Act Local The Dallas Zoo By Alexis Rast 11/10/2013
For my community service I chose to help recycle, support and volunteer at the Dallas Zoo. The Dallas Zoo had a recycling drive so I began collecting cans from friends and family which I saved for two weeks.
When we arrived at the Zoo we were met by a woman that worked with volunteers, Amy. Amy took our cans and handed us a bag that had a stuffed animal, reusable cup, flash cards, bracelet, and a squeaky duck inside of it. She took us to a room where we made enrichment items for the Chimpanzees. An enrichment item is a toy or something that helps them learn with a reward inside of it. To make the item we took a paper towel roll and stuck straw on one end. Then we filled it with different treats such as walnuts, dried fruit, chex mix, and raisins. Next we stuck straw on the other end. After that we curled the ends of the paper towel roll to make it more challenging for them.
Amy told us that the chimps like looking at paintings so next we painted pictures for them. My friend painted a tiger with shoes on and I painted a tree. Last we got to give it to the chimps. Sadly we could not take pictures of the chimps enjoying the items we made but we were still able to briefly interact with them. The chimps were very intelligent, some were clapping and one of them was shaking his behind in front of us for attention.
After visiting the chimps we drove down to watch a wild encounter show about a cheetah and dog. We were told the dog helped to calm the cheetah down and that they would stay together for life. At the end of the show we got to go back stage and meet the cheetah and dog, they even let us pet them both. The cheetah had a temper when you picked him up but other than that they were both very sweet. Amani the dog is a black Labrador retriever and the cheetah had very distinct markings that were very beautiful. We eventually had to move on to see other parts of the zoo.
On the walk we got to look at other animals and their habitats including the giraffe’s. Amy was nice enough to hand us some lettuce to feed the giraffes. It took a while but they finally came by and ate some of our lettuce. When we continued the tour we got to see warthogs, cheetahs, and lions as well.
Amy pulled two tickets for camel riding our of our bags and we waited in a short line. We hopped on the camel which started moving; he was very calm, sweet, and tame. The ride was short and bumpy but we had fun. When we got off we took pictures with the camel, he kissed my ear and started sucking on my hand. After the camel ride it was time to leave.
The Zoo had so many animals that that we were not able to see but that was okay it was still a memorable day. We were able to help the environment through recycling, raise money for the zoo, volunteer, make something for the chimpanzees and go behind scenes to meet all the beautiful animals. We had a great time at the Dallas Zoo.