In our Zoological Garden we have a breeding core of over 500 eastern spadefoot toads, all of which are about to enter an aestivation period (summer dormancy). During this period they hardly eat or leave their hiding places. Thus, at this time it is hard to monitor their physical condition or to tend to the soil in the containers in which they are living, as any activity carried out in their containers greatly disturbs them. Consequently, Yael Ballon, who is studying this species for her MSc degree, under the supervision of Prof. Noga Kronfeld-Schor, and Hamutal Ben Ishay, who works as an animal keeper in the Zoological Garden, organised a “volunteers’ day”. To our delight many volunteers took up the call, above and beyond our expectations! During this “enlistment day” all the toads were removed from their containers, weighed, new soil was added to the containers, the water containers were refreshed – and now all is ready for the summer.
The atmosphere of the day was exhilarating, volunteers came and went, helped themselves to refreshments and at the end of the day enjoyed a cool beer and biscuits. Yael and Hamutal have asked us to take this opportunity to extend their very grateful thanks to all the volunteers who arrived and worked so hard, contributing to the great atmosphere; and they invite everyone to visit the breeding core in their free time.