Lions and tigers and bears! Oh my!

June 6, 2008

These first few days of the internship have been a crazy whirlwind of getting to know the staff, the policies and procedures, and of course, the animals.

ZooGoer is a bi-monthly magazine and is generally shipped out just before the first of the month for which it was published. That means that I started working right at crunch time for the July/August 2008 issue. I jumped right into copy editing, factchecking, and photo gathering. Besides the articles that run in each issue there are also other editorial pieces – such as updates about zoo happenings and the table of contents that need to be put together.

Giant panda – Mei Xiang

So far I have had the opportunity to help out, in some capacity, on every single element of the magazine which has been both exciting and enlightening. There are so many things to think about besides writing! Particularly because my supervisor, the editor of ZooGoer, is the only staff member working on the magazine, she has to think about budget issues in terms of buying photography and even paying for the postage to mail the magazine to members.

Not only have I gotten to work with Communications staff, but I have also had an opportunity to meet curators, directors, vets, etc. I even met with the zoo photographers to discuss a project and was able to peruse their files and check out hundreds of pictures! In the short time I’ve been here I’ve also gotten to meet with the animal keepers and talk with them about their roles in the animals’ lives and what their jobs entail on a day-to-day basis. Their jobs are so interesting! Imagine getting to hang out with wallabies or sloth bears all day long – how cool.

Of course, I couldn’t possibly work at the zoo without spending time with the animals themselves. My supervisor and I have made it our mission to visit a new animal, or group of animals, every day during lunch.

Asian elephant – Ambika

To date I have introduced myself to the birds both inside and outside the Bird House (I even saw a peacock showing off its feather train just yesterday!), the Asian elephants – Ambika, Shanthi and Kandula, all of the species in the Small Mammal House (where I must admit I gained a new favorite animal every time I peeked into a new exhibit), and the giant pandas – Tian Tian, Mei Xiang and Tai Shan. The pandas remain my absolute favorite animal even though they did not seem interested in showing off at all and spent the entirety of my visit lounging around their habitat.


One Response to “Lions and tigers and bears! Oh my!”

  1. FB said

    What a great blog! Thank you! And are the pandas still your favorites?

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