Pet Week at the Preschool
We had such a fun time with the Preschoolers at Mother Goose and Gander Preschool! Thank you for inviting us to share a wonderful day with the kids. It's always a great experience for us to be able to share the first touch of a snake or the "tickle kiss" of a rat. The kids were great and they were so enthusiastic about seeing and interacting with the animals!
It's never too early to start sharing animals with kids. Special precautions are recommended for the really young ones, but when introduced to animals early in life, children learn respect for all creatures, including siblings and classmates. Classroom and family pets are a wonderful way to help children bond with animals and use that bond of respect to relate to wildlife and nature.
Thank you scouts!
Sending out a big thank you to Cold Springs Cub Scout Pack! We had a great show and they scouts were awesome! They knew so much about nature, animals, and great conservation efforts. We talked about "Leave No Trace" and how interfering with animals can affect not only the animals but their entire habitat and the environment as well. Quigley the brush-tailed bettong, and Ash the chinchilla were great ambassadors for endangered species. The scouts learned about unique adaptations that certain animals have that help them survive. A few of the favorites were Chalupa the tarantula and Curly the white-cheeked turaco.
Keep up the great work all you scouts out there!
Family Fun Day
We had a fun time at the MNHC yesterday. We met quite a few new faces and had a great time talking to the visitors and hanging out with the animals. Quigley, the brush-tailed bettong, was very sweet letting all the kids pet him on he back as I explained what an important animal he is and how integral he is for his ecosystem. Mocha, the duchess pigeon, hasn't been to a show in a while but did a good job teaching people that pigeons are not just "rats with wings", the can be beautiful and interesting creatures. As always, Daisy the red-tailed boa was a hit! She has doubled in size since the first presentation she came to at the Montana Natural History Center. For all of you who haven't made it to a presentation yet, we hope to see you next time. Keep checking the Home Page for upcoming public presentations or maybe we'll see you at your next celebration!
New reptile enclosures
We recently acquired 2 beautiful new reptile enclosures! After some shifting of enclosures in the temporary Reptile Room, Daisy (red-tailed boa) and Black Dalia (Mexican black kingsnake) moved right in. The enclosures are made specifically for large snakes and are perfect for these two bigger girls.
We are in the process of building a custom enclosure for Pearl (Columbian tegu) so she has a bit more room. Pearl was about 1 foot long when she came to Animal Wonders from a private owner who thought she was just too aggressive. Pearl is now a little over 3 feet and, yes, she is aggressive. But that is just typical behavior for Columbian tegus and we knew that when we took her in (remember to do your research before you get a new animal). Pearl is mostly aggressive when she's hungry. For the rest of the time we can interact with her as long as we are cautious and careful. She actually really enjoys being scratched on her back and head especially when she's shedding. She will arch her back and lean into our fingers so we can get a better position to scratch the shedding skin. During our presentations she does a wonderful example of "gaping" when Augusto gets close to her face. Many lizards gape when they want to warn off an animal that's in their territory. It is to show how big and scary they are and they are not afraid to bite! Tegus have bacteria in their saliva that causes a terrible infection, so we always wear gloves when interacting with Pearl, just in case. We are excited about Pearl's new enclosure, and if she knew it was coming soon, I'm sure she would be excited too.
**If you ever have extra enclosures that you no longer need. Please let us know, we always have a great use for them.
I don't have much to share about Ray's blood panel results. They were inconclusive, everything was normal and showed no signs of a problem. He went back this week for X-rays which were also inconclusive. There doesn't seem to be anything physically wrong with his body or organs. He's going back next week for another large blood draw which will be tested for some serious viruses that can cause seizures. This is the last thing we can test for and is very unlikely since he was an only bird in a private home for years before he came to Animal Wonders. If these tests come back negative we can only guess that he either has some kind of trauma that causes increasing seizures (unlikely) or he was born epileptic. I'll give another update next week when we get the results. If he is epileptic that would help us in his care and training. We would know that he is not terrified of hands, his "quakes" are not under his control. This will help us analyze how much interaction he likes, he may even be able to go to shows to teach kids about Rainbow Lorikeets and animals that need special care.
Thank you to everyone who supported us on Saturday at the Southgate Mall Fundraiser. We had a crowd all day with so many interested in the organization and of course the Animal Ambassadors. Tango was a huge hit and we were able to spread the knowledge of Patagonian Cavies and what makes a rodent a rodent. Tango did an amazing job with all the traffic as did all the other animals who came. Zoe, Curly, Lovie, Sherman, Cheeks, Daisy, Yucca, and Rick & Sue. We would like to send out a big Thank You to Haley who volunteered her time and energy, and the rest of her family who are always supportive of Animal Wonders. We also would like to give a shout out to Dianne Keast who has gone out of her way to help promote and spread the word about Animal Wonders. Thank you Dianne! We will post our next public event, which should be coming within the next month or so. Until then, we'll be working on new behaviors with the animals and continuing to improve their homes/enclosures. The second half of the Animal Compound is just beginning.
Ray, the Rainbow Lorikeet, had been doing quite well for his first few months at Animal Wonders. He got a new roommate, Lovie the Lovebird, and he was doing great with his feather destructive behavior. A few days ago Ray had a bad seizure. We are not sure what caused it so he went to the vet and had his blood drawn. We are awaiting the test results and they will hopefully shed some light on what caused the seizure. Ray's "shakes" and "quakes" have gotten a bit worse and he has lost his sense of balance. We are hoping that once we have a better idea of what he is dealing with we can help him recover. Until then, Ray will continue to get the care he needs and deserves. He has a great appetite and he loves his fresh fruit and veggies too. Keep your fingers crossed for some enlightening blood test results.