I got back into Denver from Wyoming just in time to start my new internship. I was (and currently am) interning in the polar bear and otter division, which is very exhausting, on your feet type of work. Animals are an incredible passion of mine, as is conservation of our planet, including all animals and our environment. Although I don’t necessarily agree with all aspects of zoo culture, learning about these animals, caring for them, and trying to educate the public about them and their precious habitats is something I wanted to gain experience with. Working with animals gives one an insight on how to connect with another being on a level that goes way below the surface of normal communication. These animals have very real personalities and feelings and ways of communicating those feelings with you if you pay attention. I have always found that when I’m working one on one with an animal, I am in a very meditative state. My mind is clear, I am in tune with my own breath and body and the vibes it is giving off… all so that I can be in tune with theirs. I had the opportunity to work with two bear cubs in Melrose, Florida at a wildlife sanctuary, called Single Vision. Being around those two rambunctious critters taught me a lot about myself and how to be patient, not to be fearful (which can be hard when a playful 40 pound bear cub is lunging at you with a mouthful of teeth), and to forget any personal issues I may have going on.
I find a similar state of mind when I’m out hiking. It’s such a peaceful time to reflect or forget. I get to be in tune with myself and my surroundings, responding to the environment to help me reach my goal. I always hike with Bella and there are times when I have to help her climb over rocks or jump down off of steep drops. This provides such a great bonding time for us, as we both must put our full trust in each other to keep moving forward. The point of this was to express how important being around animals and exploring nature are to me in my life. I feel so grateful to be in a place that allows me to combine both of these passions into aspects of my life.