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55\365 - Robot Skeleton Army Minion #1983
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Tue, Feb. 24th, 2009 08:25 pm

Today was a busy day.

I headed to class and had two tests. I then headed to the library for math tutoring and studying, from there the gym! I did a hour on the bike and treadmill.

I headed home to do more stuff before watching President Obama's address (which was brilliant I might add). I made an appointment with a counselor at Santa Monica College. Right now I'm going to West Los Angeles College but it doesn't offer the prerequisite classes needed to get into Moorpark College's exotic animal program. I thought long and hard this weekend after seeing those tigers. I'm always very happy when I'm surrounded by big cats and I've always wanted to work with them. I didn't even attempt to try because I thought I had no hope of doing it. I went into a major I enjoy but wasn't passionate about. I've always been passionate about animals but went into Anthropology which I only enjoy as a hobby. This weekend I realized that I won't be truly happy with a career that doesn't involve animals. Whether it be a vet, a zoo keeper, or a naturalist. My animals of choice are big cats and whales but I'd be happy to work with almost any kind of animal.
I made up my mind this weekend to try to go for the goal. I'm not getting any younger and I won't know if I can do it if I don't try. So, I'm going to see a counselor at SMC to re-enroll myself with that school so I can take the courses needed to qualify for Moorpark. When I get to Moorpark, if I get there, I will have to move out. It's only a hour away but you have to be there every day bright and early. You get no days off when enrolled in their teaching zoo and your hours are strange so it would be too much of a hassle to stay home. I won't have to worry about that for about a year though because there's some courses that I haven't taken that I must take before I'm qualified.
It will be demanding if I get into the school and it will eat away at me phsyically and mentally. It will be worth it though if I can achieve my dream of working with wild animals.

Today I'll share a handful of photos from my trip. These photos were taken at Sigfried & Roy's Secret Garden. It's a habitat at the Mirage Hotel that houses alpacas, Atlantic bottle nose dolphins, white lions, white tigers, leopards, and snow leopards. They strive to breed healthy white tigers and lions and are always looking for breeding stock that will help the bloodline. I spent over three hours there enjoying the big cats.

How stunning are these white lions? Amazing :)

Another photo of the handsome lions

The shy snow leopard

A playful leopard cub

Look at the face! :D

Snuggling brothers (ten months)

Look at the calm kitty :3

Even though this photo is blurry, it's one of my favorites

A different tiger then the above cubs, an older boy

They took the white tiger out and replaced it with this orange guy. They give each cat a chance in the habitats. The orange tiger is making this silly face because it smells the previous white tiger's markings. Needless to say, it proceeded to mark all those spots ;)

A tiger cub in another habitat smelling the new orange guy from across the way (the tiger above)

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Current Location: Los Angeles
Current Mood: determined determined
Current Music: Circle of Life---Elton John (it came on shuffle, haha)


Ashley! It's Unisex!
Wed, Feb. 25th, 2009 04:35 am (UTC)

Those lions have 80s hair metal manes XD

Agent 27
Wed, Feb. 25th, 2009 04:41 am (UTC)

They're hardcore cats!

ReplyThread Parent
Wed, Feb. 25th, 2009 05:13 am (UTC)

I think your decision is very brave!

Agent 27
Wed, Feb. 25th, 2009 07:32 am (UTC)

Thank you, I hope I can pull it off.

ReplyThread Parent
The Rec Ho...
Wed, Feb. 25th, 2009 01:30 pm (UTC)

Beautiful photos! There lions have such a sweetness to their eyes.

The Princess of Seyruun
Thu, Feb. 26th, 2009 12:14 am (UTC)

I love those lions!

Thu, Feb. 26th, 2009 04:02 am (UTC)

Aww snow leopard! They are so awesome.

Officer Kelli
Fri, Feb. 27th, 2009 07:00 am (UTC)

I wish you tons of luck getting into that program...it's ridiculously hard since everyone and their mom applies to get in and they only take 10 people a year...I tried getting in when I was younger and it just never panned out...I have the classes and the animal experience, I just wasn't the best of the applicants I suppose...That was only one of my choices of career paths anyway...also you can't really have a job when you're in the program and that seemed kind of difficult to me...
I know it's what you want to do though and their graduates (well some of them) are working with big cats and Shamu and whatnot so if you do get in and graduate you could be on your way...
But yea, good luck with that...:)

Jessi (Yoda to some)
Wed, Mar. 4th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)

They strive to breed healthy white tigers and lions and are always looking for breeding stock that will help the bloodline

That is so funny to me... how healthy is a "healthy" white tiger, really? They are beautiful, beautiful animals, but I just find it so hard to like them a lot, knowing how terrible their genetics really are... The captive world only started with one white tiger, and from that one tiger we produced nearly all of the ones in captivity today... it kind of sickens me, actually..

like I said.. I think they are beautiful, and I'll always appreciate them for that... but knowing their genetic backgrounds taints the image for me a bit...

I've heard quite a bit about Moore Park, because they are the only other program in the country like the one I did. From what I understand it's pretty similar to the one I did, except that Moore Park has more of a focus on training than we do (even though we did a lottt of training), and I've heard that they are a little more casual than at Santa Fe... like we had to learn the scientific names for EVERYTHING, and used them regularly, but from what I understand at Moore Park they barely touched on scientific names, and don't go nearly as far into the technicalities of things as we did... like the finer details of how certain animal parts work, or why they are in such order or class or whatever. I don't mean that as a bad thing, just letting you know what I've heard =)

... of course, being a Zooie, most of what I heard was from people who visited both programs, and inevitably chose to come to the one in Florida.. so it may not be entirely accurate.

If it's anything at all like the program at Santa Fe though, you are definitely correct... it will be incredibly challenging, physicall and mentally, there will be moments when you'll say "why the HELL did I do this again?" But then all you have to do is look around you, and realise what it is you're DOING. Not many people are privilaged enough to work with exotic animals... and to look at an endangered animal, and know that you are doing your part to make his life as good as it possibly can be, it's just an incredible feeling, and it makes all teh pain and the hardships worth it, and in the end it feels like the hours and hours you spend studying and the aching muscles and the lackof sleep all seem like a small price to pay for the incredible experiences you get to have everyday.

Whew! Holy longcomment Batman! But I totally encourage you and think it would besuch a great thing for you.. aside from the obvious awesome factors, it was also a HUGE encouragement for me personally and socially. I've never been as confident in myself as I was in zoo school, my self esteem improved tremendously, and by the end of it I was surrounded by 100 people I really knew, and who really knew me, who went through the same crazy journey I did, and it wassuch a phenominal support system, both in classes and out.

Agent 27
Wed, Mar. 4th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)

I know, that's why I said they try. Siberian white tigers are more natural then a white bengal tigers. It's kind of sad to me that people breed these tigers just because they're "more beautiful" (all tigers are equally beautiful to me!). It isn't the tiger's fault though, it's people.
I love them but I love them as much as I love a "normal" tiger.

I was also thinking of the training zoo in Florida because I knew somebody who went there (you). What's your experience with it?

ReplyThread Parent
Box Of Sorrows
Mon, Mar. 9th, 2009 12:06 pm (UTC)

I love big cats, these ones are stunning :-) I'm not sure where it is but somewhere I have a photo of Dan and Sam when they were little and we went to Edinburgh zoo, they're stood in front of the Jaguar enclosure and one of the cats was positioned so that it looked like it was right between them.