I wanted to be a zookeeper and a lion tamer.
Of course, I ended up working in advertising so at least I got the circus bit covered.
I wanted my children to volunteer somewhere.
I wanted them to learn a little humility and understand responsibility.
Most importantly, the responsibility we have towards animals in our care.
As an adult I’ve lost some of the childlike naiveté I had about zoos and often question the need for their ongoing existence.
However, for many people the zoo will be the only interaction they ever have with animals and without that, we cannot expect them to grow up and preserve them.
Sadly, it looks like the last rhinos my children ever see will be in a zoo enclosure. Something sad to reflect on.
So, bright and early on Saturday morning, one a month, my kids pack a lunch and spend the morning at the zoo.
They feed the animals – dead chickens to the caracals.
They learn an immense amount about conservation, caring for wild animals and biology.
They learn how about the impact mankind has on the natural world.
They come back full of enthusiasm and bursting with information and excitement.
It only costs R450 for a year. That’s basically nothing.
You get a Saturday morning free of children to go for coffee or buy shoes.
They get to spend hours living out the dream of being a zookeeper.
The Honey Badger Club is for kids between 7 and 14 and Be Mad is for slightly older ones from 15 to 19.
For more information on volunteering at the zoo.
On the Honey Badger Club: http://www.jhbzoo.org.za/docs/Honey%20Badger%20Club%202014.pdf