Each day is what you make it

If yesterday seemed long, well, you were right. Tuesday was the summer solstice and marked the longest day of the year. Well, to be accurate, it was the longest day and shortest night.

Summer is a busy time at the zoo, as if there is ever a non-busy time. But summer is different because it is a time of people as much as animals. Like most animal keepers that start off in the business I always knew that the zoo could be an amazing place if we could just keep the people out and let us take care of the animals, but the more I learned and the longer I worked at zoos I quickly realized that it is because of the guests the animals are here and that our role as keepers was more of a responsibility entrusted to us. Today, I see the smiles, even on the hottest days, the wonderment of children, and the love of families out for the day. There are moments in each day no matter how long that seem to make everything just a little better.

On Friday this week, June 24, we have the opportunity as part of the Minot Parks District and the Minot Area Chamber EDC to show our appreciation to the men and women of the military with Military Appreciation Day. Your military ID will get you free admission into the Roosevelt Park Pool from 1-8 p.m. as well as to the zoo. A free lunch will also be provided by Homesteaders Restaurant in the park from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., just west of the zoo. Because the entire base can’t attend our recognition event, the zoo is extending its offer to show appreciation throughout the entire month of July by offering free admission each Wednesday with a military ID. The zoo is proud to be a part of this and extends its appreciation to all those brave men and women who have made that decision to serve and to their families that share the sacrifices that come with it.

Yes, it’s summer, and yes, it is about the people, but at the end of the day, I’ll always be a keeper and it always goes back to the animals. Some days I wish I could just focus on the people, imagine that, when those times arise when you must take a hard look at an animal’s health and ultimately assess its overall quality of life. While we are all about caring for animals, we sometimes must make choices as to what would be the kindest action to take based on an animal’s condition and prognosis. As a believer and supporter of hospice care for people, it is unfortunately not an option for wild animals, even in captivity.

So, while Tuesday was the longest day of the year, I’m sure we have all had longer ones, as well as days that ended way too quickly. Regardless of how long or short each day may be, it is important that we do recognize the needs of others and appreciate those around us that serve in whatever capacity to make our day a little better, a little safer, and a little more special.


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