October 28, 2016
Hello everyone! I'm Elicia Bryant and I am a senior animal care taker at Primarily Primates. I will be taking over our social media channels today to show you what it's like to be me for the day!
During morning observations and health checks, I am looking to see if there are any injuries or abnormal behavior. Our animals cannot verbally tell us how they feel, so thorough observations are vital to their well being. Just as you know and understand your pets at home, we have to know these animals well to be their voice and give them medical attention when necessary.
Maneuvering a full wheel barrow can be a tricky task for those who aren't familiar with how to drive one! In the morning after my observations, I fill my wheel barrow with two types of fruits, primate biscuits and a treat. The treats, which are usually fresh juice and grapes, are used as an incentive when my chimpanzees offer to trade blankets or toys that I had given out the day before. Fruit is given to the animals prior to hosing and primate biscuits are offered after hosing is finished.
I am very lucky to have the opportunity to care for the second oldest chimp at our sanctuary, Violet, who is 54 years young. Each morning, I prepare a concoction of a protein drink, cosequin (joint support) milk thistle (liver support), and B-12.
She also gets a protein supplement each day made from soaked primate biscuits, peanut butter, protein powder and oats. She seems to enjoy these supplements and greets me excitedly when she sees them in my hands.
Unfortunately, not all of our chimpanzees know how to brush their teeth (some can!), so we modified their oral care with an antiseptic spray that is cherry flavored. The chimps simply open their mouth and get two sprays. Their two fruits are given immediately after, as a treat for allowing me to spray into their mouths.
As an animal care taker, I spend a good portion of my day ensuring that the animals that I provide care for have clean habitats. This is one of five enclosures that I will be hosing out today with my high-pressured water hose.