Talk radio

July 27, 2008

This was a really exciting week at the Zoo – I got to record a radio interview with an animal keeper in Beaver Valley!

The reporter for Metro Talk on 3WT comes out once a month to do a short piece on a new animal or happening at the Zoo. When he came out last month, I accompanied him and FONZ’s media relations manager to the Reptile Discovery Center to record an interview about green tree pythons. Through the course of the afternoon he offered me the opportunity to conduct his next interview.

Sloth bear – Hana

Not only was I allowed to conduct the interview, but I was even asked to pick the animal or topic to be featured. After looking through the archives of the past interviews and thinking about any up-coming events or happenings that the Zoo might want to promote I decided on the gray seals. There hadn’t been an interview about them (or any animal in Beaver Valley) for quite awhile and they could provide good background sounds between vocalizations and splashing. Plus, they have an interesting story coming from the U.S. Navy marine mammal program and they are really very cool animals.

Once the topic was decided, I needed to contact the keepers in Beaver Valley, where the gray seals live, and see if any of them would be willing to talk with me on the radio. Once that was decided there were timing logistics to work out and talking points/questions to be written. I compiled some facts about gray seals in general, the Zoo’s two gray seals, Gunnar and Selkie, and ocean conservation and sent them to the animal keepers to look over both for their own preparation and to ensure that all of my facts were correct.

On Wednesday, the day the interview was to take place I wasn’t nervous until we actually arrived at Beaver Valley and were introduced to Gunnar and Selkie. But, the interview went well – the animal keeper, Tina Scott, did a great job and made it really easy for me to talk to her and the seals cooperated by making the appropriate splashes and vocalizations in the background.

You can hear the interview on 107.7 FM, 3WT’s Metro Talk, on Sunday morning at 11.

Besides the radio interview I spent a lot of time writing this week. I continued to work on the calendar captions and the short animal pieces for the upcoming issue of ZooGoer . I also spent some time working on the calendar – making more photo selections, photo editing/cropping, triple-checking the dates of Zoo events and holidays, and selecting from several design options.

Asian small-clawed otters – Min and Asha

For my animal visits this week, I spent some time on Asia Trail. I was able to see a sloth bear feeding demonstration which was pretty cool, especially considering the bears are generally pretty secretive and either not in their yard or hiding from me every time I stop by to say hello.

I also had the opportunity to view the Asian small-clawed otters up close. For the first time in all my visits, the otters were actually staying still as they lounged on the rocks. Normally, I can just catch a glimpse as they scamper back-and-forth across their exhibit yard. This time, though, the two female otters, Min and Asha, were being extremely cooperative and photogenic for me.

Lastly, I stopped by the red panda yard to see Wicket and Shama, the brother and sister who have recently joined the Zoo community. I think the red pandas are so cool-looking with their super fluffy fur that is split in half – red on top and black on the bottom. They have these big bushy tails and the most endearing faces, but they are like the sloth bears and they run away if they catch me watching them, especially if I have my camera out.


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