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What People Think I Do

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Animal Updates | Mammals | Volunteering

Thursday, August 28, 2014


What People Think I Do
What the public thinks I do. Get kisses from sea lions.

Working the 80% to enjoy the 20%

There is a popular meme out on social media called “What People Think I Do” that shows what different people think your job involves depending on their perspective.

As a husbandry (animal care) volunteer mine could be described tongue in cheek as the following:

Marine Mammal Volunteer at the Aquarium of the Pacific

  • WHAT MY FAMILY THINKS I DO: Throw clams at sea otters while still wearing my business clothes.
  • WHAT THE PUBLIC THINKS I DO: Get kisses from a sea lion.
  • WHAT MY FRIENDS AND COWORKERS THINK I DO: Play Frisbee with sea lions.
  • WHAT THE MEDIA THINKS I DO: Hang out at the aquarium surrounded by friendly seals, sea lions and sea otters.
  • WHAT I THINK I DO: Visions of being a savior of endangered species.
  • WHAT I REALLY DO: Get wet and filthy while scrubbing the animal habitats clean.

OK so all of the above are at least partially true but in reality 80 percent of the time during a husbandry volunteer’s shift does consist of cleaning exhibits and holding areas, preparing food, keeping detailed animal records and doing the dozens of little things that helps the husbandry department take great care of the animals.

It’s the 20 percent of the day that involves direct interaction with the animals however that makes volunteering so fulfilling. Speaking of the 20 percent; check out the video below for a GoPro view of how I spend the two tenths of my volunteer shift with the critters. It’s up close and personal with sea lions, seals, sea otters and penguins from a husbandry volunteer point of view.

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