Saturday, August 6, 2011

Just Another Day at In-Sync Exotics

Operating an exotic wild animal sanctuary is not your normal routine job.  Each day brings new challenges to resolve, such as what to do if a cougar develops a problem with her paw.

Last Saturday, Sassy, a 12-year old female cougar developed a slight limp in her front paw.  After observing Sassy for a few days, Vicky decided a trip to the vet was necessary to rule out any serious health issues.

Yesterday, the vet was able to determine that there was no break in the bone and no object embedded in the paw.  Instead, test results revealed that Sassy may be developing arthritis.  We’ll be keeping an eye on her to see if she will require further treatment or medication to relieve any discomfort she may feel in the future.  At this time, Sassy appears to be happy with all the fuss made over her—purring loudly whenever Vicky comes around to check on her!

Next challenging task is to weigh the former Poetry lions to determine if the girls were within a normal weigh range.  So how exactly does one weigh a lioness?

Well, first you ask the lioness to line up in front of the shoot, enter the shoot, and then sit down on the scale. 

Time for their weigh-ins!

Job well done!

Then the lioness backs out so the next one may enter, and so forth. 

Easy as pie, right? 

The In-Sync animal caretakers make this procedure look easy because they spend hours working the cats.   

In 2006, we instituted an Animal Husbandry Training Program, teaching the big cats commands such as down, stand-up, back, forward, open and target.  These basic commands allow us to perform simple medical procedures such as weighing the cats, drawing their blood, taking temperatures, performing skin biopsies, and examining the cats’ bodies, without having to anesthetize them.

We never know what to expect from day to day, but we do know this—we have the best jobs in the world!

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