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Mid Kent College Animal Care Course 2013 – Day 1

Today was brilliant, first of all we went to a pet shop where we could see what animals they sell and what conditions they are kept in, we got to see many species – some that we have in our English pet shops but there were also some venomous snakes and some animals which i hadn’t even see before which people could buy. The set up of the pet shop was different to how ours are. There was more of a variety of equipment and food products for the animals. Mice had the same amount of space as the rabbits and guinea pigs which I thought was really good as they had quite a bit of enrichment in the enclosure.

After we had visited the pet shop we went to mall where Anton and Lacey bought all the food we needed for the next couple of days. It also gave us a chance to stock up on snacks and drinks. Eliz told us we had to try the green cream soda which tastes really nice but is bright green in color; which is cool! All the juices here are really bright in color as well as many other things here, even shampoo!

When we finished shopping we drove to C.R.O.W (Center for the Rehabilitation Of Wildlife) where we started our first day of work experience. Before we started doing any work we had a tour of all the animals that they rehabilitate, we saw loads of birds as well as baboons, a gennet and a bush baby. After we had finished looking around all of the animals we split up into two groups, one group started work on a rockery and the other group started filling empty enclosures with sand ready for C.R.O.W’s animal residents that they will get in over the summer and spring periods. The rockery plants are plants that would be part of the natural diet of wild tortoises and will be used to supplement the diets of the tortoises at the centre.

Starting the rockery for the plants which will all be part of the natural diet of the tortoises and will be used to supplement their diets

I was putting the sand into the buckets to take into the enclosure, whilst we were shoveling the sand we had a visit from a hadeda bird (calledGoofy!) which decided to take a very keen interest into what we were doing.

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It ended up with the bird nipping at my fingers until Anton picked her up and moved her away from where we were working. It didn’t hurt, I just didn’t want to get her with the shovel by accident! (See the picture above!)

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Whilst we were working it felt like we were being watched… all around us were wild vervet monkeys which here in South Africa are like our foxes at home but it was really cool because you could see monkeys from all different ages from tiny babies to fully grown adults really close up and roaming free the way the animals should be. Oh and I learnt that vervet monkeys skin is actually blue which is rather funny as on the males you can see that their testicles are light blue in color which is rather funny when you can’t see that any other part of their skin are blue.

Lunch time! For lunch we went to the edu-center were we sat outside and ate cheese sandwiches and mini cheddars that tasted like pizza! We were joined by a vervet monkey who decided that he wanted to eat some food as well but wasn’t fond of the mini cheddars as was wiping off the flavor before trying to raid the bin we put our rubbish in.

After lunch we started back on our work, but we all went to finish the rockery so that we could finish both jobs before we left for the day. At the rockery we all collected rocks (some we had to roll to the rockery) which we placed round the plants the group planted before lunch, we had to be careful when picking up the rocks as there could have been snakes, lizards or other creepy crawlies under them, so instead of using our hands we used our feet to flick over the rock and check for any creatures.

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Once we had finished the rockery we made our way over back to the enclosures we were filling with sand. Within an hour of everyone working together we were able to finish all four enclosures we had to fill which was an achievement when our wheelbarrow didn’t work (we broke it…) and we were using buckets.

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Oh and our little ha-de-da bird came back to visit which made it hard to shovel when she was trying to nip your fingers and check your shovel loads for worms.

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After we had finished it was time to go to our overnight accommodation which is a mile up the road from C.R.O.W. Anton was going to be mean and make us walk in the rain but one of the nice ladies that helps out at crow gave us a lift in her truck which was very kind of her.

Once we arrived at the accommodation we all chilled out and relaxed while Eliz, Anton and Lacey made us dinner which was lovely.

African sausage (boerewors) and beer bread (which Lacey needs to make more of ) after dinner Rob, Beth, Marley and Kara did the washing up while I was writing this and then, once they had finished with the washing up we had some chocolate birthday cake. Now we are chilling out in the communal area whilst the rain passes as none of us want to get wet. Megan just got locked in the toilet for a few minutes but Anton busted her out like a knight in shining armour :p . Everyone’s in a joyful mood and no one is ready to sleep this is going to be a fun night….

–Jade

 

Smarticles says: (Upon waking up) Where is Denmark?

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