Keeper Diary - January 2008
Happy new year to all readers, from everyone at ZSL. It’s a strange thing working at the zoo over the Christmas and New year period as wherever you go, there is a building up and excitement about the festive season.
However, to the zoo animals who feature in the majority of my daily thoughts there is no change at all and so at times you forget it is Christmas at all.
However, we do try to give the animals some extra treats and festive related enrichments such as stockings for the primates and bearded pigs containing some of their favourite foods which they have to open using tactical dexterity in the case of the monkeys or a less subtle, tearing approach exhibited by the pigs.
As ever the festive season brings with it generally worse climatic conditions and in recent weeks the temperature has dropped dramatically. This means extra straw bedding for the bearded pigs and smaller primates who suffer worst with the cold. No such problems for
the Bactrian camels, who are still sleeping outside in the paddock despite the option to spend the night inside in the warm. It is hard to understand as a human, but, as I discovered when I visited Mongolia, the natural habitat of the camel, even the coldest British winters seem mild in comparison and so when I come into work in the morning to find the camels sitting in the paddock with ice on their humps, I am not surprised!