It’s not every day Malayan tiger Batu searches his one-acre habitat for dozens of hidden meatballs. But when 25 volunteers spend four hours cleaning it, they get the special task of hiding his food and watching from a behind-the-scenes location as he enters to find it.
“Hiding Batu’s food was the best part,” said 16-year-old volunteer Cierra Smith-Vaughn. “The keepers said he can stand nine feet tall, so I tried to hide it as high as I could.”
Our wonderful volunteers put in much appreciated work that would have taken our zookeepers triple the amount of time to complete. Here’s the roundup:
- Bagged 150+ 60-gallon bags of leaves
- Filled two trailer loads full of dead bamboo
- Wheelbarrowed in four tons of river rock to build a dry stream bed to control water erosion from the viewing building
- Drained and cleaned the tiger pool and outside stream
- Planted winter grass seeds
“I came because I know the keepers needed help and it’s a beautiful day,” said volunteer Caroline Moore. “I could volunteer anywhere else, but I want to be here. I love the Dallas Zoo.”
And it’s selfless volunteers like neighbors Cierra and Caroline, who drove from Fort Worth to spend their Saturday putting sweat, hard work and a lot of laughter into cleaning our tiger habitat.
The volunteers also received a behind-the-scenes tour of the tiger and otter night quarters, plus a free breakfast. For more information on becoming a Zoo volunteer, click HERE.