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The Rock-itt : March 2010
Hello travel bug infected people out there!!!! This is the 3rd and final write up of my voyage to South Africa, and I am going to tell you more about day to daylifeasIknewitatthe sanctuary.... It was hard, it was dirty - there was confusion and chaos around every corner. Here we were, a bunch of foreigners who knew nothing of these strange animals (umm except the emus, wallabies and the kookaburra that had somehow found their way halfway across the world) and yet they were now in our care, and yes you might think, 'those poor animals' but I tell you what, I was feeling sorry for myself a little more each day. Those animals were well aware of the 'new idiots' now looking after them, and they weren't all the friendly, cuddly lovable animals from the movie Madagasca you might be familiar with, life had jaded them and some wanted revenge -five particular characters more so than the other. These were 5 parrots, macaws to be exact, not so scary right? WRONG. These guys were as big as a midget toddler (What? That's big for a bird!) and their beaks could take out an eye or a few fingers at a time. These guys were like those birds off that Alfred Hitchcock movie, and they loved scaring the crap of anyone who came in their cage. They had a certain creepy thing they would all start to do once you entered their aviary and that's when you knew you were about to be attacked. It was called 'crazy eyes' they would look at you and then make their pupils go really small then really big, really fast. They were FREAKS! I refused to go into their cage after about a week of being there. One of the girls, Tanya, toughed it out a little longer and one day they went for her -- she didn't look, she just bolted straight for the door. Unfortunately, there was a low hanging branch that just came out of nowhere - BAM! I've never seen someone coat- hangered so badly before in my life... until 2 weeks later when I did the exact same thing in another aviary. So apart from parrots I also had a bit of a run in with the flightless birds from our own backyard -- the emus. They had 6 baby emus in one enclosure and a full grown male, Sabrina, (they thought he was a she) who walked around the open area outside this enclosure. Everybody was on a rotating roster; we all had different shifts at different times. On one sunny afternoon I was alone on the emu shift, where you feed the emus and herd the baby emus into their bed pen. One confident young emu decided he didn't feel like going to bed just yet and somehow managed to get through the main gate and out the door. Sabrina was nearby watching with his beady little eyes and as soon as he saw the little one scamper out that door he was after it. This little guy obviously wanted to get his head squashed in beneath Sabrina's massive 3 clawed foot and off Sabrina went, snorting and honking, chasing after the baby emu, wanting a violent death to this challenging youngster. Can anyone guess how fast an emu can run? Now can anyone guess at how fast a worn out, extremely stumpy legged, ranga can run? Off went the baby emu, closely followed by Sabrina, then about 200 metres back was me with my arms wildly wavering in the air, yelling help at the top of my lungs. Help came, 20 minutes later. How that baby emu survived, I'll never know. Apart from a few trampled feathers, the young emu was put back in his pen never to escape again. As for me, you think I would have learnt my lesson