I am honored and thrilled to say that Susan Gilbert has accepted our invitation to join the MickaCoo Pigeon & Dove Rescue Advisory Committee.
Susan has a wide range of animal experience ranging from koalas to elephants to newborn kittens (with lots in between) and has been a great asset to MickaCoo from her first accidental volunteering when she saved baby king pigeon Carmine and brought him to MickaCoo in 2011. Among many other things, she’s coordinated our last two auctions, is currently helping us to apply for much needed foundation grants and will leading an effort to develop our volunteer coordination.
I couldn’t introduce Susan any better than she has here so allow me to introduce Susan in her own words:
My involvement with animals began in 1990 in Australia when I volunteered at an animal park. I learned a great deal about Australian animals and wound up raising orphaned kangaroo joeys in my home and teaching Aussies that koalas are not bears.
The interest was established, so when we returned to the United States, I started volunteering with the Animal Management Department at the Oakland Zoo. I did that for 4 years working with parrots, snakes, eland, gazelle, giraffes, quail, and chinchillas. The second year I was there, I also went through Docent training. I served in both capacities for 3 years, then just stayed active with the docents. During the 16 years I was a docent, I did Wildlife Theater (educational presentations, not shows), guided tours, stations (mostly elephant since my husband was an elephant keeper), taught docent training, held several positions on the Docent Council Board, served on many committees, and was the Oakland Zoo delegate for 5 years to the Association of Zoo and Aquarium Docents (AZAD) conferences, and presented a paper one year. I was voted Docent of the Year once. As a paid employee, I took out the ZooMobile for children’s birthday parties.
Since my husband was (and still is) a zookeeper, I have been privy to doing things with the animals that are beyond the scope of docent. I have been an allo mother to an African elephant baby, done elephant over-night observations recording on various ethograms, helped build an enclosure for baby chimps, etc.
I volunteered 4 years at Sulphur Creek Nature Center during baby bird seasons and worked for the East Bay SPCA for a while during which time I created and conducted a Humane Education Program. I am considered a local authority on bottle-baby kittens having fostered hundreds of them over many years.
And now I am passionate about MickaCoo and serving the pigeons and doves. I have taken an active role in fundraising, specifically taking charge of auctions and sales, and am currently working on grant proposals. I am, also, interested in organizing the volunteers to better enable MickaCoo to grow and prosper. I have been adopted by 1 homing pigeon, Little Cloud, who is the love of my life. He and I go to schools and events to draw attention to and teach about the plight of domestic pigeons and doves. I provide transportation to the vet, foster birds on a temporary basis, do home visits, attend several events, and whatever is needed. I am currently owned by 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 1 pigeon.
It is an honor to be asked to be on the Advisory Committee and will do all I can to contribute to this wonderful organization.
Welcome, Susan! We are SO glad to have you with us!