A wild day at the zoo

The four new stamps are dedicated to exotic animals from all over the world. Fascinated by these creatures, I set off on the trail of zebras, meerkats and flamingos.

Silvana Grellmann
People
Silvana Grellmann at Zurich Zoo with the camels.

Dream job as a zookeeper? For one day I left my desk and went to work at Walter Zoo in Gossau (SG). Instead of a mouse and a keyboard, I had a dung fork and a broom for company.

A wild start

“Muck out the zebra stall, please!” – this is how my day as a zookeeper at Walter Zoo begins, and it’s clear straight away that this won't just be a day spent watching animals and enjoying cuddles. Zookeeper Simon, responsible for the hoofed animals, shows me what needs to be done. So I make a start cleaning out the zebra stall, putting dung on the dung heap, preparing the straw bed and topping up the fresh water. I won't lie – I sweat while I’m doing all this, but am then rewarded with a great moment afterwards.

Wonderfully wild …

Silvana Grellmann at Zurich Zoo with zebras.
Feeding the zebras makes my heart swell. (Copyright: Vanessa Püntener)

… is how I would describe visiting the zebras and bringing them carrots after the tough start to the day. When I hold them out to the animals, they give me strange looks at first, till they then approach me, still a little hesitantly, and whoops – the carrots have already been stolen from my hand.

Wildly impressive …

… is what it becomes when zookeeper Simon announces that the camels will be brought back from the pasture to the stable. This is because the animals don't trot from one place to another at a leisurely pace as expected, but run at us at full pelt and turn into the stall at the last second. What a feeling! I follow the zebras unhurriedly with Simon, and then I get what I wanted after all: it's time for cuddles.

Silvana Grellmann at Zurich Zoo with the flamingos.

Wildly exciting …

… is how I'd describe my time with the flamingos. Kimié, the zookeeper for the birds, tells me why the flamingos are pink, why they stand on only one leg and why they eat with their heads upside down. After this exciting introduction, I also need to make a start here by cleaning the sand section of the Flamingo enclosure. Afterwards I'm allowed to help with the feeding. So I balance along the narrow wall with Kimié, try hard not to fall into the water, and am allowed to throw food to just over 30 flamingos.

Wildly cute …

… is how I would describe the meerkats, and they gaze at us inquisitively as we approach them. And so we begin to fill special balls with feed, providing the animals not just with food but also entertainment. Another highlight for me is that we bring the food into the enclosure, meaning I have the opportunity to get very close to the animals. With this last visit, my day full of great experiences, emotions and exciting encounters comes to an end.

Animals around the world

Stamps, postcard, and writing hand.
The animal stamps are available in all branches and at postshop.ch. (Copyright: Vanessa Püntener)

As you can imagine, I want to share this special day with my family and friends. As I like to send postcards in special places and on special occasions, I make the most of this opportunity and choose the stamps to match. The “Animals around the world” stamps fit the bill perfectly. I'm already looking forward to the reactions! With the last postcard signed, a successful day comes to an end – it’s been simply wild!

(Images copyright of Vanessa Püntener)

written by

Silvana Grellmann