This is the Intern House right across the street from the zoo. My room is the center 2 windows with the fire escape on the 2nd floor. How very “Mary Tyler Moore”!


6 a.m. get up. Quick shower; no time for coffee. Jenna from The Aquarium of the Pacific has been working with me and is staying at the Intern House across the hall from me. We go to work together this morning

We both have Pepsi just to wake up. We get there and hit the ground running. Steve gives us a tour. When we got back to the kitchen and I began washing dishes.  LOTS of dishes! I make bowls and plates for birds. I met Cookie a “fairy” or little penguin with chronic bumble foot who is in a dry enclosure with another little penguin for company.  I stocked 8 boxes of meal worms. I chased meal worms. I let a cricket go because if he has enough balls to escape, he deserves to live.

“Still Life With Mealworms”

We had a little problem with some renegade crickets…

I cleaned the Australian-Asian Habitat and did a nice job I think. I had to break up a fight between 2 fruit bats that were arguing and smacking each other hanging from the ceiling above me. Remember that toy, “Rock’em-Sock’em Robots”? They knocked it off as long as I kept humming, “Getting To Know You”. When I hummed, they quit punching each other in the face and watched me. It was incredible to watch. They liked my work so much, one crapped on me.


Hard to see but those are my buddies, the battling Fruit Bats.

I cut up fruit and sweet potatoes for the evening bat buckets, went to lunch at Skyline Chili with the Keepers, came back and became dish commander again. Jesus. If you want to work in a zoo, be prepared for doing dishes and running a hose because that’s about all I did on Wednesday. I saw nearly everything when Steve took Jenna and I on the tour first thing in the morning.. But, I cleaned. A lot. Then I cleaned again. And I certainly didn’t see an animals from my post in front of the kitchen sink. This morning I fed the outdoor birds with Steve. I fed a Sandhill Crane, (He raked Steve with a claw and he bled like you wouldn’t believe.) Stellar Eagles, a Bald Eagle, Ducks, Andean Condors, Kookaburras, Flamingos and Swans.                      

 In the evening, the Zoo was having a picnic for the employees and I was invited. I had 2 beers and a hot dog. I was thrilled. I didn’t have to make food for myself. I had just fed and cleaned up after about 1000 birds and the last thing I wanted to do was prepare anything.  I finally got to bed about 10. I woke up about 5 because I just do. I had taken a shower the night before because Eunice, one of the Cat House employees living at the Intern House told me I smelled like fish. I will be showering the night before because what is the point of showering in the morning?  I want to be clean when I get in bed to sleep and I don’t want my bed linens smelling like fish.. And where I got the idea to put on make-up the first day I went to work is beyond me. Stupid. It was gone in 5 minutes.

Remember Cookie, the Little Parrot with Bumble foot? Here he is: