The Jungle Diaries: Week 3

Biton and me howling

Hola from Bolivia!

Before my volunteering experience is over I thought I´d run through what a typical day is like in the shoes of an unqualified zoo keeper. Here goes:

6.15 am (though more like 6.30 am over the past few days) Wake up. Boil a pot of water to make milk for a baby howler monkey called Luis.

6.45 am Prepare breakfast (a mix of fruit and vegetables) for 5 howler monkeys. Hide medicine in bananas for three of the monkeys.

7.15 am Walk to the baby monkey´s cage. Clean the floors and platforms. Feed Luis his milk and give the others their bananas and breakfast.

7.45 am Walk to Biton´s cage. He is an adult male howler monkey who is kept seperate as he attacks other monkeys. Clean his cage and give him his food. Often, I have to throw a piece of banana on the floor to distract him long enough to get out of his cage. Otherwise he just sits on me for 20 minutes.

8 am (if I manage to escape) Wash the empty food buckets and milk bottle.

8.10 am Breakfast for me!

9 am Take the baby monkeys out of their cage for exercise. There are two monkey parks. My favourite is Monkey Park 1 as it has a mosquito net!!!

11.15 am Return the baby monkeys to their cage.

11.30 am Prepare lunch for the howler monkeys.

12 pm Clean both monkey cages and put out the lunch.

12.30 pm Lunch and break time for me!

2 pm start preparing dinner for the house animals and night monkeys. The house animals include: 2 emus, 2 taipers, 3 mecaws, 3 tucans, 1 wild pig, 1 racoon-like animal.

3 pm start delivering the food to the house animals and cleaning their cages.

5 pm Finish working on house animals and clean the animal kitchen.

5.30 pm Take a shower, change to clean and dry clothes.

6.30 pm Have dinner

7 pm Take the night monkeys their food, drinking water and hot water bottles if it´s going to be a cold night.

7.20 pm Walk the night monkeys.

8 pm Return the night monkeys to their cages.

8.15 pm Shower. Possibly hang out with other volunteers or get ready for bed!

I hope you enjoyed this insight into the life of an unqualified zoo keeper!






Published by Lettice

Lettice is an avid traveller, volunteer and writer. Follow her blogs for tips on where to go, what to do, and how to get there.

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