fun fact: Okapis are the closest living relative to the Giraffe!
  • Pics or it didn’t happen, right? Well here’s your proof.

  • Giraffe observations (3 – 5 pm) 
Wednesday (6/26):
  • Independent activities
    • Reading articles about herd structure in Giraffe
  • Giraffe Observations (11 – 1 pm)
  • Behind the Scenes Tigers
    • We toured the Tiger facility and learned about their care and nutrition. We also learned the difference between Malayan and Sumatran tigers. The Sumatran looks like it has muttonchops and is fuzzier around its head and has more stripes than the Malayan.  Each tiger has their own area and only one is out on exhibit at a time because tigers are solitary animals. There is one breeding pair and they hope to have babies at the Dallas Zoo soon :)
    • The keepers also performed a training demonstration for us that was SO COOL. They use positive reinforcement like all other training at the Zoo, and the tigers get meatballs as a reward! She showed us basic husbandry behaviors but I think the coolest behavior was when she asked for the tiger to stand up against the bars… He was taller than us standing by about 2 or 3 feet.
    • It was really amazing to be that close to an animal that powerful.
  • Giraffe Observations (3 – 5 pm) 

Thursday (6/27):
  • Independent activities:
    • Reading more giraffe articles!
  • Brown Bag:
    • An elephant keeper from the Phoenix Zoo gave a talk about the evolution of their elephant exhibit and care of the elephants.
    • He went into detail about how they have made use of their limited enclosure by changing the type of flooring and adding different enrichment activities. It was really neat listening to how the changes they made helped the elephant both emotionally and physically. For example, by hanging hay in a net up high it was a stimulating way for the elephant to eat, but it also helped develop some muscles in the neck that the elephant would use in the wild.
  • Gorilla training:
    • Gorilla training demonstration for Zoo staff
    • The keeper worked with Patrick, who was a little nervous at first with the amount of people watching but ended up having a good training session!
    • She demonstrated husbandry behaviors like targeting, having him stand up and put his chest against the fence (this is used for heart sonograms since male gorillas are prone to heart disease), and putting other body parts against the fence for other medical procedures.This type of training really helps the welfare of the animals because it allows them to choose to participate and eliminates having to sedate an animal for a simple procedure.
    • He received Gatorade, fruit, and restaurant mints as rewards for showing his behaviors. J
  • Giraffe observations (3 – 5 pm) 
Friday (6/28):
  • Giraffe observations (9 – 11 am)
  • Giraffe observations (1 – 3 pm)
  • Independent activities:
    • Weather data entry
    • Trying to figure out the iButton software
      • iButtons can be placed in the giraffe exhibits to record temperature. I could then use this data to see how temperatures differ in exhibits and how this might affect the way they feed or other behaviors. 
Saturday (6/29):
  •  Zoobiology
    • This was offered through the volunteer department. Zookeepers and other professionals presented short talks about their current projects or specific areas of expertise.
    • I learned a lot and it was exciting to learn more about the zoo field! 
End of Week Tidbits:

1 comment:

  1. a GREAT reason to have dirty fingers, petting an Okapi! so awesome!