Thursday, January 5, 2012

Our First 2012 Weekly Wrap-Up!

Here is a quick recap for this short week:

We started our short week off with an adorable story about lions and stuffed little lion toys--what an adorable story to start the new work week!

On Wednesday, we updated everyone on Katy’s leg surgery.  Even though Katy is supposed to be on convalesce leave from “working” at the sanctuary, it didn’t stop her from trying to resume her duties!  Katy broke out of her recuperating quarters and ran on her three legs to In-Sync Exotics, prepared to resume her duties.  To Vicky’s chagrin, she had to report her wayward charge to the vet.  The vet commented Vicky truly she had her “hands full” with this determined dog and to make sure she did not resume her duties until she received her vet's return to work note.  Easier said than done!  Katy is now under guard with strict instructions not to leave her recuperating quarters.  We’ll keep you posted on her progress!

We also announced on Wednesday that Great Nonprofits launched its 2012 Animal Welfare Campaign yesterday!  Have you written your 2012 In-Sync Exotics review yet?  If not, please consider writing a review if you have personal knowledge of our operations and cats (to include Nugget, of course).  We thank you for your support!

Yesterday, we launched our first of many quizzes scheduled for this year, so as to educate the public on the species of big cats that call In-Sync Exotics home.  We’d love for you to participate in the quizzes for it gives us an idea of what areas of our big cat education program we need to update or improve upon—so your feedback is vital!

We’d like to thank the 20 brave individuals who participated in yesterday’s quiz, Dispelling Myths About Tigers!  The results of the tiger quiz were very interesting, exemplifying the need for this tiger "myth buster" quiz:

Let’s look at the questions and their correct answers:

1.    Tigers evolved in Africa.  Myth or Fact?  If you said Myth, then you were correct!  Tigers are native to Asia, where they are presently found in 14 countries called the "tiger range states."  

94.7% of quiz takers got this question correct…

2.    The best way to identify a tiger is by its pug marks (paw prints).  Myth or Fact?  If you said Myth, then you are correct!  Pug marks of a tiger look different in varying soil types meaning unless the cat has an obvious foot irregularity reliable identification is not possible.  The best that can be hoped for (with practice and careful observation) when studying pug marks is that they may enable you to tell a female from a male, to verify the presence of cubs, or to learn of an unusual physical characteristic or an injury.

94.7% of quiz takers got this question correct…

3.    Tigers typically hunt alone.  Myth or Fact?  If you said Fact, then you were correct!  This myth probably started with the confusion between tigers and lions’ hunting strategies. Tigers rarely come together except when mating. During this time the tiger couple may very occasionally hunt as a pair, but are more interested in coupling. Other sightings of multiple tigers occur where cubs are still learning from their mother. Apart from the couple of exceptions mentioned above, tigers are solitary animals which lives and hunts alone.

90% of quiz takers got this question correct…

4.    Tigers and jaguars are fine swimmers and love water.  Myth or Fact?  If you said Fact, then you were correct!  These two cat species love water and are fine swimmers. In hotter climates, tigers like to lie in the water to help reduce the effects of heat and annoying flies.  Tigers need to drink regularly, and they often slip into pools of water (hindquarters first) to cool off in the hot weather.  That is In-Sync Exotics provides tubs and pools for its tigers—they just love to splash around!

Congratulations!  100% of the quiz takers got this question correct! 

5.    Sabre-toothed tigers were related to the modern tiger.  Myth or Fact?  If you answered Fact, then you were incorrect!  The sabre-tooth tiger (Smilodon) species that we know from fossil remains like those at the La Brea tar pits in southern California are not even close relatives of the modem tiger.

If you missed this question, then you were not alone as 25% of the respondents also missed this question…

6.    Tigers, like lions, will attack human beings every time they get a chance.  Myth or Fact?  If you answered Myth, then you were correct!  Tigers normally go out of their way to avoid human contact.  I’m sure our animal caretakers at In-Sync Exotics are relieved to know this!

95% of quiz takers got this question correct…

7.   Tigers are not very good at climbing trees.  Myth or Fact?  If you answered Fact, then you were correct!  Tigers are not normally tree climbers, being too heavy. Individuals living near tigers are taught to escape a charging tiger by climbing a tree, and for centuries hunters in India used to employ watch platforms in trees, to ambush tigers.

Interesting to note, the percentage between “Fact or Myth” was pretty much split—with 55% voting Fact and 45% voting Myth!

8.    Tiger hunts have a high success rate.  Fact or Myth?  If you answered Myth, then you would were correct!  The reputation of the tiger as being a "killing machine" is greatly exaggerated seeing how only 1 in 10-20 tiger hunts is successful.

90% of quiz takers got this question correct…

9.    The size of the tiger’s territory is about the same for males and females.  Fact or Myth?  If you answered Myth, then you were correct!  Typically, the territory of a male tiger is several times larger than that of a female. The reason seems to be that the primary cause of territoriality in males is not access to food, but rather access to females for breeding.

75% of quiz takers got this question correct…

10. Tigers prefer large prey to small prey.  Fact or Myth?  If you answered Myth, then you were incorrect!  If given a choice, tigers (like other big cats) will go for large prey, since killing a large animal is more energy-efficient for the tiger and her cubs.

Interesting to note, the percentage between “Fact or Myth” was pretty much split—with 42.1% voting Fact and 57.9% voting Myth!

I hope this dispels some of the some common misconceptions about tigers and we hope this quiz gives you a better appreciation of these majestic big cats! 

If you are in the Dallas area or you just haven’t been to In-Sync Exotics in a while, we invite you to visit our beautiful tigers and learn more about their behaviors and quirky personalities!

By the way, did you know we are on Twitter?  And that we send out Tweets daily?  No?  Well, we do!  Follow us on Twitter at @Insync_Exotics and join our growing community!

In case you haven't heard, Lassiter, one of our cougars, took ill this week.  We noticed that he had discharge coming out of his nose, his face was slightly swollen, and he declined his dinner and treats.  We contacted the vet and scheduled a full body exam, to include x-rays, for this afternoon.  Our vet asked us to draw blood first, so he could examine the blood panel results prior to his appointment.  The good news is, blood work came back normal Wednesday afternoon and his facial swelling went down considerably after he started taking his antibiotics. 

We will provide a Lassiter update on Monday as we should have more information as to the cause of our cougar's health issue.  Until then, please say a little prayer for our boy!  Thank you!

Greetings Heather!
Please give a mighty lion welcoming roar to our new Intern, Heather Parker!  She traveled from Ontario, Canada to intern at our sanctuary. Heather completed her Veterinarian Technician degree from Ashworth College and is eager to put her newly acquired animal care knowledge to work at In-Sync Exotics.  Heather told us that she has always dreamed about taking care of animals and her recent care of a bobcat back home blossomed her dream of  finding employment with a zoo or sanctuary some day.  Not surprisingly, Heather's favorite animal at In-Sync Exotics is Smugger!

Welcome Heather!  We hope you find your Internship with us to be memorable and educational!

We hope you enjoyed this week's blog postings--stayed tuned for more updates and stories next week!


Dispeling Myths About Tigers

At In-Sync Exotics, we are often asked questions about our tigers.  Some of the questions asked are commonly-held myths and beliefs surrounding the tiger.  We are hoping this blog posting will help dispel the myths surrounding these majestic creatures. 

So, the question is...just how well do you know tigers?  Let's find out!

On Friday, we'll announce the truth about tigers, dispelling their myths and hopefully give you a better understanding of these elusive and majestic big cats!  Good luck and remember, no cheating!

Oh, and don't forget to write your Great NonProfit review (if you haven't already!)... Thank you!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

We Have Some Great News!

Yesterday, one of our special animals, Katy, underwent surgery to correct a problem with her leg.  Dr. Fager, a visiting surgeon from the Dallas Surgical Center, performed the surgery at Katy's veterinarian's clinic.  The surgery lasted about an hour and forty-five minutes with just one minor complication.

During the surgery,  Katy started to breath very fast and her heart rate jump for about a minute.It must have seemed like a very long minute to everyone in the room until thankfully her breathing and heart rate returned to normal.  The rest of the surgery went without a hitch!

As Katy was being taken out of the surgical room and placed into the temporary roll cage, Katy started screaming out in pain.  The vet was quick to administer a pain medication directly into her vein and within a couple of seconds, Katy felt better.  For the next four hours, Katy remained at the vet's office for observation to make sure she came out of the anesthesia without any complications. 

Vicky was given Metacam to give Katy so as to control the pain associated with the surgery and a long, detailed instruction sheet on her physical therapy treatment to be performed at home.

For the next 8-12 weeks, Katy will have to convalesce at Vicky's house until she makes a full recovery. She will have to remain confined to a large dog cage because every time someone entered the room she would try and jump up to greet the newcomer!  When Katy was being carried to the house, she made it clear she wanted to return to the sanctuary.  Bless her heart, she was so determined to return to work even though her legs could not carry her to her desired destination! 

During the day, volunteers will monitor Katy to make sure she does not use her leg and at night Vicky and Eddie will tend to the girl's needs.  Katy will have to undergo physical therapy at home, starting with very slow controlled walking after her third recovery day for about 5-10 minutes at a time, several times a day.  When using the outdoor "facilities," Katy will have to remain on a very short leash to make sure she does over exert herself (and to keep her from bounding to the sanctuary to visit the staff and cats).  Volunteers will help stretch out her leg at least 3 times per day, as long as she is not in any pain and she will also receive massages to help her relax and reduce leg spasms.  The goal is for Katy to eventually bear her full weight on the leg and have full range of motion of her limb without pain or any other complications.  Post-op care is very important because it will determine whether or not Katy will regain full use of her leg. 

The veterinarian has high hopes that Katy will make a full recovery and we know that with a lot of love and attention, Katy will be running back to In-Sync Exotics to resume her duties in record time! 

In-Sync Exotics Supporters to the Rescue!

On December 30th, we have received word that our local animal shelter here in Wylie needed help.  The shelter was bombarded with  a large number of dogs last month, and they were running out of dog food. Since we have a bunch of animal lovers at In-Sync Exotics, a call for dog food was placed on our Facebook page.   

Our animal lovers responded to the plea for help, donating 8 - 40lb bags; 20 - 20 lbs bags; 3 - 15 lbs bags, and 4 or 5 - 5lbs bags of dog food!!  Awesome!

The dog food was delivered today and the shelter staff was thrilled with the delivery!  When we arrived, one of the workers brought out a small plastic red wagon, probably thinking we only brought about a bag or two of dog food.  When Vicky asked if he had anything larger we could use to move the dog food bags, the worker asked how big of a wagon did we need.  When he saw all the bags, we was stunned into saying, "this is the most dog food I have ever seen delivered since the three years I've been here!"  Kenny Boone was also very happy with the donations saying that this amount of food should last them for over a month! 

We'd like to thank everyone who contributed towards the donation of the dog food!  Team In-Sync truly made a difference in the lives of the animals living at the shelter.  If you would like to make a dog food donation, please contact the City of Wylie, Texas Animal Shelter at 972-442-5268 or drop off your dog donation at  949-A Hensley Lane, Wylie, TX 75098.   Huge high-five tiger paws to everyone who donated dog food to the City of Wylie Texas Animal Shelter!  

Love What We Do?  Then Please Write About Us!

In case you missed our breaking news yesterday, Great NonProfits launched its 2012 Animal Welfare Campaign yesterday!

Many of you may remember last year in August we campaigned hard, and thanks to our fans, In-Sync Exotics was selected as 2011 Top Rated Animal Welfare Nonprofit!   

If you missed last years’ Animal Welfare Campaign, you have an opportunity to write your review today.  For you see, any organization that receives 10 positive reviews by January 31st will be listed as a Top-Rated Animal Nonprofit on its website.  We would really appreciate your review of our sanctuary, even if you wrote your review last year (you can still add to your comments made last year), since many donors and grant writers use your comments to determine whether or not to contribute towards the care of our beautiful animals.  You can even attach pictures of your favorite cat or Nugget (always gotta love on Nuggget) to your review!

So, warm up those fingers and start sharing your story of what In-Sync Exotics means to you and don’t forget to encourage your friends, family, Facebook buddies, and so forth, to check us out, visit our sanctuary (if possible), and share their stories of how In-Sync Exotics makes a difference in the animals' lives!

We cannot thank you enough for supporting In-Sync Exotics in 2012!  Thank you!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

...And So We Begin Our 2012 Cat Tales Blog Postings!

Starting the year with breaking news...

GreatNonprofits launched its 2012 Animal Welfare Campaign, recognizing organizations that help protect animals around the globe.

Any organization that receives 10 positive reviews by January 31st will be listed as a Top-Rated Animal Nonprofit on its website.  If you haven't already written a review on our sanctuary, we would really appreciate you write one today! 

Thank you! or click on our badge on the right side of this page!


Welcome back to the In-Sync Exotics' Cat Tale Blog! We hope you had a wonderful New Year holiday!

This year we have some exciting stories to bring you, including our plans for the animals this year.  We will also present some great short stories from our volunteers as they lovingly care for our special cats and Nugget.  We start the new blog year with one such story from the "field."

Kelli, one of our volunteers submitted this humorous short story over the holiday weekend:

Hello Everyone,
I hope you all have been having a wonderful holiday!  I just wanted to share a few pictures and a little information with you. 
This year, like most families, money has been a little tight.  So for Christmas presents, I had to be a little creative, especially when it came to getting presents for my nieces Alexis and Azayle.  While shopping at a local department store, I found some stuffed animal lions.  They were really adorable and only $5 each so I decided it would be a great present from their cat crazy aunt.
Little Lion, Meet Jazz!
I also decided it might be cool to take pictures of their stuffed animal lions with REAL lions—to make it more interesting and hopefully get my nieces interested in

Little Lions, Meet Jynxie!

cats and wildlife education in general.  With Justin and Ricki's help, I was able to take some pictures (and a video seen below) of the lions with their real counter-parts.  I was AMAZED at how much all the lions liked the little stuffed animals. 
Geez, it might even be worth purchasing one for the purpose of getting the lions to move and go in and out of the playground! They followed me EVERYWHERE!  Such silly kitties!!

Little Lion, Meet Layla!

I'm not sure if this is blog worthy, but if you'd like me to write a story about it let me know and I'll be glad to.   
Have a wonderful New Year!!  See you all next year!
Kelli :)

This short story was definitely blog worthy, Kelli!  Thank you for the great impromptu short story.  Please, keep 'em coming!

Also, without further ado, we present Kelli's short video of the little lion encounter with one of our White Boys...

Again, we are thrilled you joined our Cat Tale's blog this year and we hope you'll join us on a regular basis.  Stay tuned for updates on Katy, Chance, and the rest of the In-Sync Exotics' family as we present fun and educational postings on our animals throughout the new year!