Friday, 17 January 2014

Harnas: Animal Interactions

Probably one of my favourite activities and one of the easiest. Title says it all really. Basically instead of being on food prep or helping on the tour, you get assigned to go interact with an animal like the baby baboons, Tyson the cheetah or reading to Audrey the blind vervet monkey. And you do this all afternoon. Easy and fun! 

Reading to Audrey was good but a but self conscience reading to a monkey but it was that or talking. You have to so that she knows where you are. She is very sweet and would normally come over and cuddle and hold your hand while you talked/read. It was always hard to remember that you couldn’t just stroke her back, even if she was holding one of your hands since this would normally earn you a slap on the wrist -literally since it would scare her. She’s also the only vervet monkey I liked. Vervets are known for being agrissive and if they attack they go for necks and arteries - yes very charming creatures. Luckily Audrey is ancient and blind. 

Tyson, the young cheetah, was cool because who doesn’t want to hang out with one. As I mentioned earlier, I’m still on the fence about having to tame him instead of trying to keep him wild but since they wanted him tamed I figured I would put in a fair few hours hanging out with him. I would sit in his enclosure talking to him for an hour or so most lunch hours. And then having a few hours on an official interaction time was always a bonus. He’s a gorgeous boy who had come a long way and grown a fair bit by the time I left. 

Baby baboon interaction was one of the most common ones to have and I did end up on it twice. And to be fair to the baboons they actually went fairly well. They did grow on me as my time at Harnas went by but still not my fav creatures by any means. Laura would agree with me and she did finally convince Tertius that she really didn’t like them! After 5 weeks there and still not liking baboons , don’t think she’s going to change her mind! I did figure out that they are very nice after they have been fed and therefore only want to cuddle up and sleep on you. Super nice! Means they aren’t jumping on you randomly and biting! Though my last interaction didn’t go the best since Bella just started biting me and not just test bites. Who knows what I did to make her angry but needless to say I made a quick exit complete with black bruises on knee and calves and back of my neck. I went to see Oma who is lovely old granny baboon who lives by herself. And loves to groom you. Such a sweetie. 

And you did have loads of time to visit and bond with your animals after your activities and during lunch. Not to mention the sleep outs you could do. 

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