Friday, September 5, 2008

Introducing The Zookeeper's Inbox

Ever wondered if other Zookeepers face the same management issues you do?

Well, it's time to find out! Use the contact info on my profile and send me your questions! I may not have the solution but I can probably paint your issue in a new light that may make it a little more tolerable. So send me those questions. And watch for yours to appear in "The Zookeeper's Inbox!" Prime example from my inbox today....You remember the Chimp with the grooming issue, right? Her Keeper is back.

"Dear Zookeeper,
Greetings again from my little crazy zoo! We've had some strange things going on at night at our zoo and I wanted to share them with you to see if it's just my zoo or if all zoos have this problem.

First, I should give you an overview of the exhibit arrangements at my zoo. My Hippo shares an exhibit with the Hyena. The Chimp has her own exhibit. I usually spend the night in the Baboon's exhibit because he tends to not use it most of the night. And when he does, he's kind of nice to cuddle with.

This is what happens at night at our zoo: The Chimp and Hyena exhibits are closed at about the same time. We have to use extra security for the Chimp exhibit as she is still getting used to having a big exhibit all to herself. The Hippo begins the night in the lobby, because the Hyena takes quite a while to recognize that the exhibit is closed and settle down. Before I retire to the Baboon exhibit, I make sure the Hippo is safely in her exhibit. The Baboon is usually out doing whatever a Baboon does at night.

At some point in the night, the Hyena leaves her exhibit and joins me in the Baboon area. When the Baboon comes back to the zoo, he crowds into the area as well. Feeling very out of place with a bunch of smelly animals, I get up and move to the lobby until morning.

Shortly before dawn, the Chimp will stir. If she is not quieted, she will wake up the whole zoo. I send the Baboon into her exhibit to keep her company.

Occasionally, the Hippo will require food before breakfast and will end up in the lobby with me.
So, by opening of the zoo, you have the Hyena in the Baboon exhibit, the Baboon sharing the Chimp's exhibit with her, the zookeeper in the lobby and somehow the Hippo asleep in the food prep area. It's a game of musical exhibits.

I never thought that being a zookeeper meant I would learn to play party games in my sleep.

Yours truly...

A.R. Zookeeper"

Dear A.R. Zookeeper,

Nocturnal party games are a regular occurrence here at Zoo Suburbia as well.

I have found that it is in my best interest to protect the Lion's den at all cost. A. The Lion does not respond well to interruptions in his nocturnal habits and has been known to throw a hard right paw at the interrupter without regard for who or where he contacts. B. The Lion is also very grumpy if he is awakened via a depositing Rhino or a kicking Orangutan and generally expresses his displeasure at me and me alone.

As a result of my regard for the Lion's den I have found it is best to move to the exhibit in question itself. I have spent many a night on the floor beside the Rhino cage or in the Orangutan's exhibit. Marmoset prefers to sleep on me in her exhibit if she is interrupted and therefore I have taken steps to install more Keeper friendly fixtures.

In the event I am unable to protect the den, I like you have been known to return to the lobby for the evening. I wish I could tell you that eventually your Zoo will settle into a more stable nocturnal routine. Unfortunately, I have heard from more established Zoos that the settling is short lived and then they just don't return to the Zoo until the wee hours still disrupting your rest. Take consolation in the fact that you are not alone.

Your friend,

The Zookeeper


Anonymous said...

oh I could throw a few questions at you. except that I'm way too damn lazy to name my "animals" and use the correct zoo terminology to make you understand the hell I am trying to ask about. damn me!

Robin said...

Love the blog and thanks too for answering my blog button question over at cafe mom. Where can I look for an image? I like those cute animated mommy images that we keep seeing around the blogsprere. Thanks , Robin