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Seal Sanctuary Volunteering - Day 15

Posted on July 16, 2012 at 10:25 AM

10th May 2012

Today Jess got taken with Claire to deep clean the rockpools, so I got Reef’s food and went to the paddocks, not really looking forward to doing them all alone. I need not have worried, Emma came with me and we had just fed the horses when Jenny arrived. She was really kind and said how I had done a lot on the paddocks so I could spend the morning with her. As it’s our last week I think they are really trying to make the most of it for us. I cut up squid for the rockpools – taking out the spine which was weird, like a sort of plastic thin sheet – and the yolk out of the chickens for the otters. Then we drove down to the penguins. Jenny asked me whether I knew who was who, thanks to the coloured tags, and I was glad I asked Dan that question a few days ago.

Gilbert – Green

Ivy – Black

Ruby – Red

Piran – White

Lola – White and blue

I took the bowl of sprets and went in the enclosure, hand feeding the penguins and calling out their names to Jenny to do the tally. It was difficult at first, to quickly say their name while feeding the next one, plus only saying their name when they actually ate it – if they drop one on the floor they don’t eat it and sometimes another penguin will snatch it. I quickly got the hang of it and it was good fun, I hope I get to do it again.

Once feeding was over I scrubbed penguin poo, washed rocks and raked the sand. It might not sound great, but I had not done much with the penguins so just to be in the enclosure with them was brilliant, however it was sad without Barney, who had a yellow tag.

Next we gave the sea lions their breakfast and went to the otters. Once we cleaned the inside we shut them in their house and Jenny collected sawdust that they had kicked out and tidied up, as I hid food all around their enclosure. I gave them a monkey nut each and we headed back to clean the sea lions. I couldn’t do much, not being allowed in with them, so I chatted and kept Jenny company while she scrubbed their poo away. She cleaned the massive filter and back-washed it, which was interesting to watch although I wish she had talked me through what she was doing a little more.

We drove back to the top to collect the buckets and had a tea break before the morning feeds. I watched Jess do Andy for a change as Claire took Chaff, then trained Logsy. He was really loud today and a little lazy, but did well. He has basically moulted completely now and is a very pretty big boy!

Afternoon fish prep went fast, then I just washed up and cleaned around a bit. Then updated the paperwork onto the computer for all of the seals, sea lions, otters, horses, sheep and goats. Oh, and Reef of course. Everyone except the penguins. This was just taking notes of the individual’s paperwork, such as ‘Babyface very hungry, increased feed to 2kg per day’, ‘Luna squinting only in left eye, monitor and update PR when phones’ or simply ‘wormed’, and putting it onto the computer. I finished this at 1pm, just in time for lunch.

At 2pm the afternoon feeds all went fine and after cleaning the buckets Jess, Emma and I went to the horses. I groomed a horse for the first time ever and learnt how to clean their hooves. Pretty simple as long as you are confident and firm with them, but a muddy job, particularly in the rain. I would prefer to cuddle a seal than a horse though, even when they twisted round or shook their body they made me jump! Just not a big horse fan I guess.

Then I helped the afternoon feeding, clean and close down. Great day as always!

Categories: Gweek Seal Sanctuary

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