When the meeting quickly ended, dozens of people from San Francisco software company Benchling Inc. logged into the video conference and invited a special guest.
The bench paid for the 20-acre animal sanctuary, Sweet Farm, and added interesting videos to the virtual gathering, including animal videos by Paco (5 feet 9 inches rescue llama). When the co-founder of the shelter, Nate Salpeter, stood too fast, Paco spit on his face in shock.
“This caught everyone off guard, especially Nate.” Benchling’s account manager Yujia Zhao said. The call burst into laughter.
Salpert said: “They spit in a wide range.” “It smells of hay.”
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In the past year, repetitive virtual meetings have reduced morale in many workplaces. Therefore, the company is hiring four-legged guests, such as sheep, goats, tortoises, llamas, bearded dragons, etc., to recreate smiles on the faces of exhausted employees. Hosting animal video calls has become a huge source of income for many farms, sanctuaries or zoos.
Animals don’t always play together. The chicken roared in front of the guests, the goat bit his finger, and the cow galloped away. Therefore, farmers have become experts in spoiling their talents. They find themselves washing their hair, banning troublemakers, blackmailing snacks and abdominal scratches, these are all ways to make animals happy and keep them in top condition.
Chelsea Phillips, the founder of Tiny Tails to You, said: “We bathe hedgehogs. It’s so cute.” “We have baby shampoo, which is very suitable for them, but you also want to use olive oil at the end. Follow up with sprays because they dry out easily.”
Tiny Tails, a virtual zoo in Austin, Texas, offers a complete tour, including hedgehogs, chinchillas, rabbits, chickens, tortoises, etc., all of which attract people’s attention, and Hangouts start at $65. When the visit stopped last spring, it was a way to increase income.
Another naughty animal at Tiny Tails is the gecko Jeffrey. If you get too close to your laptop during a call, they will jump to the screen. Mrs. Phillips said: “He is a little weird.” Now they have two-year-old Jeffrey (Jeffrey) far away, so he does not intend to dive into the bomb technology.
Stephanie Prevost, the director of operations at Vendr Inc. (which helps the company buy and update software) brought her three children to Tiny Tails for social work.
When the 13-year-old tortoise Knuckles Tortellini appeared, things got messed up. Mrs. Prevost said: “It’s so silly, but the last turtle defecated on the table. Both adults and children laughed so hard.” People still joked on Slack.
In response, Mrs. Phillips said that they have now fed the animals in advance to avoid accidents.
Alison Johnson of the Alpaca Ranch in Bobbridge, Northeast Fife, Scotland, has been chasing her herd. Mrs. Johnson is a trained optician who raised sheep for the first time in 2015. She charges £39 ($55) for a 30-minute tour and adoption package.
The six-year-old Balthazar is a Hukawa Alpaca with fringes blown by the wind. He is the most naughty member of the herd and affects other members. During a call with Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., he has been hovering next to the camera. Alpacas soon chased each other around the paddock. Mrs. Johnson had to rush to the far end of the field to catch up with them.
HPE executive assistant Kirsi Swinton (Kirsi Swinton) said: “When she turned around, they had drifted to the other side.”
Mrs. Johnson said: “It keeps me healthy.”
Mr. Saltpeter’s Sweet Farm rescued more than 150 animals, including pigs, turkeys, cows, chickens, sheep, horses and goats. Today, the 10-minute “Goat 2 Conference” (LogMeIn Inc.’s pun on GoToMeeting conference software) can accommodate 100 people and costs $100, helping to raise funds for Sweet Farm and other animal sanctuaries. Sweet Farm made more than 8,000 calls.
Goats can’t always expect them to show. Farmer Dot McCarthy used many of her Zoom herd of about 40 people to raise £50,000 (US$70,000) for her Cronkshaw folding farm in Lancashire, England. The money allowed her to hire five new part-time employees. Now, she plans to invest in sustainable technologies, such as solar panels and electric cars.
People can invite goats to make a video call (£5 for five minutes), and even use edible paper and ink to make personalized messages for goats to eat (£10).
Before joining Zoom, the goat pushed her away several times and chewed on paper snacks. Ms. McCarthy said: “So, if we are late for the call, that’s why, because we have to rewrite the notes.” When the camera rolls, it doesn’t get easier. Using smartphones on the farm, goats have been constantly eating biodegradable boxes. She said: “I think this is some kind of plant-based material.”
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