April 26, 2014 by taralynnehall
Today, I had my first day as a volunteer at our local zoo. It was seriously the best day of my life. Queue theme song!
Let me give you a little backstory.
I have been trying to become a volunteer at the zoo for 2 full years. They only accept new volunteers right before the Summer season starts, and I had missed it two years in a row. The first year, I was out of town for the only orientation day left after they got my application. Then, last year, they implemented an application deadline and I didn’t realize it until I went to print the application out and saw the deadline that had already passed. This year, I started early. Sometime around the middle of January, I started checking the zoo’s website. And filling out the contact form. And calling the administrative office. Finally, at 2 a.m. on a Saturday morning, I noticed something on their Facebook page about a volunteer open house that afternoon. So I naturally cancelled everything I had planned for the afternoon and went!
I applied soon after the open house, made it through the application and interview process, and I actually ended up signing up for both of the two separate volunteer sections. One of which requires training and shadowing, which I am not quite done with yet, and the other only really requires on-the-job training, which I essentially received today.
I don’t even think I can express how at home I feel at the zoo. I wish I didn’t have to earn a paycheck so I could just spend all of my time there.
I helped hand out super awesome recycled bird feeder kits (just add a recycled bottle and bird seed!), but I was also able to see a lot of the cool enrichment stuff they had scheduled for the animals. Including watching them feed Henry the Hippo, which I have somehow never ever seen. I only got a few pictures with my phone, but this is just a tiny glimpse of all the cool things I saw and did today!
All in all, I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about anything. I can’t even begin to imagine the adventures that await me at the zoo.