Is this my day off?

My cousin Hanna, on her way to attending school in L.A., is staying with my other cousin Beth for a couple of months. I invited both of them to come to the Wild Animal Park so that we could catch up and enjoy the 100 degree weather.

I was able to take Beth and Hanna down to the tiger stairs, where we had a great view of Malacca enjoying her weekly rabbit. Yummy! We walked the rest of the Kilamanjaro Safari Trail, ate lunch at Heart of Africa and saw the cheetah, hung out at Lion Camp, and rode the train around the field exhibits. But I think my cousins’ favorite part of the day was visiting Lorikeet Landing and feeding the birds – Beth and Hanna were covered with them, and were only minorly covered with their “leftovers” after they flew away.

On to the next (less smelly) chapter…

Today was my last day with the elephant department at the Wild Animal Park. I definitely learned a lot about the elephants, and it was really cool being able to get so close to them. Initially I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to physically handle the work (intense physical labor in 100+ degree heat), but I actually enjoyed it. It felt good to sweat and feel like I was really doing something, as opposed to manipulating data on a computer screen or shuffling paper around on my desk.

At any rate, I am still guiding two nights a week for Roar and Snore, but that leaves me with the need for more moolah. So, I’ll be spending much more of my time searching for a job. It’s funny – I have no desire to take the jobs that would pay me well enough to cover my expenses, but at the same time, I can’t afford to take the jobs that I would actually enjoy doing because they don’t pay enough. So if anyone knows of a position that will pay $50K+ per year and includes playing with cats and coloring with crayons, please let me know. I’m willing to share my experience in these (and similar) areas.

On a good note though, at least my schedule has opened up so that I have more time for watching Cosby Show reruns (at least six episodes per day!) and catching up on my scrapbooking. Now, if I could only keep the dog from eating out of the litterboxes, I’d really have something to write about. Keep your fingers crossed for me, won’t you?

A glamorous look at what being an elephant keeper is all about

I was recently given the opportunity to be a temporary elephant keeper, kind of as a reward for doing such a good job with Roar and Snore. I was pretty scared that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the hard physical work, especially in the heat, but I’ve really enjoyed it. Look at me, all clean in my WAP uniform (not clean for long, though). Those are some of our African elephants, and I am indeed standing in the exhibit. It is pretty exciting to see the elephants up close, and I’m learning a lot about them. My favorite elephant is named Lunguili; she’s the smallest of the herd (besides the baby), the least dominant, and clearly the smartest.

Vus Mus is our newest elephant, born February 23, 2004. He’s very cute, but he’s a little rat – he steals elephant pellets from the other elephants’ mouths, and will do just about anything to get your attention. What a ham!

Did you know that elephants are hind-gut fermenters? This means that 50% of their food goes in one end and out the other. Which is what 75% of my job is all about.

Welcome to my Blog!

Hello everyone out there in Gotta-See-What-Marci’s-Doing-Land!

Clearly you’re here because you want to know what I’m up to lately. Well, the short answer is this: I’m pretty much up to nothing. I’ve decided to start this blog because it might encourage me to do something so that I have something to post on my blog. Who knows if this cutting-edge experimental technique will work, and I can’t promise that I’ll update this blog very often, so you’ll just have to hold your breath and keep your pants on.

Actually, I can tell you that I’m busy with working as a camp guide at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. I get to show overnight guests (who participate in the Roar and Snore program) the lion, tiger, and elephant exhibits, and all the associated behind-the-scenes areas. I also get to give camp-fire talks, where I highlight skulls, antlers, horns, elephant foot trimmings and tusks, and animal x-rays, to name a few things. It’s been the most fun job I’ve ever had, and I’m hoping to either get a full time at the Wild Animal Park, or at another place where I can get work in a conservation and ecology education program. We’ll have to wait and see.

Other than that, I just purchased a pair of Vans shoes. I had a dream about them, so I took an afternoon to raid the local mall in search of the perfect pair of Vans. Who would have known that I’d find an entire Vans store (especially after suffering through 95% of the mall just prior to finding it)? The pair I bought are light pink and have a black and white skull pattern drawn on them. They’re pretty rad.

Anyway, enjoy my blog, but don’t expect too much. Stay off my back, man! Relax! I’ll update this when I get around to it! Jeesh!

Taa taa for now!