Cliff Flock has been volunteering for Zoo Safari USA at the Red Fern Festival in Tahlequah since 2011. His responsibility is to watch Dozer the Sulcata Tortoise throughout the two day event, and explain to visitors about what Sulcata Tortoises eat, their habitat and if Dozer likes to patted on the shell.
Due to his work and family dedication Cliff is only able to work the festival, but his outgoing personality and knowledge of reptiles (he specializes in geckos) has endured him to our hearts as one of the best volunteers we have had over the years.
Cliff’s greatest achievement for Zoo Safari USA was for the fundraising and construction of the tortoises building and spacious yard, and without his help we never would have had such a beautiful exhibit for the tortoises.
My time volunteering at Zoo Safari USA June 4, 2017
My time volunteering at the Zoo Safari was amazing. I was able to establish bonds with animals that I would have never gotten the opportunity to in everyday life. By establishing these bonds, I felt like I was making a difference in their lives, even if just slightly, with the short time I got to spend with them. Unfortunately, I had to leave my volunteering experience at the Zoo Safari behind me, as I advanced into a new career. Having to give up my weekly visit was a very hard decision for me to make.
Every week I looked forward to seeing my favorite animals and getting to hug them and play with them, scratching Wilber’s belly, and giving Chaney hugs. The Zoo taught me more responsibility and taught me things about the animals that I wouldn’t have known otherwise, like how Tortoises have more life than some people, or how Capybaras make a cute little bark when they are startled. I know that without having been a part of the Zoo family, I would have never gotten to encounter these animals at such close proximity, and get to aid in their care!
While leaving the Zoo was hard, I knew that they understood. Volunteering brings a true warmth to your heart, makes you feel complete, and shows others that you are willing to do something without anything in return. Not only is volunteering at the Zoo Safari fun, but in my case it aided in me getting a job. If it isn’t enough that it makes you feel good to volunteer and establish bonds with exotic animals, employers love to hear that you have put in so much time with the Zoo! Volunteering here is truly something that I believe everyone should do, or try. While you get dirty doing it, it is completely worth it! There is never a dull day at the Zoo Safari, never! I enjoyed every second of my days there and I will continue to whenever the opportunity arises! -Sarah Carney