Great experience/Busy days/No snow! - Bill and Michelle
We arrived at Wildtracks on December 21st and became volunteers # 6 and 7.
In the first couple of days, we were taught the fine art of fruit cutting, dish washing, seagrass cleaning, browse cutting, pool scrubbing, milk prep,peccary and deer feeding, etc. We were also given the responsibility of caring for the "quarantine" spiders- Rafiki, Charlie, Frisky and Frolic.
As volunteers departed and arrived, Michelle was given the responsibility of caring for the latest arrival, a howler named Jenny, who was confiscated from Orange Walk. Jenny was very anxious and scared for the first few days and was unfamiliar with fruit and browse. She has continued to become more and more comfortable with her new surroundings. Michelle was also tasked with the care of Professor Quack (AKA- the bloody bird), a Great Curassow with a bit of an attitude. He will be moved to larger accommodations as soon as they are completed.
Bill was given the privilege of caring for 2 male adult howlers named Kong and Coco who are magnificent animals. Both were brought to Wildtracks from an urban setting and will be released back into the wild in February. Bill also spent several days maintaining a fire for heating the manatee pool, as the cold front refused to move on.
Somewhere along the way we managed to adopt Nikki, the Capuchin (quite an unforgettable character). One of our weekly highlights was to watch as the new volunteers were introduced to Nikki, resulting in a bad hair day for them for sure!
Along with the monkey duties, there was a lot of work involving Duke and Rameses, the 2 teenage manatees. There were water changes every day, tube feeding of Duke, bottle feeding of Rameses and the opportunity to swim with them as well as with Khaleesi, when the water was warm enough for her to go in the lagoon.
As we contemplate our departure tomorrow, it's with mixed feelings. It has been a unique experience and a wonderful opportunity to get to know the monkeys and manatees and see their individual personalities, but we look forward to continuing our travels through this beautiful country and following the adventures of the Wildtracks team as they continue this important work.
Published by: Zoe Walker at 2014-01-25 10:05:53 [Link to this article]
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