Friday, January 13, 2012

Whew! Busy, Busy Week!

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Well, another busy, busy week comes to a close at In-Sync Exotics!

We started off the week with an update on Lassiter’s health condition.  Bless his heart, Lassiter required dental surgery to remove one of his canines.  A blog reader left us a comment asking if this tooth performed any function.  Well, canines are primarily used to “kill” prey and to help strip meat from animal bones.  So, in a sense, Lassiter may miss this right canine during bone night as there usually quite a bit of meat still attached to his tasty treats!  Lassiter is recovering well and has resumed his normal activities.  Thank you everyone for your kind words of encouragement and prayers for our cougar during his time of need!

On Tuesday, we reported the adventures of our interns as they took an educational trip to Fossil Rim last Friday.  You have got to see the amazing photographs taken on this trip!  We also congratulated Andrea Torino as she was selected as our new keeper!  Monday will be her first day as an official In-Sync Exotics’ employee—so if you see Andrea on Monday, be sure to congratulate her on her “promotion” from volunteer to staff!

Wednesday’s posting was about a couple of animal moves that we made to enhance our bobcats and coatimundi's quality of life.  We decided to move Chance, Lydia, and Isaac into a larger space formerly occupied by Nugget.  We moved our coatimundi closer to the commissary into what used to be the former bobcat enclosure.  Nugget just loves, loves, loves his new home!  He spends a lot more time outside his den.  He is no longer oblivious of his tiger neighbors as he is often seen mimicking their behaviors.  The bobcats also seem very happy with their larger living quarters, but due to the cold weather they seem to want to spend more time in their heated dens than outside playing in their playground! 

Thanks to some questions from our audience, we thought we’d officially introduce Nugget to the blog!  So Thursday’s posting was all about our “honorary” wild cat, Nugget!   Who knew this little critter has such a passion for shrimp!

If you haven’t noticed yet, we’ve been very busy adding new cards and gifts to the on-line gift store, just in time for Valentine’sDay!  The new cards and gifts feature our animals—and if we may say so, they are absolutely stunning!!!  You can find cards, key chains, journals, and mouse pads on this site.

Aasha's Journal!
We are also offering a special feature.  If you see an In-Sync Exotics card that you like, and you’d like to personalize it with your special someone’s name, send us an email and we’ll create it and place it in our store.  Please do not use last names on the cards or places of business.  You can add limited text, but it has to be “G” rated.  We will create and post the card to the store and advise you when it’s ready for purchase by return email!  This will be for a limited time only, so send in your requests today!

And remember, proceedes from purchased gifts and cards benefits the animals of In-Sync Exotics!  Thank you!

We hope you had a terrific week!   Please join us once again next week for more interesting and educational postings on the happenings at In-Sync Exotics!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Who Is In-Sync Exotic's Honorary Cat?

Okay, just who is this “honorary cat” In-Sync Exotic mentions in various blog postings and Twitter comments?  What is a coatimundi and where do they come from?  Are they solitary animals or do they live in groups?  Why does In-Sync Exotics have only one coatimundi?

These are all great questions! 

First, meet Nugget!  Isn't he just adorable?

Nugget is a 7 year old South American Coati, also known as a Ring-tailed Coati and his species is native to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay and Venezuela.    Normally, these cuties with teeth and claws weight about 8 to 13 pounds and total length is about 3 feet or so with half of its length being its tail!

South American Coatis are diurnal animals, living both on the ground and in trees, but are often found scavenging and poking through cracks and crevices in search of tasty morsels amongst the leaves in their native forests.

Nugget loves to eat fruit, eggs, and small bugs as he is omnivorous. His favorite treat is peppermints, Jolly Ranchers and cinnamon pop-tarts, shrimp, and will devour creepy, crawly things, especially long, juicy earthworms!  Yum-my!

Like most males, Nugget is a solitary animal, while the females enjoy living in large groups, called bands consisting of about 15-30 females and their offspring.

Nugget likes to make little squeaking sounds when he is happy to see us and if something frightens him, he’ll make a run for it.  Please do not cough around our coati because the sound frightens him!

Nugget is protected from natural predators such as foxes and jaguars.  The average lifespan of a coatimundi living in captivity is about 14 years.

Where did Nugget come from?  Well, Nugget was originally purchased from a pet store in Plano. However, when the owner's neighbors complained about having an exotic pet in their neighborhood, Nugget's new owner was forced to get rid of him. He sold Nugget back to the pet store owner who decided to keep this cute, little guy himself.

Because he was in the process of building a new home, Nugget went to live with the pet store owner's father-in-law until the house was completed.

However, upon completion, Nugget was no longer wanted. Because the father-in-law didn't want this cute, little guy either, he called In-Sync to see if we had room. During Nugget's 3-4 month stay with the father-in-law, he was housed in a 2'x3' crate, which appeared as if it had never been cleaned.  There were multiple food bowls filled with molded food and feces, no fresh water and inadequate shelter.

Nugget had burns on his body from wallowing in his own urine.

Before coming to us, he had never seen a veterinarian nor received any routine vaccinations. Nugget's personality won us over immediately. He is very affectionate and loves company and to have his back scratched.

Nugget is very acrobatic and loves to entertain anyone willing to watch.  So, when you come out to visit, please say a special "hello" to our "honorary cat" named Nugget!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Four Happy Animals!

Last Sunday we made a couple of animal moves that will enhance our bobcats and coatimundi's quality of life.  We decided to move Chance, Lydia, and Isaac into a larger space formerly occupied by Nugget.  We moved our coatimundi closer to the commissary into what used to be the former bobcat enclosure.

Chance checking out his
bobcat neighbors

This move allows all our bobcats to be located in once central area, giving them the opportunity to check each other out.  We will continue to keep Moses and Otis separated from  their three new neighbors, but they can see and hear each other through the Plexiglas window se-parating their heated dens. 

Two surprised bobcats enjoying their
heated den!

All five bobcats seem very happy with this new arrangement as now Chance, Lydia, and Isaac not only have their own heated den, but they also have their very own playground to enjoy.

Isaac and Chance in their heated den

Chance seems to be doing very well living with Isaac and Lydia.  Lydia, an older bobcat, likes to "mother" the youngster while Isaac has become quite buddy-buddy with his new playmate! 

Nugget checking out his new "digs"

Meanwhile, Nugget also appears very happy with his new living arrangement, happily chirping and spending more time with volunteer staff when they arrive to clean out his quarters.  Nugget is having a ball digging around his raised dirt-filled play area!

Tigers Kiro and Tacoma enjoy watching Nugget's antics, completely fascinated with this little furry creature playing around in his new home.  Nugget, on the other hand, appears to be oblivious of the extra attention he's currently receiving from the two tigers living across the way from him!

Nugget's new quarters is only temporary.  Once the new serval enclosure is built, the servals will move into their new home and Nugget will occupy their former quarters.  This will give Nugget the opportunity to explore and climb around his new environment, plus scavenger around for tasty morsels to his heart's delight.

This will be an exciting year as we build new homes for our animals, so you'll want to stay tuned for the latest construction updates!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

We Went on A Road Trip!!

Last Friday, we took our interns on an educational field trip to Fossil Rim Wildlife Center.  It was a wonderful day!

The weather was gorgeous, sunny and in the 70’s – odd for January, but we’ll take it!  We jumped on the Fossil Rim tour vehicle along with Trich and Jerry, our tour guides for the day.  We drove through the park, checking out ostriches, sable antelope, roan antelope, mountain zebras, Grevy’s zebras, addax, aoudad, blackbuck, waterbuck, bongos, wildebeest and more!  Our tour guides were extremely knowledgeable, and we learned a lot about hoofstock!

Then we headed over to the carnivore areas, where we saw the maned wolves, Mexican grey wolves and red wolves.  Then we met up with Jason, the carnivore keeper.  He spent a great deal of time with us, discussing their cheetahs, and letting us meet many of the cheetahs who call Fossil Rim home.  He also wanted to know how Sam and Kodi are doing at In-Sync, because he was their keeper at Fossil Rim before they came to live with us!  He was thrilled to hear that we are planning to build them a large, new enclosure.

Jason joined us all for lunch, and then took us into their second  cheetah area, where the remainder of their 20 cheetahs lives.  We spent some time with Moose and Bruce, two very affectionate and adorable cheetahs who had been hand-raised.  One female with three 15-month-old youngsters was friendly enough when we approached her fence, but made sure to stay between us and her babies at all times! 

We learned quite a bit about cheetah breeding and management, and really enjoyed speaking with Jason.

Vickie Gorman-Page and Heather Parker
with a new friend!

Driving back through the park, we were able to feed the giraffes, and see two baby giraffes that were absolutely adorable!  Liberally covered with giraffe slobber, we moved on to the white rhino barn, where we were in for a treat – a two month old rhino calf! 

She doesn’t have a name yet, but she absolutely charmed all of us!  Her 42-year-old mother was very patient, and allowed us to observe them for quite some time.  Who knew rhinos could be so adorable!  Little Anonymous was very curious about us, approaching the fence, and then playing and bouncing around for us.  We were all enamored!

All in all, a very fun, and very educational day for us all!

(left to right) Alysia Lavender, Vickie Gorman-Page, Elizabeth Chambers, Emilee Larkin
Heather Parker, Stacy Tekstar
(not pictured, but along for the event were Ken Crenshaw and Chemyn Reaney)

Posting Written By:
Chemyn Reaney
Volunteer Coordinator
In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue

We at In-Sync Exotics would like to congratulate Andrea Torino as she was selected as our new exotic wild animal keeper!  Huge lion roar of congrats to you, Andrea!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Lassiter's Day at the Vet!

On Friday, Lassiter, our 12-year old male cougar, was taken to the vet because our lead keeper, Mak, noticed Lassiter's face was slightly swollen, he had some nasal discharge, and he didn't seem interested in food or treats. 

His blood tests came back normal last Wednesday afternoon, but we still needed to know why our cougar was feeling ill.  So on Friday, Lassiter was taken to the vet, where he was sedated, and his vet performed a thorough dental exam. 

See how his upper right tooth lowered itself
out of the socket making it look like his
right tooth is longer than the left. 

It didn't take long to figure out why our cougar was having trouble eating and enjoying life.  The culprit turned out to be a canine tooth that was actually  rotting at the root and protruding from his gum line.

Can you believe how long Lassiter's
right canine was?

Lassiter's vet performed dental surgery on Friday, removing the tooth that caused our cougar such pain.  The photograph on the right is Lassiter's tooth.  As you can see, the tooth definitely needed to be removed from his mouth.

Once Lassiter recovered from the sedation, he was moved back to his quarters. 

Lassiter recovering from his trip to the vet.

Where he is recuperating from his dental surgery.  As you can see, Lassiter was just thrilled with his trip to the vet.  We, on the other hand, are very happy that Lassister's vet was able to remove the tooth on Friday so our cougar can resume eating, pain free!

PS.  If you haven't had a chance yet, now would be a great time to write a review of our sanctuary!  It only takes about 3 minutes to write a review, but that 3-minute review could make a difference in our cats' lives, so please, write a review today!  Thank you!