At the Armadale Reptile Centre
Onslow pulling a face no one can resist.
Pain in the Behind
Rufus is always trying to escape from his enclosure by sitting on the door waiting for you, and trying to sneak out without you noticing.
This little girl is either asleep, or doing laps of her pen. If you are raking up leaves and droppings, she will charge at you attempting to knock you over.
Pain in the Behind
After cleaning the stables to a high standard, the four water buckets need scrubbing and refilling, using the hose next to the stables.
Under the pavement in the picnic area, ants have decided it is a great place to live. Which means they remove sand from under the pavement, and push it on top of it instead. Using outdoor brooms, two or three workers will sweep up the ants unwanted sand, and use a dustpan and brush to pick up the sand, put it in a bucket and take it to the scarps wheelbarrow.
At 3 o'clock every day, afternoon cut up is organised and prepared by two or three workers. Using chopping boards and knives, each worker will prepare food suited to a certain animal. A variety of vegetables, fruits and meats are cut to sizes suited to each animal and put on plates or in bowls. Workers are careful not to contaminate an animals food by only preparing fruits and vegetables or only preparing meats, washing the chopping board and knife in between.
Once cut up is finished, workers distribute each plate and bowl to the correct enclosures, taking empty plates and bowls to the kitchen to wash. Some animals, like the turtles and tawny frog mouths, need to be hand fed, using long handled tweezers to put the food close to their mouth so they can grab a hold and eat it.
The make shift hospital on the premises holds a Goulds Monitor who was brought in after being found in a bad condition. He has healed well, and well behaved, but unfortunately he refuses to eat on his own. With the help of two other workers, one holding him and another pulling his bottom jaw down, I used plastic tweezers to pull his top jaw up and place a mouse inside his mouth. Thankfully he ate it without problems occurring.
Major Tasks I Enjoy
Kiya is the handsome young dingo who lives on premises. He was raised in a household environment, treated as a domestic dog, before being handed over to the centre. He is given daily cuddles, and taken on daily walks. These walks are supervised by two workers, and take place around the centre, staying clear of the kangaroos.
Tawny frog mouths are nocturnal birds, often mistaken for owls, and fed twice daily; in the morning and afternoon. Carrying chickens cut into thirds on a large chopping board, I use long handled, metal tweezers to feed these birds; holding the chicken above their head for easy access and for easy digesting. Each bird will eat two pieces of chicken in the morning, and two pieces of chicken in the afternoon.
Cleaning of the frog ponds, emptying the dirty water into a bucket, and refilling it with clean water.
Health checks of the animals is a must, looking over the animal for cuts, swelling, or anything abnormal.
Taking Kiya on his daily walk, giving him a good run around the centre.
Positive & Negative Aspects
Conversation flows easily with other workers, as similar interests are shared. Topics range from uni studies which workers are involved in, to funny moments with the animals. Each worker cares just as much as everyone else about the health and safety of all the animals kept on and off premises.
Weather conditions change, as everyone knows, but these conditions can be tough to work in. Outside all day in the heat takes its toll, being dehydrated and in the sun is hard. Wet weather makes chores such as raking 10x harder, making sand harder to sieve. As majority of tasks are outdoors, you can expect to be drenched in rain from head to toe.
Some would be surprised as to how much manual labour is involved with animal care. Maintenance of the centre needs to be kept to certain standards; shifting sand, hours of sweeping and wiping down display windows is done on a weekly basis. You will find muscles your body has forgotten about.
While cleaning the frog ponds, these little guys become fascinated with what we are doing.
After walks, Kiya enjoys having cuddles.
Baby Joey was hand raised before being placed with the rest of the kangaroos. She is slowly gaining bravery, hopping over to say hello, but hops away if you try to pet her.
In every work environment, problems are going to occur where thinking fast to solve it is a crucial skill. My personal problem solving skills have improved majorly, where I can work independently or as a team to solve any problems which may arise.
Sick & Injured
Holding the bobtails behind the head makes it near impossible for them to turn and bite you.
This little butcherbird is incredibly friendly, he will sit on your head and shoulder while you clean out his enclosure.
The three donkeys kept at the centre will try and block you from raking their pen.
Sick & Injured