Africa Alive! (January 2019)
Africa Alive is a zoo based in Lowestoft within East Anglia. I volunteered here for a couple of sessions (some in 2017 too), doing zoo keeper work. They house African animals such as: white rhino, giraffe, zebra, fennec foxes, lions, cheetah, painted dogs, servals, 7 lemur species and many more.
I got accepted onto the volunteer scheme in November 2018 but because of a Christmas temp job I didn’t do my first shift until January. January 4th was my induction where I spent the first hour going through paperwork, it was a short induction because I had done a few sessions in 2017. I was teamed up with a fantastic member of staff who trained me on the walk though lemur exhibit and than another team member who trained me on the kitchen and using knifes. For the rest of the shift I was helping a keeper on the white rhino section, where I cleaned their poop, swept their inside area, cleaned the water troughs, washed the floors and made up their food. At the end of my duties I was super lucky and got to stroke a rhino!!! The shift started at 9:45am and finished at 2:00pm (just over 4 hours), but it felt much shorter.
My second day was on 31st of January (A large gap due to being ill), where I was put on light duties. my first duties were to prepare food for some of the animals, these animals included: ring-tailed lemurs, mongoose lemurs, drills and spiny mice. Once these feeds were finished I was teamed with another great member of staff and I assisted her with the congo buffalos and the barbary sheep. I brushed and racked the outside area of any excess hay and straw, brushed the inside areas and topped up the bedding. The shift started at 10:30am and finished at 2:30pm (4 hours).
Sadly, these were the only two days I could do because it cost a lot for me to get there (2 buses and a train), and with only a part time job I couldn’t afford it.
I do not remember all the details for my time volunteering in 2017 because for some reason I didn’t keep a diary. What I do remember is being teamed up with a lovely woman who was not assigned a particular area. She said that she covers whatever needs covering/help. On one of the days we were put on the bird section, by the time I arrived she had already prepared the foods. I was able to go into the enclosure to put the food in, I cleaned the enclosure for any poop stains and cleaned the water holes too. On another day we got to design an enclosure in an off show area. This was for two fossas which had arrived not long ago. I am not allowed to say much else about it though because they asked me not too.