My son is eleven years old, so I figured it was time for him to start learning a career. So rather than sending him to some camp to fool around, he spent five days at Pawsitively Pets Kids Camp, which puts kids who love animals to work and trains potential junior zookeepers. And if the life of caring for exotic animals doesn't pan out, he can always try his hand as a journalist. Here's my son's account of his time behind the scenes at Jungle Cat World through Pawsitvely Pets Safari program:
Ahhhh the smell of tiger poo. Well, when you arrive at Jungle Cat World that’s what you’re going to smell. As bad as that may sound it is amazing to see huge cats like lions and other jungle animals like hyenas gulping down a dead chicken. I was lucky to see a wolf catch a live goose in the air. It was amazing! He jumped up and caught it in the air, and then they struggled on the ground for a while. Feathers flew and blood splattered but the wolf had a good meal…and the audience a great show.
You can see lions and tigers…sorry, no bears. But you can see foxes and even a lemur!
Another great experience is the camp.
On my first week of March break I decided to spend it as a zookeeper at Pawsitively Pet Camp. It may seem like scooping poop and cleaning cages…and that’s exactly what it is!
But there’s more! You meet friends, you meet the wild cats and of course you meet the bunnies! In the midst of all this there are even snakes, lizards, and spiders for you to meet and hold.
In zoo camp you're going to clean animal cages, feed and water animals and you even get to hold the animals!! Ever wanted to hold a blue tongue skank? Well here’s your chance! After working hard with all theses animals all day you might get to play a game in the forest which is so much fun…and a REALLY good way to get dirty.
This camp is an amazing way to learn a lot too. I learned that ecto-thermal is the fancy word for cold-blooded animals! Or that a tarantula’s venom will not hurt you because the venom has the potency of a bumblebee’s sting! Did you know that lemurs live in a matriarchy? A matriarchy is when the female dominates the troupe. Lemurs live in a troupe.
You must be wondering who taught me all of this. Well I’m going to tell you. Carl Tordiff is the animal coordinator at Jungle Cat World. He also teaches us everything we know about these animals.
Every day after camp I would get a call from both my grandmothers asking if I was eaten and every time they got the same answer. No, I’m fine! The reason I’m fine is because of the amazing zookeepers at Jungle Cat World. Yes we clean a jaguar’s cage every day and yes we feed a lion every day and yes there is an electric fence that ensures that it is safe. So yes it is safe for your kids to come and enjoy. Here's a photo I took from inside one of the serval cages.
All in all I would rate this camp 10 out of 10. Why? Because of the amazing staff, because of the amazing experience of having an endangered tiger stand in front of you, because of the friends you’ll make, because of the memories you’ll form. March Break is over, so I've already asked my mom to sign me up for a summer session.
*NB: This post was written by my son. The only editing I did was spelling and grammar. He also took all the photos except when he was in the shot. And yes I'm proud. And yes I was worried a tiger was going to eat him. And yes I said yes to a summer session. He can't decide between the Mini Vet, Junior Dog Trainer, and Animal Adventure programs.