Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Photo Adventures--Part Six: "A Day with the Mammal Keepers at Cameron Park Zoo"

For my final photo project in this class, we were assigned to do a photo story, complete with a narrative paper and 20 good pictures.  I wanted to do something interesting that no one else would probably tackle.  I chose the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco...but I captured beyond what any spectator who paid a $10 admission fee would see—I went behind the scenes with the mammal keepers.
I went into it not really knowing what to expect, and I don't think the mammal keepers really knew what to do with me.  I ended up following three different keepers as they closed down their sections of the zoo.  I saw giraffes, lions, tigers, rhinos, and elephants. Oh my! (Couldn't resist.) It was very cool to say the least.  I observed the keepers cleaning the cages, transporting animals from one area to the next, and feeding the mammals their specified diets.
What did I take away from the experience? I'm pretty sure I was ravished by mosquitoes.  By the way he was growling, pressing up against the bars, and staring at me, I think the lion wanted to change up his diet that day. The feisty and playful tiger cubs were kept in a separate cage from their parents because the parents are a danger to their babies since disowning them. Rhinos are shy. Giraffes are curious. Elephants are sassy and playful.  And the mammal keepers of the Cameron Park Zoo are passionate about their jobs and do a lot to take care of the animals.

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