Sunday, October 27, 2013

Our Little "Reminders"

Often times, we get asked about getting "too comfortable" with the animals. This is something that, at IEAS, we never allow ourselves to do. One of our past interns stated it perfectly when she said "Complacency is a keeper's worst enemy." Losing the healthy respect and fear for these animals and simply "going through the motions" of our daily routines, can inevitably lead to disastrous and potentially deadly results. An extremely strict set of safety regulations and precautions along with meticulous enforcement of safety protocols means we don't allow staff or interns to work alone or without double (and even triple) checking each step in any of our routines around the animals. We are careful to ensure that our minds are focused on what we are doing and nothing else as we work around the animals. While we, of course, love each animal and enjoy the time we spend around them, we can not allow ourselves to forget that they are wild.

That being said, the animals remind us daily of just how wild and dangerous they really are. Even those animals who seemingly have the sweetest and most docile temperaments can be deadly. All it takes is seeing Kumar, who is often revered as being a "big teddy bear" stretch against the fence, exposing his 2 inch, razor sharp claws or a yawn from Titan, showing off some intimidating canines, to remind us that one wrong move can lead to damaging and even fatal results.

We are always sure to see these daily occurrences as little reminders of the animals we are working with. No matter how deep our bonds go, instincts can always lead an animal to act on it's wild nature.

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