There are a lot of weeks when I go to EFRC that either don't end up doing very much actual work, or I only end up doing work because I actively push to find something to do. Either way leaves me feeling a little bit hollow, in that my volunteer efforts really aren't needed. It's nice that they let me walk around and enjoy the cats, but it doesn't feel like it would really matter very much to them if I didn't.
Today was not like that. The feeding and cleaning patrol was a little bit understaffed, and neither Kathryn or Karen, the experienced keepers, were there. The employees were new or at least newer, so there was some loss of efficiency, and there were thundering hordes of tourists coming through the whole day. It's good to have visitors, they bring in money and raise awareness of the facility, but each group of visitors has to have a tour guide, which means a person who can't work on feeding and cleaning for somewhere between 20 minutes and an hour.
I didn't do anything unusual or exciting. I put vitamins on meat and pushed wheelbarrows and filled water buckets. And put more vitamins on meat and pushed more wheelbarrows and filled more water buckets. I picked up some bones and poop and scrubbed a water tank and pushed wheelbarrows. Did I mention there was a lot of wheelbarrow pushing?
It was not a terribly hot day, probably about 80, but it was sunny, and I really found that wearing my big black gauntlets was making me very hot and miserable. By midafternoon, I just couldn't take putting them on again, and I put on a pair of the light surgical style gloves everyone else uses. I don't like them because they're too fragile. The people who wear them all day typically have one or more of them tear while they're using them -- exposing their hands to the icky stuff they're wearing gloves to avoid in the first place. But today I was far more comfortable with the light gloves. It felt like it was ten degrees cooler with the gauntlets off than on. Considering how poorly I deal with heat, and how hot I was feeling this not-too-hot day when I was wearing the gauntlets, I'm afraid I am going to have to give in and use the disposables for the rest of the summer, at least on days when I'm really working.
On the cage front, Boipelo the male serval is now outside in a temporary enclosure, instead of in the house in a small area. He didn't seem to be terribly happy about his new quarters today, but it seems likely he'll be happier there once he gets used to it. And I didn't actually see the construction (I was much too busy), but it seems that the construction crew is done doing maintenance and emergency temporary enclosures, at least for a while, because they were setting poles for the next big permanent tiger cage. I really hope they can stay on track there, because we really need several big permanent tiger cages. Too often, it seems that other problems get in the way of actually working on the big cages.
By the end of the day, I was too tired to have any enthusiasm for walking around taking photos, so I have very few pictures today. My feet hurt, and I can hardly keep my eyes open. So I'm not going to write any more here, and as soon as I can get the dishes taken care of, I'm going to sleep.