Last Week in June

I was so happy this morning to welcome back former volunteer and former temporary Animal Keeper Nicole. Nicole’s arrival and help brought smiles and cheers from the rest of the team this morning!

Nicole and Dallas.

The other thing I was sooooooo happy about this morning is Virginia’s improvement. Last week she tore part of the skin off her foot. Given the issues she has already walking it was a hard few days for her.

Can you see the quarter-sized red spot on her foot?

We’ve had her locked in the house so we could get her medicine daily. (A long acting antibiotic, some topical cleaning and medicine, and laser treatments).

Notice Janine in the photo below with Virginia. Janine is giving Virginia the command to put her paw up on the fence. Once in position we can treat the foot.

Check out this quick video of what it looks like:

Watered-down syrup (mostly water) works wonderfully to keep Virginia busy slurping away while we tend to the foot.

Gus was hanging out by the bear house this morning while we were tending to Virginia. As I was watching him eat something by the stump, he turned and looked at me, and then got up and walked over.

Gus on his way towards me.

As I was leaving Explore the Wild, I came upon Michele and Bailey from our Exhibit Development Team. They were doing a physical-distancing walk of campus, looking for pinch points and potential problem areas. We’re in heavy planning to get our campus ready to open up as safely as possible.

Bailey, left, with Michele

Coivd-19 is not going away- it’s here until we have a vaccine, so it’s critical to protect ourselves and others . My comments from an April 13 blog post still hold true:

  • stay home
  • if you have to go out, maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet
  • wash your hands often
  • don’t touch your face– masking is now often advised. (as we know now, masking is critical!)
  • Do something that makes you smile: (help someone in need, do something that makes you happy, check out Dr. Laurie Santos’ work on happiness)

You can do your own internet search about the importance of gratitude to health. Here’s one from the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.

I got my bucket filled today by seeing Nicole, having a chance encounter with Michele and Bailey, and having some pretty positive time with the bears. I also got this text from a fellow staff member. We’ve been working so hard behind the scenes with no one here. This text actually brought a tear to my eye. Yes, kind of corny, but finding little nuggets of joy and gratitude these days are what life is about.

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