It’s time to say goodbye to our wonderful interns, Casey and Jessica. They have worked as keepers, with us, 3 days a week for 4 months- we will miss them! Casey and Jessica are in the Zoo and Aquarium Science Program at Davidson County Community College.
On top of working and classes, the interns had to present an enrichment project. They choose to create a teepee tree for the lemurs. The goal of their creation was to increase social interaction among the Ring Tailed Lemurs. You might see this item out in the lemur yard several times a week.
During their last week working with us, I figured it would be a wonderful time to ask them a ton of questions. Aaron was a big help coming up with questions.
What is one your most preferred animal to work with and why?
Jessica– enjoys Box Turtle B because he is always eager to be social and he seems quite self-centered which I respect.
Casey- prefers the Sheep because they are the ‘smartest’ animals at the museum- here is her reasoning- I can tell they are always thinking and one day we’re going to come into work and the whole place will be rearranged. The steer will be in the bear yard, bears in the duck pen, the pigs will be in the Butterfly house, so on and so forth. But the sheep will be in their pen, just looking at you, you’ll know it was them but you’ll have no proof. And this is why Casey thinks the sheep are the ‘smartest’ animals at the museum.
What was your greatest challenge, as a keeper, here?
Casey– working with Megatron one of our pine snakes.
Jessica– super cleaning with Mikey cause he never stops talking.
What do you feel was your greatest reward?
Jessica– making the peanut butter pine cones as enrichment for the bears and then being able to watch the bears enjoy them the next day
Casey– See the picture below- This was her greatest reward!!
What was the hardest task you had to accomplish?
Casey- I had difficulty de-legging the crickets but has gotten over her fear.
Jessica-I had a hard time getting out the black rat and pine snake.
What are some skills you learned here that you will be able to take with you and apply to future positions?
Casey– Organization because everything is labeled in the kitchen and that is fabulous.
Jessica– Team work, you need to work with someone you trust, because you may work with someone that could drop branches on you during lemur super clean… not to say any names…Casey, or to warn you when your index finger is awful close to that alligator.
List a few of your “this is awesome” moments
– watching a training session in the bear house, Gus and Yona were climbing up on the doors of their bear stalls
– feeding from on top of the bear house
– when I became an ‘authority figure’ and asked our young visitors not to howl at the wolves, she’s very proud of her ability to step up and take charge
– working with Lightning
-spending 2 hours up on the bear cliff, keeping Virginia distracted, by feeding her raisins. (A boulder had fallen out from the access route the bear’s used to get up and down the cliff. Leaving Virginia stuck up on the cliff. Casey was able to keep Virginia nice and distracted so work could be done to the cliff. Click on here, and scroll down to see some good bear cliff access pictures)
– when we were super cleaning the lemur house with Jill and Kimberly and couldn’t stop talking about waffles, so we all booked it to IHOP to celebrate a job well done (Kimberly’s side note- I will have you know, neither of them ordered waffles!!!)
What was your ah-ha moment that validated your choice of career?
Casey– when I can wake up at 5am and be happy about the work I’m getting ready to do and the keepers I get to spend my day with.
Jessica– when I know it’s super clean lemur day and it’s pouring outside and I’m still excited to come to work.
Casey’s question to Jessica– Are you satisfied with the partner you got for your internship here at the museum?
Jessica– I am very satisfied, she’s my partner in crime and she keeps me on my toes. She makes me giggle with her crazy ideas and stories.
And Finally which Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle would you be? And why?
Casey says Jessica will be Donatello because just like her, he’s very clever but under appreciated.
Without hesitation Casey would be Rafael because he’s serious and doesn’t mess around, he gets stuff done.
On a serious note Casey and Jessica would like to say-
This is the best learning experience to date. With our new found skills and training by the keepers here at the Museum of Life and Science, we feel we will go into our summer internships with confidence!