Showing posts from 2018

Whales and Condors on the California Coast

Last spring I took a trip to California to see whales and condors. I hadn't seen either in the wild before, and was excited to add these animals to my sightings list! Monterey Bay is teeming with gray and humpback whales during the spring and summer months, as they hang out to feed on the abundant krill creating huge oil-spill-like patches in the water. Humpback whales are almost a guaranteed sighting, as the whale-watchers know where the local pods are and can lead you to them with minimal disturbance to the pod. I went out on one of the smaller boats and wasn't disappointed! A pod of Orcas frolicked playfully around the boat and in the water. Very dolphin-like, these whales are social and playful, and it was pretty amazing seeing them being their natural selves, slicing through the waves on this perfect day. There was a family of five who came quite close to the boat to check us out. Next were the humpbacks! Peeking in and out of the water and riding the waves, the

Wildlife Rehabilitation in Guatemala with Jennie of the Jungle

Last August I took a group of dedicated wildlife lovers to work with ARCAS Rescue Center in Flores, Guatemala, and what an adventure it was! The JOJ Guatemala crew ARCAS is a sanctuary and rehabilitation center where orphaned and injured wildlife is taken in and nursed back to health or cared for until it is suitable for release back into the wild. Three of our JOJ members were new to traveling abroad, and new to working with animals, and so I had the immense pleasure of watching their eyes light up as they had the chance to connect with the rescue animals at the sanctuary. Cary and the macaws Macaws, parrots, toucans, peccaries, monkeys, and deer were just a few of the animals we had the opportunity to work with. We spent our days making diets for the animals, feeding them a mixture of fruits, veggies, and forest berries and leaves. We got to hang out with them as we cleaned their enclosures, and there is nothing that brings a smile to your face quite li

How I Started Working with Animals

The question I get asked most often is how I got started working with animals. Well let me just tell you this; it wasn't easy. Many are familiar with the struggle of following their passions in life, because for the majority, passions don't pay. Fortunately I've found an avenue into being paid to do what I love, and if you're interested in my story on. I grew up in low-income household with little prospect for success. But I remember being fascinated as a child by educational programs on PBS. In the absence of parental education, PBS became my mentor. My favorite show was Nature, which I watched religiously. That's where my love of animals and the natural world began. Though owls, foxes, and cheetahs were my favorite, I learned to respect all of the different species because of the role each one plays in its ecosystem. My 9th grade yearbook photo In high school, I took up modern dance classes and found dance to be a great outlet for t