Emergency Training: Making Darts

Do you ever wonder what we do on closed Mondays?  (Today, we’re cleaning the bear pool).

We do several Emergency Training Drills a year and a closed Monday is the perfect opportunity. I recently wrote about lemur tracking, we also do full on drills that include fake animal escapes and or damage due to storms or trees down, you might recall when Leslie played a bear. Today’s post is about making darts.

We would potentially use a dart to sedate an escaped bear and maybe even a wolf. Our dart bags are labeled well but without practice it’s a very nerve raking experience. Here you can see several people in different stages of making darts. We of course use water as our “drug” during drills and depending on the size of the animal we would be darting, the amount of “drugs” vary. So we practice making lots and lots of darts, for all the potential animal sizes. Afterwards we go outside and practice shooting them into a target- no not one of Sherry’s stuffed animals. In the event of a real emergency there always has to be two people making darts together. So during practice we pair up in teams.

Several of us making darts, can you pick out the non-keepers in the picture?
Sarah and Maya making darts
Marilyn focusing on her darts
Annie, Katy, and Jessi
You can see the back of Mike in this picture practicing with us


Next, we went outside and practiced shooting our darts into two targets.

We make a radio call alerting all staff of our plans so no one accidentally walks out or wonders what in the world we are doing.

Oops Jessi missed the target





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