Today was my first official day working as a volunteer/intern at the Detroit Zoo and I am super excited for what’s to come! I even have a picture I.D. and everything; I’m so official. I don’t have any pictures yet because a lot of the work we did today was orientation and getting established with the zoo’s online system to track our hours- you know, all the really fun stuff. However, do expect tons of pictures to come!!!
From what I saw, the brand new wolf exhibit is my favorite. I know a lot of people are really excited about the penguin exhibit (and it’s definitely worth being excited about!) but I absolutely love wolves – they’re my favorite wild animal – and the two new wolves at the Detroit Zoo are gorgeous. There is one male, solid black, and one female, solid white, and I believe they are a mated couple. I can’t pronounce they’re names quite yet, but I am so excited to potentially do work with them.
What I will be doing in the near future (and I’m not sure how much of this I’m allowed to share, so sorry if some of this is a bit vague) is writing short film scripts for educational documentary videos about Antarctica. In the process of preparing for the new penguin exhibit, the zoo put together a team that traveled to Antarctica to learn all about the penguins, the nature, and what needed to be done here in Detroit to make the best possible exhibit for the animals and for the public. That being said, I will be working on educational materials for both the penguin center and for Sphere of Science exhibit (which, to be completely honest, I know nothing about – it’s been a while since I’ve been to the zoo!)
A lot of what I am going to be doing will require some pretty heavy research as I go through all of the documents collected by the zoologists and staff who traveled to Antarctica. I love research (because I’m a nerd like that) so I’m really pumped to get started!
I will try my absolute best to keep you guys up-to-date on some of the things that I’m doing, stories about the animals, pictures, etc. Like I said, I’m not sure what exactly I’m allowed to share as of yet, so I will have to talk to my supervisor about that first. At the very least, definitely expect stories and pictures of the animals!
If you are from the Detroit area and can make it to the zoo, take a look at the series of holes in the grass barrier outside of the kangaroo exhibit. Those are groundhog burrows – apparently they have a little underground city going with all of the tunnels they’ve dug. They have also made their way into the prairie dog exhibit, and sometimes they decide to try to hide among them. So, if you happen to be at the prairie dog exhibit and notice an animal a little bit too large to really fit in, that’s a groundhog going through an identity crisis 🙂
I also learned that the majority of the animals that come to the Detroit Zoo are rescues in need of rehabilitation or species that are severely endangered in the wild. For example, did you know that there are only around 3,000 zebras left in the wild? As I learn more about the animals, I will definitely share their stories with you!
I will stop here because I don’t want this post to be too long. Updates to come later!