Animal Refuge, Guatemala

Trip Start Feb 14, 2006
Trip End Dec 15, 2006

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Flag of Guatemala  ,
Thursday, September 14, 2006

Dear everyone

Thanks for all the incredible support the blog has been getting. Only have a brief amount of time to write at the moment as the animal welfare organisation runs a pretty tight ship and I can only check the internet for about 30 minutes per week.

So, what is it like working with the animals

I have learnt 2 things so far. 1) Jaguars are aggressive, angry and truly vicious animals. They do not like me. They do not like it when I am near them. This is often rather scary as our Jaguar has only a thin chicken-wire fence separating her teeth from my arse. However, I try to visit her 3 times a day to say hello and make stupid-little-cat-noises that I think will make her like me. All that usually happens is she gets so pissed off and angry she almost throws herself through the fence to eat me. I think we are 'getting there'.

My main job is actually to work with birds. Parrots, McCaws and beautiful Toucans (the bannana-bill type). 3 times a day I basically clean up a group of 40 violent, willfull and thoroughly insubordinate brats who, quite frankly, do not appreciate any of the work that I do for them. I would love to say that seeing them released makes it all worthwhile but unfortunately I have only seen one die. (Black humour approaching) It was worthwhile.

There are naturally many other animals at the refuge. We have 3 giant tarantulas that terrorize the land just outside our door and it is now a regular occurence to find giant scorpions either a) in my bed or b) in the shower.

That said, I am having a great time. If the temperature was just a little cooler it would be wonderful but from the news reports I am getting it seems Australia is probably in a worse position than I am.

Lots of love and have to get back to work

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