Boredom is a Four Letter Word

I’m working on the Enrichment section for my book Zookeeper’s Guide to Fitness. Enrichment was one of my favorite aspects of being a zookeeper. Keeping the animals mentally and physically active, increasing naturalistic behaviors, and engaging them in more dynamic ways was the epitome of zookeeping, personally.  Continue reading Boredom is a Four Letter Word

Clicker Worthy Moments from Clicker Expo, Part II

When I first came home from the Clicker Expo last month, I complained that I didn’t get out of it as much as I would have liked.  Looking back on my notes, however, I think I may have spoke too soon.  There were quite a few presentations and speakers that, well, spoke to me on a personal level.  Not just for animal training, but for writing, for fitness, and for life. Continue reading Clicker Worthy Moments from Clicker Expo, Part II

Consistency and Patience- Watoto’s Rumble

One of the most incredible experiences of my career was the chance to work with elephants at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.  To build a unique and special relationship with such an enormous creature that could easily have crushed me as much as look at me, was, in a word, awesome. Continue reading Consistency and Patience- Watoto’s Rumble

Special Series- Why Zoos Matter: A Slippery Slope

In 2013, a movie masquerading as a documentary premiered that would change many people’s lives.  The film “Blackfish” changed the way many folks saw SeaWorld and the keeping of orcas in captivity.  After fighting organizations with millions of donated dollars at their disposal (you didn’t actually think the money donated to these “animal welfare” organizations actually went to the ANIMALS, did you?) for three years, SeaWorld has finally waved the white flag and cried “Uncle”. Continue reading Special Series- Why Zoos Matter: A Slippery Slope

100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 45: EarthFit at the Zoo

I have personal feelings about the Oregon Zoo, I’m a little jilted if I can be honest.  But putting personal frustrations aside, I love the zoo.  I think a great amount of conservation and education happens at the zoo, and it’s where I was inspired to create EarthFit, so this being my last week in Oregon, I decided to have one last trip to the Oregon Zoo and check out all the aspects that correlate well with EarthFit. Continue reading 100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 45: EarthFit at the Zoo

100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 26: Healthy Family

I have a confession to make that is truly truly the unhealthiest and non-sustainable practice I have right now.  Right now, because I’m unemployed, I do not have health insurance.  This post isn’t to welcome an influx of criticisms or advice that I’m sure is to follow anyways, but to point out the fact that I am not perfect, and I that I recognize that I still hold onto practices that are unhealthy. Continue reading 100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 26: Healthy Family

100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 23: Books and Owls

While I tend to focus a great deal on physical fitness in my writings, I realize the importance of relaxation, mental fitness, and enrichment.  So, it was a great day to get all three with a focus on books, nature, and one of my favorite animals on the refuge, great horned owls.

I host a book club at the refuge and for our meeting this month we read an interesting book called “Passionate Slugs and Hollywood Frogs” by Patricia Lichen. Continue reading 100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 23: Books and Owls

Why Zoos Matter Special Series: Documentary vs Zoo

An increasingly popular argument against zoos is emerging from the animal rights’ front.  That argument is stating that zoos are becoming obsolete because everything we need to learn about wildlife and conservation can be taught through the internet and documentaries.  That seeing animals in a zoo setting is not like seeing them in real life, like you can in a documentary.

spy in the herd
Dung camera gets close to the elephants. So does a zoo, though.

I’m not really one to debate the value of a good documentary.  With our advanced technology, researchers are able to get closer than ever without disturbing the natural behavior of animals in their natural environment (have you seen the documentaries that use cameras shaped like dung?!?!).  Many documentaries help broaden the knowledge of a particularly interesting animal, and may intensify a spark to protect a species. Continue reading Why Zoos Matter Special Series: Documentary vs Zoo

Take a Stand: Bluefin Tuna Edition

In the Harry Potter series, Dumbledore explains to Harry that there comes a time when you must choose between what is right, and what is easy.  For me, the choice is most difficult when I must either publicly take a stand or keep my convictions to myself.  Even when I know I’m right, it’s not easy.  Far too often I worry about embarrassing myself, or my friends and family, or getting my facts twisted around and not making my point clear.  Sometimes when I am definitely in the minority, I fear maybe I’m NOT right. Continue reading Take a Stand: Bluefin Tuna Edition

Do One Green Thing- Produce, Meat, Dairy, Poultry, and Eggs

Embarking on this journey to live fit and green has been empowering, but I am very grateful that I am not going at this on my own.  I have found a plethora of books that have helped me make better consumer choices and create healthier, more environmental habits.

Recently, I have been reading an enjoyable book, “Do One Green Thing” by Mindy Pennybacker.  I like it for its simplicity and positive focus on small changes one can make in their diet, homes, and travels to help the planet.  Do One Green Thing: book by Mindy Pennybacker Continue reading Do One Green Thing- Produce, Meat, Dairy, Poultry, and Eggs