A day out at Wetheriggs

Richard’s daughter wants to be a Vet when she is older so we thought a  day as a keeper at Wetheriggs Animal Rescue Centre, Penrith would be a great introduction to working with a wide variety of animals.

Our £35 donation  helps Wetheriggs and Harriet gets to spend the day with a wide variety animals, I think ‘keeper for the day’ could be great gift for everyone and it’s helping Wetheriggs. We also donated tins of dog and cat food, hot water bottles and an old dog bed.

Terry ( Wetheriggs Director) said they’re desperate for all sorts of donations especially so now that we are going into the Winter months. Can you help?

I asked Harriet to write up a report about her day as a Keeper at Wetheriggs, here it is!

On Friday 30th October, I went to Wetheriggs Animal Centre. I was going to be a keeper for the day. I arrived there with my dad and Linda , and there were peacocks scratching around our feet and sitting on the walls. We were greeted by Terry, the owner of Wetheriggs.

I said goodbye to my dad and Linda and I followed Terry through the gift shop, passed all the animals, and down to the pig sties. We met Irene, she took me to the field at the back of Wetheriggs to feed three horses with hay. It was very muddy  but luckily I was wearing my wellies. Irene was wearing trainers, though, so her feet where coated in mud!

Then we went round feeding all the animals at Wetheriggs in turn which included llamas, goats, sheep, chipmunks, rabbits, guinea pigs, parrots, and Trish the hand-reared fox. When I approached her in her pen, she pushed herself right up against the fencing and I could stroke her fur. She was very soft, and she liked nibbling my fingers. I wanted to take her home with me!

The parrots, Max and Geldof, sat hanging up-side down in the trees. They squawked “Hello” and I fed them peanuts. They could even peel oranges but they weren’t up to it and kept flinging the oranges down to the ground. I had more luck feeding the rabbits and guinea pigs. Irene and I went inside their hay-filled room with a bucket of food, and they all came running up to us. They made a funny sound, like “eee eee eee” and there was one rabbit that sat up on its back legs, front paws in the air. Then after we fed the rabbits/guinea pigs we had to go and get all the animals from the Reptile Room. This included a snake, a bearded dragon, a tortoise, a bull frog, giant cockroaches, and a tarantula. We carried them down to the main building and Sally, another Wetheriggs worker, set them all down on the table and people gathered in the room to watch the exhibition. I had to be Sally’s assistant.

My dad and Linda came to the exhibition, and watched as I nearly dropped the bull frog (it kept reversing up my arms, so it nearly fell right off), had the snake wound around my neck, and the bearded dragon placed in my hands to take around to everyone in the room. I had to take the tortoise around as well, and it kept digging its little claws into my thumbs. Luckily I didn’t have to take the tarantula round to everyone but my dad and I held it for two seconds while we had our photos taken by Linda. After that the cockroaches were shared round, and then the exhibition was over.

Dad and Linda stayed for a while after that. Dad and I fed some peanuts to the parrots, and then we all went to the rabbit/guinea pig room and we fed them again. Dad kept trying to catch the little furry black one but failed each time he dived for it. Eventually Sally scooped it up.
Dad and Linda left soon after and Irene and I went round giving all the animals their dinner before it got dark. We had to give some of the animals dead chicks!! Trish Fox also got a dead guinea pig (I don’t know how it died. Irene said they were always dying of unknown things).

At about four thirty, when it was dark, I went to the party. I think it was and end of season party for the children of the Wetheriggs Friends. They were lots of kids there, mostly younger than me, and after we ate some cake and burgers we went and played some party games, like Musical Statues and Mafia. I enjoyed helping Sally decide who wobbled in Musical Statues and taking out the chairs in Musical Chairs. After all the fun and games, Sally, a handful of kids and I took the animals from the exhibition (they were still on the table) back to the Reptile Room. It was pitch black outside and there were no lights, so we had to find our way to the Reptile Room in the darkness. On the bridge we kept bumping into peacocks. We delivered the animals back to the Reptile Room and then headed back to the main room. Dad was there to pick me up and take me home.

I had a fantastic day at Wetheriggs, and I strongly recommend it. It’s a good half-term treat! Any donations to Wetheriggs would be great, even the odd penny.

Written by Harriet.

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