Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Meeting With Mercedes!

A good Tuesday to you!  Thank you for stopping by as we have some great information to share with you today!

Our “cub” reporter, Jessica, is out and about, meeting and greeting the In-Sync Exotics’ domestic and exotic animals.  Some of the animals are very excited to meet Jessica with chuffs and purrs, while others are not quite sure to make of this “new” face, pointing a camera at them!

On Sunday, Jessica decided it was time to meet the matriarch of the cougar family, Mercedes.  Did you know that Mercedes is our oldest cougar (25 years old), was born in captivity and she bore three cubs (Cerella, Keenan, and Charlie) prior to her arrival at In-Sync Exotics?    

Mercedes’ family, along with Crimson, relocated to our sanctuary in 2007 when the previous owners called us to tell us their house burned down and the cats, who were housed on the property, were left unprotected with no running water or electricity. 

Not wanting to break up the family, we decided to give the cougars a permanent home at In-Sync Exotics.  We've featured Cerella on the blog a few times (click HERE to hear Cerella demonstrate what a cougar scream sounds like) and Crimson’s battle with renal failure (click HERE for her story), but we never covered Mercedes ‘story!  Jessica said it was high time we wrote a posting on the beautiful, yet sometimes bossy cougar, so here is how her meeting went with Mercedes:
When I approached Mercedes, she was very curious of my presence. She even gave me the honor of shifting her upper body, so she could inspect me as I approached.  She kept her gaze locked onto me, closely watching every move I made until I stood right in front of her. At first, I thought I was going to get the cold shoulder, or even a, 'Leave me alone!!" reaction. But after a lengthy stare down she finally felt satisfied that I was no threat to her and started rubbing against the fence, purring oh so loudly.

"Hello Mercedes, I'm Jessica!"

At first, I had a hard time getting some good pictures of her because she moving around so much.  When she finally realized I wasn't going to lavish her with treats, she settled back down, rolled onto her back, looking a little disappointment in me. She kept up her cute act, (which I'm thinking was her asking me to reward her with treats), long enough for me to get some really good shots.

Purring and rolling around for treats!

After a while when she understood that I wasn't going to give into her devilishly good charms, she started to ignore me. I could see it in her eyes, "I woke up for this??"  It was about this time when Freddie started to catch her attention. He was on the other side of the fence, but I could tell she had her eyes trained upon him. Since I wasn't giving out treats, it was obvious I was placed on her “back burner”.

Mercedes giving me "the paw" when I didn't give her any treats!

I haven't spent much time with the cougars, but Mercedes was too cute. She was adorable, rolling around and purring. I swear I could just see her thought process with every move she made. I can see myself spending more time with the cougars now that they are starting to open up to me.

Mercedes' goofy yawn!  I think the our first meeting is now over...

I’m learning that you have to be real patient with cougars, because unlike some of the other big cats, cougars need time to adjust to new faces.  I was hesitant to spend time with Mercedes, just because I knew her vision was failing her and because she is an older cougar in general.  I honestly didn't know how she would react with me around her.  Now I am glad I got to know the grand dame of the cougar family—she may be bossy at times, but she is such a charmer and a joy to spend some quality time with each week!  Merci beaucoup, Mercedes!
Jessica Helmholtz ~ In-Sync Exotics' "Cub" Reporter

Update on the Donor Bridge Event!

Thanks to our awesome donors, we raised $18,287 from Donor Bridge event last Thursday.  As you know, any gift of $25 or more received a portion of the allotted matching funds.  The matching is a percentage of the matching funds divided by the total amount raised by Donor Bridge.  This year, the matching percentage was 7%.  That means, In-Sync Exotics will add $1,280 to the Big Cats Need Dental Too fundraising event, thanks to your generous gifts!

Again, our heart-felt thanks to the 234 donors who contributed towards our mission of caring for our exotic and domestic animals.  Rest assured, we will be good stewards of your gifts and will apply the funds directly towards the feed and care of our animals!

National Geographic Photo Contest 2012

Did you know that we have a photo entered in the Nat Geo Photo Contest this year?  To see who is proudly   representing In-Sync Exotics click HERE!  If you wouldn't mind, please "like" our representative and then share this picture with your friends and family!  Thank you!

To see all the Nat Geo photo contestants, click HERE!

How will our photo be judged?
Judging consists of two rounds of evaluation. In Round One, each judge in a panel of photographic experts (at least one of whom will be independent of Sponsor) will select ten (10) entries from among all eligible entries based on the following criteria: (1) Creativity 50%; (2) Photographic quality 50%. 
The entries selected in Round One will proceed to Round Two. In Round Two, the Judges will collectively select a Winner for each prize level based on the Judging Criteria. In the event of a tie, the tied entries will be re-submitted to the Judges for a re-judging between the tied entries alone. In the event that a tie remains after re-judging, the entry with the highest score in the creativity criteria will be declared the winner. One contest entrant cannot win 2 contest prizes.
Isn't it exciting that we have an entry in the 2012 Photo Contest? We are really receiving some great national exposure for the cats this year thanks to our supporters sharing thoughts, experiences, and photos of our animals with family, friends, and the general public.  Keep up the great work!  

We hope you enjoyed today's blog posting and will join us again tomorrow for more news and updates on our wild ones! Don't forget to let us know your reaction to this posting by clicking on one of the reaction buttons below--and share this blog posting with others please ~ Thank you!


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