Friday, 17 January 2014

Harnas other tasks: Animal Caretaker

Because I like being busy busy and because I was suppose to be taking the animal caretaker project that ended up not happening, I ended up being Animal Caretaker. This is a position that entails being in charge of all of the animal well being and health. Also doing any of the medications needed and keeping an eye on everyone. It was a pretty easy job, just made for some rushed mornings. Normally, I would have to give up the Snoobobs when I took over being Animal Caretaker but due to the small number of volunteers, I volunteered to stay on and do both which worked out well. 

My 2 big tasks were giving Kaptian his medication and feeding the springboks and kudu every morning. Kaptian is an older german shepard dog who needed arthritis meds and also had epilepsy. So every morning involved stuffing his 4 pills into 3 pieces of meat, tracking him down which was the hardest part and feeding him. Normally he was where ever Mariatta was but that was sometimes a challenge to track her down! 
Feeding the kudus and springboks involved 5 different types of feeds: cow, sheep, lucern pellets, horse feed and crushed corn. Bumbi, the bad springbok loved me for this reason. Him and I got along before I started feeding him but we became good friends after. I rarely had to chase him away , just had to talk to him and walk with who ever he was eyeing up.  

One special activity I did get to do because I was Animal Caretaker was that I got to take a wild vervet monkey mom and baby into Gobabis to the vet. The mom had gotten a nice bite on her arm on Christmas. Livia ( cabin mate and vet assistant in real life) took her in to get checked out a few days later. Nice getting off the property for awhile. I had been helping with cleaning the wound and giving her antibiotics up until the vet visit. Bit stressful dealing with a non tamed, non sedated vervet but we all came out of it unscathed. 

The vet visit was pretty interesting. I’m not sure how much the vet had been told, not much I don’t think! He was hoping she was a tame vervet, he was disappointed when I said “nope , most definitely wild!” lol. I was impressed with how fast and easily he caught her in the cage to sedate her, but she did get out of the cage before she fell asleep ( was in a small room , door closed!). Livia and I were both a bit shocked when she fell over asleep while sitting on the floor. I got the lovely task of holding the baby, Klaus, while Mom was worked on. Klaus did not like me one bit and spent the next 30-45 mins attempting to bite me and already had instincts to go for my neck and screaming! Luckily he didn’t really have nails or teeth at that point. I was very happy to put him back with Mom in the cage. 

And I got to clean and change her bandage the next day. I will take an angry horse over doing a monkey. They are probably both on the same difficulty level despite the monkey only being 7 kg. 

And the only other downside of being animal caretaker was having to tell people off for feeding the animals candy. *rolls eyes* Yup multiple people thinking it was alright to feed human candy , chocolate etc to any animal on the property. And I would have thought people would have known better but anyways. 

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