The call of the wild
When you think about life behind bars, chances are animals aren’t always the first creatures that come to mind.
But with over 10,000 accredited zoos worldwide with hundreds or even thousands of species in each, we can’t forget how often we take creatures out of their native habitats to keep them in cages that are more convenient for us.
Naturally, not all of these animals are going to be happy, even when zoos and preserves are established for their own welfare. And with the tradition of zoos or animal keeping dating back to antiquity, it’s no surprise.
Zookeepers and animal trainers were asked to share stories about which animals are the biggest handfuls, and their stories provide some pretty hilarious insight into animal behavior.
Aldabra tortoises. They have an outdoor pen, but obviously they are stuck in a smaller indoor enclosure during the colder months.
They won’t leave you the f*ck alone. I was watering the plants at one point, when two big males came up behind me and pinned me to the wall. I pinwheeled my arms and fell onto one’s back…sort of got to ride him.
Other times, the decide to sit RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE DOOR. So you’re stuck until you convince them to move. You certainly aren’t going to move 500 pounds of turtle on your own.
If you put a squeegee against the wall, the simply HAVE to knock it over and sit on it.
Got the hose out? Yup. Gotta sit on it.
Bringing out food? Sit right in the f*cking feed troughs. (Charlie24601)
When you’ve been alive from before the Civil War, you tend to sit a lot. (im_jizzin)
Not a facility I work at currently but we had a kookaburra who would catch lizards, snakes, frogs, and even earthworms so he could feed them to you. You would be standing around doing your job and all of a sudden he shows up on your shoulder trying to force feed you a lizard he whacked on the ground 30 times.
Oh by the way if you covered your mouth, why not try the ear? The ear is a great place to put a dead lizard or live earthworm… (PizzaLinter)
The image of a kookaburra trying to force a lizard into someone’s ear is hilarious.
“EAT YOUR F*CKING LIZARD. I ASSUME THIS IS HOW HUMANS EAT.” (Blaidd_Dwrg)
I wasn’t there at the time that this has happened, but I used to volunteer at the Omaha Zoo, and there was the story of Fu Manchu, the orangutan.
Apparently, one of the keepers found Fu and some of his buddies hanging out outside of their enclosure and ushered them back in. When it happened again, the keeper thought someone was leaving the enclosure open. It happened so much that someone was about to get fired over it.
Finally, someone witnessed Fu climbing through an air vent to get to the door, pulling it open enough to expose a gap, then pulling a piece of wire from his mouth and using the wire to undo the latch and open the door. He’d been hiding the wire in between his gums and lips to engineer his escape.
Only a d*ck move because he almost got people fired. Otherwise, it was slick as hell. (deusdragon)
Ex-Zookeeper here. Orangutans are super smart, super strong, and super jerks. Well, some are. We had a female who, if you were standing in front of her indoor inclosure, would spit and hit you in the mouth every damn time. And grin. She grinned so big when it happened. Lesson learned. (SeptimusLovesOctavia)