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Heather: Rodent & Butterfly Week

April 18, 2010

Last week at work I started off in the reptile park. SNAKES! It was actually pretty interesting. I helped with all the feedings, including a few crocs and Nile Monitor Lizards. To do this, we headed to the rat house to get the food. 11 rats, 10 mice, and 38 baby chicks later, we had our lunch ready! I helped feed the East African Egg Eater. Because he was just a little guy, he wasn’t able to fit the whole egg in his mouth, so we had to manually take the juices and feed it to him.

On Wednesday my day was spent in the Rat House. Basically I learned why we have what and why they’re in the cages they are. We did some transferring of rats and mice from young to old and male to female from the stock bins. Yesterday and today I was in North Quarry working at the butterfly pavilion. Normally I’m in South Quarry where all the animals are. North Quarry is basically just butterflies and walking/cycling trails. They’re really nice trails that people just come and walk around on. Except you have to be careful where you step, those millipedes are nasty! There’s like a million of them all over! And you also have to watch for Safari Ants. They bite, and it hurts! I had a shoe infestation yesterday.

But, on the other side, I was supposed to work with butterflies, learning how the breeding system works. Unfortunately, as it is the rainy season, it POURED the past two days and the butterflies weren’t out much. But I did learn a little bit from other stuff they had available. However, this afternoon, it cleared up a little bit and we went “butterfly hunting.” I must have looked so goofy with my butterfly net and orange reflector on, trying to catch these things. They’re fast little buggers. End points: butterflies 127, Heather 2.  At least I caught some. And from what my supervisor said, the ones I caught were the hardest breed to catch. Maybe he was just trying to make me feel better. But it was fun nonetheless. As I have two days next week to do whatever I want, I think I’m going to go back to North Quarry to get some better pictures and see if I can’t try out my hunting skills some more.

As for the weekend, I am going to tackle the Tanzanian border again. But hopefully it won’t be so bad since I don’t have to pay for the visa again. This time I am heading to Moshi, right at the base of none other than the largest mountain in Africa, Kenya’s gift to Tanzania, Mt. Kilimanjaro. As it is VERY expensive to climb the mountain, and I have time restrictions, though this is one of my goals sometime in life. I will only be taking on the foothills this weekend.

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