Volunteering with the lions in South AfricaTopic: Esendex news
Esendex offers employees days off work to do volunteering and charity work. Katherine, our Management Accountant packed her rucksack and headed off to South Africa, to volunteer at a lion park near to Johannesburg.
In Katherine’s spare time she runs a Brownie pack. They’ve recently been learning about animals so the opportunity was perfect for her to bring back first hand information as well as being a great experience for herself.
Katherine’s had a fantastic experience (returning to the office with only a few lion bite injuries). Take a look at what she got up to below.
Our first job of each day was to clear up the lion cub enclosures before the public came in, these cubs were 1-6 months old, but were not as tiny as I was first expecting! We also had to play with them and teach them not to bite / scratch the public that came into the enclosure to pet them.
Other duties involved preparing food for the animals that were there, which included cheetahs, hyenas, wild dogs, porcupines, jackals, aardwolf, lions, giraffe, meerkats and many more. We had to go and collect termites from their mounds to feed the meerkats and aardwolf as a treat.
Giraffe food (acacia leaves, sunflower and maize pellets) were also sold to the public by ourselves and we were there to supervise and sell. Feeding the giraffes was good fun although they do slobber a lot!
The lion park has a breeding program for white lions as these are scarce in the wild, and so numbers need to be increased, there was only 1 white lion cub at present (4 months old), as the latest litter was 3 tawny lions, that were only 5 weeks old when I arrived, so cute, but still with very sharp teeth and claws. As volunteers we had to bottle feed them 3 times a day, which was more pleasant than the raw meat we were feeding the other carnivores. Local farmers donated most of the meat we feed them with, but normally in the whole form, so we had to advise our meat man how many pieces we needed the cow/horse to be chopped into depending on how many animals we were feeding each night. Not the most pleasant job, but its all in the circle of life.