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Wildtracks: Conservation, Research and Education

Wildtracks blog


Wildtracks, as defined by Kate - escapee primary teacher, UK

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Something different!! At the end of my month volunteering at Wildtracks, Zoe has asked me to write the next blog....has anyone done an acrostic before?! Here are some of my memories:

W is for warm manatee breath as Mitch or Lucky come up for air and you are up close with their beautiful whiskery faces. Having never met a manatee before, I fell in love at first sight with these gentle, affectionate animals and my swims with Khaleesi, Rhameses and the babies were the highlight of my time here. A unique experience I will never forget.

I is for interesting monkey behaviour, (Charlie's kisses, Matty's hugs through the cage with her tail, grateful chirruping from Panchita when I brought her food, Duma's meaningful looks through the cage). I enjoyed getting to know the spider monkeys on my daily feeding rounds and watching their impressive acrobatics.

L is for laughing with the other volunteers, meeting like-minded people and making new friends. Although we are from all corners of the globe I hope to meet up with at least some of you again somewhere!

D is for dirty! Dirty clothes, dirty toenails...etc etc. Whilst we all looked forward to being properly clean and well-groomed again, it was also quite liberating to just pull on the same old stained clothes again and nobody care!

T is for tarantulas. It has been a daily safari experience discovering the different wild animals that live here. I've also seen a coral snake, rat snake, boa, scorpion, frogs, toads, blue crabs, iguanas, geckos, coatis...even my first sighting of a baby armadillo! (Only some of these were in our cabana!)

R is for remembering. Helping the other volunteers with Duke's daily tube feed was an experience I will never forget. Often long and difficult, requiring calmness and sensitivity. For me, the endless patience and love that Jaimy and all involved gave in the care of this injured manatee exemplified the incredible dedication of the people that work here. A very sad day indeed when Duke passed away.

A is for advancement. I have been lucky enough to see important developments in the animals' rehabilitation such as the spider monkeys exploring their new central enclosure for the first time (often enjoying it so much they refuse to leave!) Rhameses moving into the lagoon (his head popping up out of the water having happily found his own mangrove pods in his new natural environment) and Frisky and Frolic getting new company as they joined the satellite spiders.

C is for Carmela and her incredible lunches! Quite possibly the best home cooking in the whole of Belize. I will miss her fried plantain and take with me the secrets of her great tortillas that she showed me how to make from scratch.

K is for kokonuts! Well, nearly! One of the many things I learnt here was how to find, dehusk, crack open with a machete and get meat out of fresh coconuts for the monkey feeds - a very rewarding task when you get to drink the milk.

S is for sitting at my favourite spot next to the lagoon, having alone time as I watch the ever changing sky and reflections on the water (where I am now).

Thank you Wildtracks for an unforgettable experience and the opportunity to get close these beautiful animals and to play a small part in the fantastic work you are doing.

By Kate (escapee primary teacher, UK)

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Published by: Zoe Walker at 2014-10-16 09:09:15   [Link to this article]


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