I dreamed about penguins

Trip Start Jan 05, 2009
Trip End Mar 12, 2009

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Flag of South Africa  , Western Cape,
Monday, March 2, 2009

Seriously, while i was away, i had dreams about penguins on two of the nights. I guess i missed them more than i thought i would. Well, i was back at SANCCOB today (March 1) and it was a good day despite the "challenges" of the day.
Some of the penguins are still as tough to handle as the day i left them. 028 was hell on my hands. I really expected to have worse bites than i did. 005 lulled me into a false sense of security after his fish feed and then ripped into my right index finger. 008 has completed his molt and looks so clean. I just wish he was easier to handle now... 001 may blossom into his full adult feathers before i leave. I hope so anyway. 024 (who i affectionately call Jack Bauer) is still a delight to feed. He's a mellow penguin and i like that. 007 has a much worse case of bumble foot now. I'm quite worried about her healing. I just hope she can thrive and have more clutches at Boulders soon. 497 is healing really well and was still easy to feed. We just chilled out after his fish feeds and shared some quiet moments. Nice...!
I was asked to work with the "odd birds" today in addition to my penguin duty. This meant that i had 4 cormorants and the white pelican to look after. In terms of the work, it wasn't a lot but it did have a lot of issues. The cormorants can fly inside their enclosure so catching them to put them in boxes so you can clean their pen is interesting. I had built a fort of cardboard boxes to try and contain them and it worked for 2 of the 4. the others didn't want anything to do with me and hissed and lunged. Boy was that fun. What was even more fun was trying to open the cage to get them back inside. I got two bites from that bit of fun.
They keep saying the pelican will be released soon and let me say that strength wise, he is ready to go. He's so much stronger than when i left. He's onto us too. I had to restrain him so we could give him fluids and ointment for his wounds. I missed his head with the towel and he lunged for my head. Before i knew it, i had a pelican beak grazing my neck and my necklace was in his mouth. It all happened so fast and i'm really lucky to have only come away with a scrape. The end of a pelicans beak is pointed and sharp people! Let's just say that Will, the smaller of our volunteers, was more than happy to have me wrassle him for his second wound treatment today. We had an audience for it and i'm happy to report that with a larger towel, there was much less drama. I like my neck and necklace so whew!

 By far, the best moments of the day were with the penguin chick. We have been asked by Two Oceans Aquarium to tame a penguin chick so he can be used for education with children. Seriously? this species is endangered enough that i'm surprised they took a chick that could contribute to the population out of the wild. We get to cuddle him and play with him and have interactions like we would with one of our pets. This is dreamy people. I cuddled him in the morning and put him down to see what he would do, he followed me everywhere i went and his flippers (which are too large for his body right now) would slap down on the concrete floor with every step. It was just too cute. I couldn't stop giggling. I'd say that i'm more in love with him than with Rocky but i got some good love from Rocky this afternoon so our bond is renewed. he even preened me. how can that not be the best thing ever? Regardless, these penguins have a special place in my heart.
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Where I stayed
Aviva House

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