Wishing a Merry Christmas to all my family, friends, supporters and fellow zookeepers - especially the ones that had to work today. While I was lucky this year to be home in Massachusetts - it is hard to be away from loved ones on such a special day, but I think I can speak for most of us, that the job is worth every minute.
The black rhino baby above is 'Jabu' - born in 2007 at the Dvur Kralove Zoo in Czech Republic. He is now at a Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania! Thanks to my friend and fellow zookeeper, Cycy, for the pic!
It's that time of year - when everyone gives thanks, and I am no exception. I am very thankful for everyone past and present in my life - they have had an impact on me and I believe have led me to this point in my life - one of great happiness.
I am also thankful to those that do not have the Thanksgiving holiday off from work and spend most of the day away from their families. There has been a recent backlash against retailers that open on Thanksgiving for early 'Black Friday' sales (and I can understand this), but let us not forget those people that have worked on Thanksgiving for years - police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, taxi drivers, news anchors/producers, utility workers, and any essential civic personnel - someone needs to plow the roads if it snows! One should also consider those that enable the parades and sports games to air on television - athletes, celebrities, musicians, dancers, commentators, referees, cameramen...the list goes on. There are also many places of business open - convenience stores, gas stations, movie theaters, restaurants (fast food or otherwise), hotels, bus/train stations, airports, theme parks and zoos. There are many people in this country that do not just work Monday-Friday - including me!
I love my job. I would not trade it for any other. But as a zookeeper, I need to care for my animals before anything else and that care needs to happen daily. I had a great day today - watching the DVRed Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (as I type this) still has magic, but there is something about working on a holiday. Like I am part of an elite superhero team, ignorant of holidays and committed to saving the world - by taking care of animals. We made one of our black rhinoceros, Forrest (above), a Thanksgiving treat - a cardboard turkey, stuffed with alfalfa and cantaloupe, spritzed with almond scent and feathered with a molasses-coated dried palm frond with banana feet - and he enjoyed it to say the least.
Thank you to those of you that worked today - and may still be working. I appreciate all you do for our society.