9th Day Other Cages & Primates 1 Team

Cha-am Travel Blog

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Oly and Olivia (Oriental otters of two types)

I was on Other Cages this morning on my own and since I was due to help clean solitaries at 9am I figured I had to clean all 13 enclosures in 2 hours. I started with Ollie and Olivia, the otters, then Sam's enclosure with the wild pigs and mousedeer which is mostly sweeping up pig swill, horse turd, and making mud baths for the piggies. Then the loris, which are a pain because of the red ants that hang out in the food bowl and make it difficult to collect them. I came back to the otters' cage to clean the outside when Elise came by to feed them so I could shut them in. This is probably the worst job; otter poo smells like nothing else. *heave!* Since she hadn't fed the birds yet I asked her to help me clean the aviary, but when she went to feed the langurs first she found one dead in the cage.

My favourite - Jung
She was really upset and worried that she would get blamed as she has been on Special Diets for a few days, but I assured her he would have to be malnourished for a pretty long time to die from it. As it turns out the vets think it was a snake bite in the night, so she needn't worry. But it is pretty sad for everybody, the langurs are the sweetest-looking things in the centre and everybody's darlings.

I really wanted to find someone else to help Elise do the aviary but since most people have already gone to breakfast I had to face my fears and go in with Randy the dive-bombing Hornbill. Since we were armed with food it was easier than last time, but he still found time to terrorise us while swooping to all the various perchs to steal the papaya (his favourite).

Hungry for breakfast and thirsty for life-giving coffee, I still had 3 iguanas to clean out and the baby loris in the hospital. The iguanas were easy, though climbing through a hole 2 feet wide by 2 feet tall on the ground and climbing into a cage full of branches to hose was really one of those 'I can't believe they've got me doing this' moments. The loris was easy, and I finally made it to breakfast by 9.20am. Thankfully cleaning solitaries was cancelled so I was free till 2.15pm apart from a couple of 10 minute water runs! Hurray! 

I like doing the water runs - the monkeys get water 4 times a day, though 2 people from Primates 1 do the first round and clean the buckets at the same time, and then another pair do the other 3. The water runs only take a short while and there is always the amusement of the asshole gibbons who rush the wire fence and shake the bucked, throwing the water everywhere and making you jump back in fright. If someone is nearby, you might employ them to try and distract the little bastard, but they are pretty smart. Emi had no water in her watering can and I was trying to fill the bucket with a long-armed aggressive gibbon sitting on the wire by the bucket waiting for me to make a move. We swapped cans so she could fill the others but he just followed her, knowing that the empy can was just a decoy.

Then at Big Mama's enclosure in the forest, her cage is next to Tung Tong's, and standing on an elevated platform, both water buckets lie within reach of both monkeys, so filling them is a problem if either or both of them are feeling mischevious or sitting near the buckets. You can try and do a quick fill up but the danger of being grabbed by one or both is particularly acute when at the top of a ladder. We managed though, like we always do.

I popped down after dinner to the internet cafe and Pilar and I had a slightly scary walk back in the dark. We aren't advised to walk to and from the village at night because there are been so weird people around at times, so we go in groups if we go at all (though more often we just go during daylight). More frightening though were all the stray dogs, who snarled at us as we walked by, sometimes looking like they wanted to approach but thankfully always keeping a safe distance away. Once we we away from the village though the walk through the dark forest was just nice by moonlight, with brief flashes of pink lightning in the distance from a non-existant storm.

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Oly and Olivia (Oriental otters of…
Oly and Olivia (Oriental otters o…
My favourite - Jung
My favourite - Jung
Cha-am
photo by: thelailama