Learning Mumbles’ routine
Hey everyone! My name is Amanda, and I’m a primary keeper on the Hoofstock Team. You might have seen some updates from me in the past talking about the giant pandas and red panda here at the Zoo. Well, that’s because I was a primary keeper with pandas for a little over a year and a half, but recently I transitioned to the Hoofstock Team! Although I miss working with the pandas and that cute little red floof, Jackie, I actually started as an intern at Zoo Atlanta with the Hoofstock Team, so I’m happy to be back where I started!
Since I started in this area, it didn’t take long to find my groove again, but a few things did change, and you may have already guessed what one of those things is, as it was a very exciting update that we shared with you all last year! We welcomed Mumbles, our southern white rhino! I spent my first week back learning the new routine. It’s definitely different!
For starters, Mumbles is housed in a different area of the Zoo than where the Hoofstock Barn is located. In the morning, the Hoofstock Team decides where we’d like to be that morning. There are three different areas, or routines, and taking care of Mumbles is one of those three routines. To get to Mumbles in the morning, I drive a truck to the barn he’s located in. Once there, I’ll do a morning check on him and then get my tools ready. This includes a wheelbarrow (sometimes multiple wheelbarrows, as he’s a roughly 4,300-pound animal who produces A LOT to clean up), rakes, shovel, etc. While we’re in the winter months, we take into consideration what the temperature is going to be that day. During this season, it’s common to give him access from his indoor area into his outdoor habitat. Taking the temperature into consideration allows us to determine how much of his Bermuda hay we are going to place in the habitat. While I’m out in the habitat, I also check the perimeter for any debris that might have been accidentally dropped into his space, check his wallows, and provide enrichment. As I’m working, I plan out the rest of the morning. We have a hay loft above the main stall where we store all of Mumbles’ hay, so I’ll also take time in the morning to thrown down hay, weighing it out and setting it aside to use later. I’ll also weigh out his grain and get things together for the closer later in the day. Once I’m done with routine, I also like to spend some time with Mumbles before heading back. I’m glad to be back on the Hoofstock Team, and I’m really enjoying the opportunity to work with Mumbles and learning his routine.
Keeper I, Mammals