The Zoo

So, as written last time, Beth was going for a trial at the zoo. This week she had her first day. We went and did the trial and I must say, I was a bit worried. All of the other participants have been in some sort of employment situation, all are about 25. Beth is the only one who is straight out of school so therefore doesn’t have that work ethos yet. On the way to her trial we had a chat. I explained that she had to step up for the trial, she had to do what she was asked to do and not get distracted by the animals when sent on a task. She agreed (of course), probably more to shut me up than anything! In a way it would have been good if she had worked somewhere, especially if it was boring, so she could understand that this job is much more suited to her as far as the animals are concerned. But she’s been used to doing what she likes for the last 4 months so it made it hard.

The first job was to cut up carrots to give to the animals. Now I must admit, we don’t really offer much experience in cutting foods up. I do worry about these things, but she managed pretty well, with a sharp knife too! It wore pretty thin though. She didn’t realise she had to fill a bucket. So she cut up one carrot, cutting bigger and bigger slices, then said ‘I’ve finished!’ Loo (one of the owners, along with Steve) said that no, the whole bucket had to be filled up. When Loo’s back was turned Beth filled the whole bucket with the bag of carrots! Cheeky shit! Anyway, she did some of it. Steve took her off to feed some of the animals and reported back that yes, she did get tired of the work part pretty quickly and just wanted to visit with the animals. Steve was pleased though that Beth wrote down her task list herself and is such a good speller and writer. There were quite a few tasks to do. She even helped get the frozen baby chicks out of the freezer to feed to the kookaburras and owls. Once defrosted she even fed a couple of them. I wouldn’t have done that! There’s frozen rats for the snakes too but she hasn’t done them yet.

Steve and I had a chat and he said he didn’t think she was ready to do 3 days in a group situation yet. So the compromise is that she can do 1 day a week with 1 on 1 funding for a few months and then, if she seems to enjoy it, and it works well for them, she can go to the 3 days in a group. As we got the equivalent of 4 days of funding for group based activities we chose to combine the 3 days there. I’d rather she work somewhere that she really enjoys and am happy for her to start 1 day a week too. After we had a cuppa she got back to work and was actually really good.  She was wanting to show me around and she looked really happy!

On Monday she had her first day. We had gone and ordered her uniform which has the name of the place on it and the fact that it’s a nocturnal zoo. here’s a link to the place if you want a squiz? It’s called A Twist of Willow. It’s a bed and breakfast and the guests get a night tour of all the animals. I told Loo and Steve that we may come and stay over one night so we can do the tour and Steve said we can come and do a tour one night anyway. So I’ll wait ’til Beth has been there for a little while so that she can introduce us to all the animals. Loo very kindly sent me photos of Beth and some of the animals. She really looks the part! I’m so pleased for her, I hope it works out. It’s so easy for her to be lazy which is what she wants to do. But Loo and Steve are great with her and there was only one other participant there on Monday, plus they had a Vet on board so I think it was a really good day. Here’s a few photos of our gorgeous zookeeper!


About Sarah

Mother of an autistic child wanting to write about my personal experiences
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