Volunteering at a lion park in South Africa

Topic: Esendex

lionsOne of the great things about working for Esendex is that the company encourages employees to do volunteering and charity work, allowing them to take extra days off work.Katherine, our Management Accountant runs a Junior Guides pack in her spare time.  Recently, they’ve been learning about animals, so when the opportunity arose for her to volunteer at a lion park near to Johannesburg in South Africa, she rushed to pack her rucksack.  As well as being a great experience, it was perfect for her to bring back first hand information.Katherine’s had an incredible experience (and she only came back to the office with a few lion bites!).  Check out what she got up to below.My first job was to clear up the lion cub enclosures each day before the public came in. The cubs were between 1 and 6 months old, but not as tiny as I was expecting! I also had to teach the cubs not to bite or scratch the public when they came into the enclosure to pet them.My other duties involved preparing the food for the other animals. These include, hyenas, wild dogs,  jackals, aardwolf, lions, cheetahs, giraffe, meerkats, porcupines and many more.   I also had to go and collect termites from their mounds to feed the aardwolf and meerkats as a treat.We sold Giraffe food to the public (acacia leaves, sunflower and maize pellets). Feeding the giraffes was great fun although they do slobber a lot!The lion park has a breeding program for white lions. White lions are scarce in the wild and numbers need to be increased. On the park there was only 1 white lion cub which was 4 months old.  The latest litter was 3 tawny lions, which were only 5 weeks old when I arrived.  They were so cute, but still had very sharp teeth and claws. As a volunteer, I had to bottle feed them 3 times a day which I found more appealing than feeding the other carnivores with raw meat.  Most of the meat we fed them was donated by local farmer, usually as a whole carcass.  So depending on how many animals we were feeding each night, we had to advise our meat man on how many pieces we needed the cow/horse to be chopped into.  Not the most pleasant job, but it’s all in the circle of life.

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Liz Wilson