We had a amazing presentation a few nights ago for a girl's 8th birthday/slumber party. The animals and us had a great time teaching the girls about nocturnal animals and answering some very good questions. They were very interested in how the animals had come to live at Animal Wonders. We don't usually get such animal care activists in the audience and were quite pleased. The next most common questions were those about why the animals was doing what it was doing. They were observing the animal's behavior and then asking why they would do that and we would explain what they were doing and why, and most of the time it related to a behavior they would do in the wild. I would like to take my hat off to the young ladies because it's exactly what we want to inspire in the next generation: ask questions, find answers, and continue to explore the natural world. The best way to help animals is to learn as much as you can about them. We can't help them if we don't know how.
The other thing I would like to mention about this particular presentation was the absolutely amazing birthday girl. She sponsored an animal and after the presentation she gave us a present! She had asked all her friends to bring donations to Animal Wonders instead of bringing her a gift. Now that left me speechless! At eight years old she was demonstrating more generosity than most adults can claim. So, thank you Berit! May you have the most wonderful year!!!
The Mammal Room is looking smart after a day of work putting in new flooring. The mammal residents are living in style now that they have a nice clean floor to appreciate. Tango, Ash, and Cheeks (Patagonian cavy, chinchilla, and rabbit) broke in the floor today as they played tag and leap frog across the smooth surface. It sure was nice walking into the compound today to a nice setting, and sweeping the barely dirtied space was a breeze. We like to appreciate the simple things in life.
We're looking forward to a great new year and welcome 2011 with high expectations! We're off to a great start and don't think we want to slow down for one minute! Well, maybe a few moments here and there.
When I write the date and it comes out 1-1-11 it feels like a clean sheet of paper, a cool fresh breeze. I'm ready to turn over a new leaf and get Animal Wonders' name and mission out there for Missoula county and surrounding areas to hear and see. This year our focus is to get into the public schools and start broadening the next generations experiences! With your help we can even start a few after school programs. If you or your school might be interested let us know and we'll do the rest!
The animals are still staying warm indoors while the snow continues to fall. We're all looking forward to a lush green spring. A few animals have started new training behaviors to ring in the new year. Ginger, the green cheek conure is learning how to fly on cue. She's a natural fly and clinger so the only thing she needs to learn is when to fly and that when she flies on cue she gets a treat! Win-win situation for everyone! Quigley, the brush tailed bettong, is learning how to jump through a hoop. This sounds like a circus trick but don't get us wrong, we're not a circus. Quigley is actually quite shy in front of a crowd so he prefers to sit on an arm during presentations. The hoop jumping will take place in his enclosure and it is solely for his mental stimulation by learning something new. He has come into full blown male hormones now and he's displaying territorial threats when we clean his enclosure. We are hoping that since he's so territorial he will naturally become protective of Babette and that might spark a more intimate relationship between them. We don't mind Quigley being territorial, it's only natural, but we would still like to be able to interact with him in a positive way... hence the hoop jumping.
So happy new years and remember that if you would like our seasonal newsletters giving updates on the going-on at Animal Wonders, send us your email and we'll be happy to add you to the list.