Here to return to the previous page
Sino-Canadian International College, Guangxi University, Online English Lesson Plans, Lesson Material and Ideas
for Reading Lessons...
Reading Exercise: "A Day in
the Life of..."
the following article then answer the questions based on the article.
"A Day in the Life of..."
...Mohammed Jalaluddin, a Bangladeshi, has been working in the Dubai zoo for
a decade. He views his job as a challenge as it involves dealing with wild
Normally I am up in time for the fajr prayers. As we have our living
quarters within the zoo itself, it could be the chirping of the birds, the
growl of the tiger or the hiss of the snakes that could wake me in the
morning. After some tea and biscuits I put on my uniform and am ready for
the day ahead.
We work in two shifts from 7 am to 12 noon and from 4 pm to 7 pm. Thursday
is my day off. My first task is to check on the animals. It's our way of
greeting them, saying good morning. Julie, a chirpy African chimpanzee, is a
good pal of mine. She loves to roam around perched on my shoulder.
Each staff member is assigned certain animals to his care. Right now I am in
charge of the African lion, Syrian bear, African monkey, the tortoises and
the mynahs. We have to keep a daily register of the birds and animals in our
care. Then begins the cleaning of the cages.
During the summer we sprinkle water on the animals and in the cages to keep
them cool. In some of the cages we have installed fans so that the animals
can beat the heat. In case any of the animals is not feeling well I have to
report it to the vet. Sometimes if any of the birds or animals is sick, I
may have to accompany it to the veterinary hospital.
All the staff members have a sort of bonding with the animals; they
recognize us. I know exactly when any of the animals or birds is not feeling
Serving meals to the animals and the birds is the best part of the job. As
soon as I enter the cage they all come around me in anticipation; as if I am
some sort of a saviour. It feels great. As soon as I leave, they pounce on
the food and devour it.
In the morning I serve the lion either beef or chicken; the bear gets bread,
honey and chapattis while the birds get grains. In case any of them have not
eaten well, I have to keep track and see how they eat in the afternoon. If
they display the same behavior even in the evening I send for the vet.
Usually most of them eat without any fuss.
I have been working at the Dubai zoo for a decade now. When I arrived in the
UAE, I worked in a tailoring outfit, helping out with the embroidery work.
It is just that I wanted to come to Dubai; I was unsure of what exactly I
wanted to do. Everybody in my village, Sylhet in Bangladesh, talked about
the money you could earn. So the idea appealed to me as well.
I did not complete my schooling as I was not too keen on studies; I used to
hang around the village. My maternal uncle adopted me as he had no children.
Therefore I used to stay in Karimganj with him--away from my parents and
brothers and sisters. So even when I came to Dubai I was not homesick as I
was used to living on my own. Of course I do write home and send money.
When I started working in the zoo, initially my family found it weird. Even
I used to feel strange. But when I took up the zoo job I knew exactly what I
was getting into. Handling an animal requires a lot of care, expertise and
patience. You may want the animal to behave in a particular way but he will
not, and you cannot force the animal to stick to a schedule. They do exactly
as they please.
Now of course I quite like it. I am happy to work in the zoo and build a
rapport with the animals. I see it as a challenge--working with wild
animals. Several times I have been bitten by the animals. They may just jump
on you in a very playful mood but they do not realize that in the process
they are hurting you. The African monkey one day just caught my hand while I
was giving him food. It resulted in a deep gash and I was bleeding. So many
times I have been in bandages and admitted to the hospital crying in pain.
But this is all part of the job. Once you recover you are back again in the
Lunch is usually rice, fish or vegetables. I do cook often as do the rest of
the staff in the quarters. I may take a short nap or watch TV, especially
Zee TV, before resuming duty at 4 pm. Then again we clean the cages,
sprinkle water and serve food to the animals.
It is a great joy to see children in the zoo. Their faces just light up on
seeing the animals and birds; it is very touching. But there are some
visitors who flout rules and throw objects in the cages or feed the animals.
They don't realize that they are harming them.
After duty I start cooking dinner or sometimes go out. Or I just sit around
and chat with my colleagues. I am not married yet; maybe I will marry in the
near future. Otherwise, as things are proceeding now, I will continue
working in the zoo.
Maybe when I go back to Bangladesh, I will set up my own zoo--a small one
with a few animals or birds; at least the village children will enjoy it.
Read the text about Mohammed Jalaluddin and answer the following questions:
A) Complete Mohammedís Profile
2. Education _______________________________________
3. Reasons for coming to Dubai________________________
4. Duration of stay in Dubai ___________________________
5. Feelings about his job______________________________
6. Future plans _____________________________________
B) Write complete answers
7. When does he get
8. What does he have for
9. What does he have for
10. What does he do after
C) True/false statements
Write T if the statement is true and F if it is false. Correct the false
11. An alarm clock wakes him up.
12. He is in charge of the zoo.
13. He does not enjoy his work at the zoo.
14. His family thought his job was exciting.
15. All animals are served the same kind of food.
D. List three things that Mohammed does as part of his
E) Vocabulary work
Circle the word which is closest in meaning to the bolded word.
19. The idea appealed to me
a. became clear
b. attracted me
c. shocked me
20. All the staff had a sort of bonding with the animals
a. strong relationship
b. special knowledge
c. certain fear
21. My maternal uncle adopted me as he had no children
a. brought me up as his own child
b. taught me how to adjust my ways
c. taught me how to read and write
22. Some visitors flout rules and throw objects in the cages
a. follow rules
b. break rules
c. misunderstand rules