Every day we have the opportunity to have great conversations with great people about our animals. However, sometimes we get a little frustrated by the same 20 questions, especially when most of them could be answered if the person asking just took two seconds to observe their surroundings. Below you will find a list compiled by myself and some of my co-workers that we have deemed to be the most exhausting. Enjoy, and remember to take it with a sense of humor 🙂
10. Unfortunately, the _____ is not out today. If you continue on up ahead, you’ll be able to see our other animals!
And the answer that inevitably follows: “I came all the way here just to see them though!” Right now at the Maharajah Jungle Trek (MJT) our Komodo Dragon is not out as we do construction on his habitat, our female Sumatran tiger is not out because she just had cubs, and sometimes our Lion-Tailed Macaques can be evasive while they enjoy the air conditioning (lucky them). Having meaningful conversations with guests becomes infinitely more difficult when there is not an actual animal look at. Honestly, sometime I just want to let people gaze into the exhibit and “forget” to tell them that they’re looking for nothing. Does that make me a bad person?
9. When can we see the tiger cubs? Are the tiger cubs out today? Is there any way to see the tiger cubs? Can you wake the tigers up? Why aren’t they out? They’re so lazy.
First of all- just stop. Tigers sleep more than 15 hours a day, they are not here for your personal entertainment. Second, I haven’t heard a lot of questions about the cubs yet, but I am anticipating them climbing the charts quickly over the next three months. The cubs and mom will be off-show until probably early January, so there is no doubt we will be inundated with curious, and surely disappointed, guests. So here’s my already rehearsed and prepared answer: “You can’t see them today, they’re too small and they are still resting. A lot. Also, even if there was a chance for you to see them, you would have to combat against myself and 300 other cast members, possibly to the death, who have been waiting months upon months for this absolute miracle. So get in line, sister. Oh, and have a magical day!”
8. Three girls for that one guy? Well ain’t he lucky!
It’s a monkey, sir. Please don’t project your gross ideas about having three women at one time onto innocent animals, and especially not in front of the children all around you. And please don’t make uncomfortable jokes that I have to just smile at because if I correct you, I could get in trouble. Primates live in family groups, it is completely normal for them to be polygamous and most people know that. It’s entirely unnecessary to make this uncomfortable for everyone, because in fact, the male is in charge of more than just reproduction. He has to ensure the safety and protection of his entire troop as well as making sure that every member of his family- usually upwards of 13 other members- are happy, healthy, and well-fed. I hope you learned something today, buh-bye now.
7. Do the bats come in here? Will they bite us?
NO. For the love of God, NO. These are fruit bats. Which means they eat FRUIT. They also have a 5-6 foot wingspan, which by the way, I JUST told that whole group over there, but you weren’t listening. Because of the huge wings, they cannot come in through the windows. Yes, I’m sure. They have never come in here, and they never will. They also have sensitive hearing and because of that, they find us to be loud and obnoxious, so please, STOP YELLING AND WHISTLING AT THEM. You know what, you should probably just leave the bat house….
6. What is in here? I don’t see a tiger in here. The gorillas are here right?
The first question isn’t terrible, because we don’t have signs. When it becomes annoying is when there are animals clearly visible and the guest didn’t even make an attempt to use their eyeballs. The other fun one is when people assume that the tiger is in the macaque enclosure, just because there was a sign a few feet ahead that said the word “tiger” on it. No folks, we didn’t put our 300 lb tiger in this small enclosure with a lot of trees, vines, and rocks. Also, we’re not Gorilla Falls. We’re just not. Not only are you NOT IN AFRICA, but there was no mention of gorillas before you entered the trail. Come on, people!
5. Look, a lion/zebra/cow/gazelle/elephant!!
Again, no. That is a water buffalo. And we are in Asia. Lions don’t live in Asia, and while elephants do, when have you ever seen one that looks that dark brown and furry?? Not that it’s really anyone’s fault if they don’t know the difference between an antelope and a gazelle, but I take personal offence at this point. That is an Eld’s Deer and that is a Blackbuck Antelope, dammit! And quit calling my geese, ducks. Unless you’re three, and everything in your world with four legs is a dog, I’m judging you a little bit. Sorry not sorry.
4. Please, do not touch or chase the birds.
This one should be obvious. Teach your children to respect the wildlife, please. Don’t chase my birds or yell at them, and don’t make me tell you more than once, because then I’m going to give you a very carefully cultivated “I’m disappointed in you” look and follow you out the back door to ensure that you’re not continuing to be a jerk. Don’t touch the birds, just stop it. Not only are they still birds so they’re kind of dirty, but it’s also pretty obvious that they’re not interested in you. Just because they cut across the path in front of your feet does not give you permission to touch them. They are comfortable because this is their home, NOT because they are handled. It stresses them out, and you stress me out!
3. Yes, of course you can bring your stroller/ECV inside.
That parking is for the river rapids ride. Yes, I’m sure. No, no please bring it with you actually, that parking is not for us. No, please don’t park that there, go further down the path around the corner away from our sign. Yes, you can fit through on my side. Yes, your food and drink is allowed, please put it away before you get to the birds though. Don’t feed the wildlife. Namaste, y’all! Everyone walking stay to the left, the wheelchair can come on my side….or, everyone on my side. That works too. *clicks manual button 3,000 times in anger*
2. No we are not the Safari. That’s in Africa, all the way down the path and to your right.
Once again, you’re in Asia. As represented by all of the Asian-themed music and props. You’ve been in Asia for some time now, especially if you’ve managed to make it all the way back here to us at MJT. How exactly are people getting so lost? Where are you coming from that you get so turned around and end up at the far reaches of the park? Was it someone in Dinoland that did you wrong? Did you pass Africa and forget to read the signs? *grabs guest by shoulders and begins to shake them* How did this happen to you??
And the number one, most common and most frustrating question is….. *dramtic drumroll*…..
1. Are the tigers in the same enclosure with the deer back there?
Thanks, Joe Rohde. I bet when you designed this part of the park, you thought it would be really cool to have areas that gave the illusion of being all connected. Little did you know that almost 20 years later, Cast Members would be cursing your name. No, the water buffalo and antelope are not dinner. Everyone is safe, it’s all okay. Yes, I’m positive the tiger cannot get over there. No, it’s not really teasing him. The tiger gets fed more than enough every day to keep his stomach full. He is aware the other animals are there, but he is not bothered by it because he does not hunt for sport and he has no need to hunt for a meal. No, it would not make for an entertaining day, I think it would be pretty un-magical in fact. Thanks for your concern, please move along now.
BONUS: Do you work here?
No, I just really enjoy walking around in bright pink and a weird, uncomfortable skirt with my name on a name-tag when I come to the parks. You KNOW that I work here, just ask me your question!!
Honorable mentions include:
-This enclosure seems so small for them, you guys didn’t do a good job.
-Why is he pacing, is he stressed? He probably wants to go back to the wild…
-Any kind of whistling, yelling, banging, or shouting to get the animal’s attention
-When someone asks me a question and then walks away or talks over me before I can finish answering it
-Any Wilderness Explorer who hands you their book without actually wanting to learn about the badge
-No, you can’t just have a sticker. These are not for fun, you have to have the special book
-Please don’t climb on that. We really don’t want to do the paperwork
Thanks for reading, I hope you had a laugh! Once again, I hope everyone is able to take this post with a grain of salt and little bit of humor. This was not meant to be distasteful or disrespectful. At the end of the day, we all understand that people come from all walks of life and not everyone has the same background that we do regarding these animals or our trail. We do our best to educate, and then we go home an complain about how many people we had to direct to the bathroom when it’s literally. right. there. It’s the other circle of life, the lesser known Great Circle of Customer Service. More to come, visit again soon!