Author: Iva Sokolovska, ZOO Skopje Volunteer

Do you love animals? Well, all you need is a positive answer to this one! I would like to share my experience and inform everyone interested in the opportunity to help animals, to spend some time with new and interesting people and to do something beneficial! Namely, I am a volunteer in the Skopje ZOO, the city zoo in Skopje, Macedonia. And, indeed, it has been one of the best experiences in my life and career so far.

First of all, let me explain “what it’s all about”. About a month ago, I saw an ad calling for volunteers in the Zoo. Being an ecologist and owning all varieties of pets, from rodents to arachnids, I applied right away. Our first meeting was held in the Zoo during one Sunday morning. We were greeted by a group of five young ladies that were the first volunteers to apply and they gave us a tour around the Zoo explaining our duties. And that’s how the story began.

As a volunteer, you can do anything you show talent for or have an interest in if you can find a way to adapt all that to the needs of the Zoo and do something constructive. You can take photographs, plan events, face paint, work with children, help take care of the animals… and everything that is asked from you is to donate at least two hours a week out of your spare time in order to contribute. We are a team of about 50 people and I usually spend there every free hour that I have. If I can’t make it through the week I am there throughout the entire weekend. We do everything from fence painting to birthday parties, we take on duties created by ourselves, we work along with the animal caretakers and, therefore, keep the living space and facilities clean as well as the animals well fed and healthy; we even have a mentor in taxidermy.

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