In the Pocket of a Keeper

Sherry just bought a new camera for the Animal Department (I was thinking about starting this post by saying, “I totally talked Sherry into buying a new camera for the Animal Department”, because I totally did, but I won’t). It’s pretty fabulous and quite perfect because it’s shockproof up to 5 feet and waterproof up to 10 feet. Not water resistant, but waterproof. Meaning I could hop right into the muskrat exhibit and take an underwater picture with him. One of those ones where I hold it out at arms length and we say cheese. But I haven’t actually gotten up the nerve to put a digital camera underwater yet (because that would be crazy). And the 5 feet shockproof spec is perfect for the 5′ 2″ keeper holding it right at eye level! Boy! I haven’t been this excited since the bike trailer! (It’s been a very exciting month)

So, since it’s so resistant to various arrays of trauma, I’ve taken to keeping it in my pocket all the time, with the goal to turn all of those I-wish-I-had-a-camera moments into I-wish-I-had-a-camera-hey-wait-I-do-have-a-camera moments. The first day was a failure because there was a completely perfect moment in the farmyard where Lightning the donkey was tied up outside of Max the steer’s fence so they could eat breakfast together, and Ozzie the turkey was walking around and comes over to join them. It was really cute, but I tragically had left the camera in the building, AND Sherry was in the farmyard asking me why I didn’t have the camera when she just got the camera so that I could have it on me and take this cute picture of the farmyard breakfast and then drop it and have it bounce into the duck pond only to be retrieved unscathed. Since then I’ve kept it (almost too diligently ) in my pocket and am ready to share what will hopefully be the first of many insightful tours of what exactly a keeper (or at least this keeper) takes pictures or videos of when armed with an unbreakable camera at all times. Enjoy!
First, I go to the bear house. Kristen threw a basket into the bear holding yard when the bears were locked up while we were in their exhibit yard. It’s a very light weave basket. Mimi and Virginia were all about it, but Gus was quite afraid of it. In this video you can see the girls sniffing it with curiosity and Gus is the bear looking unsure and running away from it.

Then Gus mans up (um, sort of):

Then Gus feels insecure about being afraid of the basket when the girls weren’t, so makes himself feel better by wrestling a full grown bear (Mimi):

Then it’s off to the wolf exhibit. An unexpected visitor in the side cage (a toad):


Then I go back to the building to find a cute ‘possum sleeping (Beaker):

And then since I’ve kept it in my pocket all day, I forgot it was in there and bring it home and take a cute picture of my dog (Cocoa):

Today I’ve actually used it for work purposes–while I had the exhibit salamanders out feeding them, I took new identification pictures that I’ll use to make a better, more updated identification sheet. When I was taking one of them out of their water dish, its tail splashed my eye and camera with water. Not a problem for the camera (more of a problem for my eye)!

6 responses to In the Pocket of a Keeper

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    Leslie says:

    Wendy, I think it's because he came from Augusta County in VA.Great videos Erin! My dog has the same scared response to new things as Gus. Must be the young male thing.

  2. Avatar
    Sherry says:

    Beck-Gus really is special: he doesn't back down from other real bears, but when it comes to baskets, vehicles, stuffed animal bears, and numerous other silly things, he is very tentative and runs away!

  3. Avatar
    Erin Brown says:

    Melissa,Thanks for the comment! I enjoyed checking your blog out. Good luck with your keeper motivation! Let us know if we can help (the camera definitely does)!

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