It seems I completely failed to continue my last post from a few days ago! Time here just seems to fly! I’ve already been here almost two weeks and I don’t know where it’s gone! I’ll try and fit in everything I’ve been doing here since my first day at the park.
All new volunteers get the opportunity to do some awesome activities when they first arrive, so after my first morning of cleaning the monkey cages, I went on the Salapong tour! Salapong is the best zoo keeper at the park, everyone loves him, and he seems to love everyone! He’s always smiling and turns up to every English lesson as well! On his tour, he basically takes you round the safari, in a side car, feeding all the animals! The last stop on the tour was the giraffes, which was amazing! As soon as they see the food they all come swarming over and you suddenly find yourself ducking and running under legs coming from every direction! It was crazy, and quite scary when they are that close, but definitely a highlight of the trip so far! We work with Salapong everyday here and it’s a joy! He also loves to teach us Thai, yesterday for instance we spent a couple of hours while we were looking after the leopard cubs teaching each other Thai and English.
A few days ago we all also went on the safari bus, the giraffes again being the highlight because they all put their heads through the Windows to eat the food.
Yet another highlight from being here so far is the bare back elephant trekking. Simply being on an elephant going for a stroll through a beautiful forest was an amazing feeling! I really hope to do it again.
The days at the safari park start at 6am….everyday, which I’m getting used to now, we have a quick breakfast and are usually off cleaning monkey cages, feeding baby lions or walking the baby bear by 7. Cleaning the monkey poo is definitely getting tedious, but now more volunteers are starting to arrive, so it gets done more quickly and we can enjoy the rest of the day. There are three different typical days here; rescue retreat, cubs, and cats. Rescue retreat is spending the day with the monkeys; feeding them, and providing enrichment for them throughout the day. If you’re on cubs you pretty much spend your day playing with leopard cubs. I think we have 20 odd leopard cubs here at the park, and so far we’ve been looking after 10, the youngest being Meo, Nuo, Tuki and Boci, who are around a month and a half old! If you’re on cats for the day, you spend it with the bigger cats. This is a great day, running around taking Mata (a leopard) for walks, or playing with Simba, a lion who’s very almost fully grown, but he’s the friendliest lion ever!
When I first arrived at the park I thought the days may be a bit repetitive, yet no day seems to be the same, yesterday for example instead of cleaning I went off to feed three baby lions that are 23 days old, and took the opportunity to peak at the newly born tiger, he’s just 3 days old, it was incredible, especially after seeing Simba and Yaya (the two fully grown lion and tiger). I also spent some of yesterday sewing up bags full of elephant poo, which is something I didn’t expect I’d be doing! A lot of the day is also working on special projects, which may be making videos, writing articles, designing enclosures, working on fundraising ideas, etc. At the moment I’m putting together a video with a volunteer called Lucy to promote Mata the leopard, Bungle the bear and Muki the Zebra.
I still feel really settled here, and I’m making some great friends. The insect situation is still going well, I’ve only seen a few scorpions so far! Another cockroach has moved into my bathroom though, so I know have two. Tat says they can fly, so I don’t know why they don’t just fly out!
I have been taking lots of photos, but unfortunately I don’t have a laptop so I haven’t been able to upload them, hopefully I’ll be able to soon though!
I think that’s all for now, I’ll try and post more soon! 🙂