Friday, February 17, 2012

Our Week in Review!

Goodness, this week has just flown by!  Let’s recap the event of this week:

On Monday, we learned that cats are the undisputed sleep champions of the animal world!  Thanks to our viewing audience, we were able to put together a short video of domestic and wild cats sleeping styles.  Due to the large number of photos, we were unable to include the wonderful captions submitted with the photos—however, the photos truly speak for themselves! Whether it’s a cat finding comfort on a man’s shoulders, stealing our favorite blankets, curling up in our sinks when we need to get ready for work or taking over the doggies’s bed; cats have the unique way of taking over our lives—even when they are sleeping!

So click HERE to view the video and remember, even if your cat is sleeping, he's probably dreaming of you…

Tuesday was Valentine’s Day—a perfect day to celebrate Kenya’s life, the tiger who inspired the formation of In-Sync Exotics.  To read more about Vicky’s love for this amazing tiger that was once dubbed as an “ugly” cub by his former owner, click HERE.

Wednesday:  What happens when the sun sets, the bones are distributed to the cats, and all animals are fed every Sunday evening?   It’s “Bone Race” time!  Several years ago, we started a “bone race” where five tigers raced through an empty adjacent enclosure looking for one hidden bone.

Mohan, Saber, Lucca, Nadia, and Emma have gotten pretty good at finding the bone, no doubt because we have limited places where we can hide the tasty treat; it’s just a matter of time before one tiger finds the bone first!

Below is a bonus video of last week’s race, from a different prospective! 

We also welcomed a new Intern to In-Sync Exotics!  So put your two paws together in welcoming Sascha Myrthue to Team In-Sync!

On Thursday we covered Nugget’s trip to the vet.  Why did he need so see his doc?  Well, a few weeks ago, we noticed that Nugget had what looked like a rash on his “hind quarters.”  Concerned that this might be a bacterial infection….(read more HERE)

Well, we hope you enjoyed this week's blog and will return next week for more fun, entertaining and informative updates on the animals of In-Sync Exotics! Have a fun and safe weekend -- and don't forget to visit the animals if you happen to be in vicinity of In-Sync Exotics!

All of us at In-Sync Exotics hope you have a roaring great weekend!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nugget's Afternoon With The Vet

Nugget, our adorable coatimundi, had quite a day yesterday as he had a scheduled appointment with his veterinarian.  Why did he need to see his doc?  Well, a few weeks ago, we noticed that Nugget had what looked like a rash on his “hind quarters.”  Concerned that this might be a bacterial infection, Nugget’s living quarters were thoroughly cleaned, top to bottom, with a disinfectant, and he was administered Clindamycin.  This type of medication is used to treat certain types of bacterial infections and we hoped this would resolve the issue.

When it appeared that the rash was not going to go away, we decided it was time Nugget went on a road trip.

Road trip!
So we enticed our coatimundi in his transporter, with the assistance of some dog food tossed inside the cage, and whisked him away to the vet’s office.

Up to this point, Nugget was very cooperative...until he entered the examination room.

In order for the vet to examine Nugget, he had to be sedated since coatimundis have very sharp teeth and they can move very fast in small quarters.  Sedating the little coati turned out to be rather challenging.  Who knew this little guy could move so fast, dodging the tranquilizer needle at every turn of his tail!

Time to bring in the comforter!
After several attempts to sedate the little guy failed, a large comforter was brought in to fill in the transporter’s “extra space,” essentially trapping Nugget in one corner of the cage. 

Success!  Nugget was sedated and his examination began shortly thereafter.

Not knowing what type of bacterial infection Nugget may have, a biopsy and culture was taken and sent off for testing. 

Meanwhile, the vet thoroughly cleaned the infected area and we were directed to continue giving Nugget his Clindamycin. 

While Nugget was fast asleep, the vet administered his annual vaccinations and drew blood to run chemistry and CBC profiles, just to make sure there was nothing else going on with our little coati.  Plus he received a thorough brushing and had his nails trimmed--he looks so handsome!

Hopefully, we will learn what type of infection he acquired very soon, but until then, the vet ordered a change in Nugget’s sleeping quarters.  

Nugget sleeping in his modified "house"
with his favorite blanket
He wanted to make sure that Nugget did not sleep on a hard surface where his “hind quarters” were not properly ventilated.  Instead, he recommended that a flat elevated board with ventilation holes be placed in his “house” so air would continue to circulate around his body while he slept.  

Nugget happy to be home again!
Last night, Nugget was feeling a little sleepy from his trip to the vet, but over all he seems happy to be at home again.

We will keep you posted on Nugget’s recovery and pray that whatever ails our little coati goes away real soon!

If you would like to make a donation towards Nugget's health care, we thank you!  Donations can be made HERE.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New Intern and Old Traditions Do Mix!

Once the sun sets, the bones given out, and the animals fed, it is time for the late night Sunday tradition to begin!  Several years ago, we started a “bone race” where five tigers raced through an empty adjacent enclosure looking for one hidden bone.

Mohan, Saber, Lucca, Nadia, and Emma have gotten pretty good at finding the bone, no doubt because we have limited places where we can hide the tasty treat; it’s just a matter of time before one tiger finds the bone first!

Our five tigers usually mind their manners as they search for their bone—no fighting allowed; however secretly spiriting away the treasure from one another is allowed!

Poor Mohan!  He worked so hard to find the bone, but before he could enjoy it, Emma spirited it away!  Next time, Mohan, next time...  While the bone is the ultimate prize, the other four tigers get to enjoy a few tasty meat pieces as consolation prizes!

Our tigers enjoy using their natural talents to find the hidden treasure since it keeps them on their tiger toes.  Fortunately, we have really great staff, interns, and volunteers working hard to keep our tigers in tip-top shape everyday!

Velkommen til In-Sync Exotics, Sascha!

Please welcome our new Intern, Sascha Myrthue!  Sascha traveled all the way from Taastrup, Denmark to intern at In-Sync Exotics;  no doubt about it, Sascha traveled the furthest to get to In-Sync! Thanks to the World Wide Web, Sascha found our website and was intrigued with our exotic wild animal programs.  She is pursuing a zoology degree and one of the school requirements is she must intern at an exotic wild animal facility, putting her newly acquired knowledge to the test.  Since she is fascinated by big cats, Sascha decided In-Sync Exotics would be the perfect place to intern.

We've already put Sascha to work!
Sascha comes to us with zoo animal experience as she worked for the Lintrup Safari Zoo Park for a year.  Sadly, the zoo she worked at did not have any large exotic wild cats—just the small cat variety, such as Lynxes and Servals -- she even worked with Hyenas and Dingoes!  So needless to say, our large tigers are quite fascinating to Sascha!  She doesn’t have a favorite exotic cat yet, but we figure by the time she returns home next month, she have several big cats she’ll be following for years to come by way of our blog and Facebook pages, all courtesy of the World Wide Web! 

Welcome to In-Sync Exotics, Sascha!

Interested in our Internship Program?  Click HERE for more information!



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Forever Love

In everyone's life time there is someone—whether it be a person or animal—that impacts one’s life so profoundly and in such a way that it could only be described as “forever life changing.”   For Vicky Keahey, the being that made a tremendous impact on her life was a little tiny screaming five week old tiger cub named “Kenya.” 

Kenya was born April 28, 1998 at an exotic-animal menagerie, petting zoo, and wildlife drive-through, located near the Central Texas town of Bastrop (the facility eventually closed in the early 2000s due to its troubling past).   Vicky often checked on the animals living there as she was concerned for their health and welfare.

When Vicky first saw the little tiny cub at three weeks of age, she screamed on the top of her lungs in distress and had begun to lose her hair. For two weeks, Vicky looked for ways to help the small, tiger cub, but to no avail. 

When Vicky laid eyes on a little tiny screaming baby cub described as “ugly” by the wildlife manager a second time two weeks later, she just knew she had to save her—this poor tiger’s health was getting worse, not better.  As Vicky examined the tiny cub, the manager said with disgust in her voice, “No one is going to buy this baby cub because she is so ugly—I don’t know what to do with her.” After looking over the screaming almost hairless cub Vicky responded “I’ll take her—I’ll fix her up.”  So Vicky bought the tiny “ugly” cub from the wildlife facility and proceeded to drive home with her new little charge.

At this time, In-Sync Exotics didn’t even exist and Vicky had no experience with wildlife facilities or sanctuaries.  She just knew, as she drove away from the wildlife facility, that she could do much better at rescuing animals than the place she just left.  It was during the ride home, Vicky seriously considered starting her own wildlife sanctuary—a place where animals like the “little ugly cub” could find solace and healing.

The idea of starting a sanctuary was very appealing, but first, it would need a name—what to call this new sanctuary?  Vicky wanted the sanctuary to be harmonious and safe place for animals in need, but what name could appropriately describe this new sanctuary?  As she was pondering over what to call the new sanctuary, she happened to see a manufacturing warehouse on the left side of the road with the word “InSync” emblazed on the side of the building.  That’s when it hit her – “I’ll call it In-Sync Exotics!  That’s what I want—that sounds like a good name for the new sanctuary!”

Now what to name the cub?  Well, as it turned out, Vicky planned to go to Africa to observe wild cats in their natural environment.  Needless to say, with a very sick baby cub covered in fleas needing constant care, her plans to visit Africa were cancelled. “Kenya” needed her more.  For the next three months, Vicky tended to a cub that was infected with parasites, worms, and suffered from various stomach ailments.  Kenya constantly screamed in discomfort until the medicine finally got rid of the parasites and worms; and she was able to hold food down.  Vicky worked tireless with Kenya to get her to eat her food, often resorting to spoon feeding before the stubborn little girl finally learned to eat and hold food down on her own. 

It wasn’t long before Vicky had a little “shadow” following her wherever she went.  Kenya didn’t like to have Vicky out of her sight for very long as she had built a strong bond with Vicky, and vice versa.  As this little cub grew, Vicky learned very quickly that Kenya loved to play with water.  She was fascinated with the water coming out of the hose—trying to “bite” the water as it shot out of the hose!  Little Kenya was growing up so fast that Vicky new it was almost time for her to live outdoors. 

When Kenya turned seven months old Vicky decided it was time for the little cub to live outside by herself.  So a new enclosure was built and the tigress moved into her new home.  As you can imagine, Kenya, living outside, was hard on both girls.  On the cub’s first overnight, Vicky stayed with her, providing comfort to Kenya until she finally fell asleep.  Eventually, both tiger and human adjusted to their new living arrangements.

It was about that time when Vicky learned Kenya was allergic to concrete!  Her tiny little paw pads would break out in rashes every time she walked on the concrete floor within her enclosure.  After giving it some thought, Vicky decided that Kenya’s floor needed to be covered with thick straw.  So every week five fresh compacted bales of straw were brought in and every week 23 wheelbarrow trips were made removing the spent straw.  It was a lot of hard work, but Vicky saw it as a labor of love. 

Kenya and Vicky were almost inseparable.  All throughout the day and night, Kenya and Vicky “chuffed” to one another.  With Kenya in her enclosure and Vicky on the outside, they played hide and seek, tiger-style. Kenya would chase Vicky, jump in her pool and splash her.  Kenya loved all the toys Vicky provided her.  She would entertain Vicky by playing with her toys. Kenya had a funny way of hugging her tree and turning somersaults when she wanted to show off. Sometimes, Vicky would sing to Kenya or just sit with her, admiring her beauty. At night, Vicky would sit with Kenya while she ate because Kenya hated eating alone.

For the next two years, Vicky established “In-Sync Exotics,” taking in animals needing help from the same wildlife facility where Kenya was born.  Like Kenya,  they too required a safe place to heal and grow.  But the newcomers could not hold a candle to precious Kenya as she held a very special place in Vicky’s heart.  Kenya was growing up so fast into a beautiful 283 pound tigeress.

Tragically, Kenya’s life was cut short.  A few weeks before her third birthday, on February 13, 2001, Kenya passed away on her veterinarian’s surgical table during a routine spay surgery.  

Kenya brightened the lives of all that met her during her short life, and her spirit and legacy live on as the inspiration for In-Sync Exotics.  

As we celebrate her life today, Vicky knows that Kenya is sitting in Heaven with our Lord, watching and guiding the staff and volunteers in the right direction.   Looking back at Kenya’s life, Vicky simply stated, “Everything I do now, I know Kenya is looking down on me—I will always do my best for God and for Kenya.  She was bigger than life -- she was the love of my life."

Beautiful Memories of Kenya

Baby Kenya loved the water!
Young Kenya playing!
Vicky with a yawning Kenya

28-month old Kenya grooming herself

Kenya's stinky face!

Kenya playing with her stuffed tiger toy!

Kenya enjoying a summer breeze

Beautiful Kenya!

On Kenya's Day, we celebrate her life, and the lives of the cats that passed away after her, by releasing mylar and one special teddy bear balloons, just for Kenya, into the sky. 

You'll Be In My Heart
Lyrics: Phil Collins
Come stop your crying
It will be all right
Just take my hand
Hold it tight

I will protect you
from all around you
I will be here
Don't you cry

For one so small,
you seem so strong
My arms will hold you,
keep you safe and warm
This bond between us
can't be broken
I will be here
Don't you cry

'Cause you'll be in my heart
Yes, you'll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more
You'll be in my heart
No matter what they say
You'll be here
in my heart always

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cat Naps!

Cats are the undisputed sleep champions of the animal world.  Only one animal out-sleeps the cat, and that would be the slow-footed sloth, which sleeps an estimated 80 percent of its life. Although the number of hours a cat spends sleeping can vary considerably among individual felines, the average time spent in slumber is about 16 hours per day.

No one is quite sure why, but the solitary cat's lifestyle, punctuated by energy-draining bursts of hunting and playing, is thought to necessitate this form of energy conservation. It is believed that wild cats consume so much energy in taking down large prey, they tend to need more sleep than domestic cats. Female lions, the primary hunters of the species, have been known to rest or sleep as much as 20 hours a day!

So why do cats sleep so much?  Well, it is thought that the cat's diet is a contributing factor to its ability to sleep so much.  Large grazing prey need to feed for hours on end to get enough nutrition to survive and generally only have time to sleep four or five hours a day. The protein-rich meat diet of the feline, on the other hand, requires no such investment of time for daily sustenance.  Instead of eating all day, the cat can stock up on sleep for its short, high-energy chases.

One thing all cats have in common is their unusual, yet adorable, sleeping positions! Thanks to our viewing audience, we were able to put together a short video of domestic and wild cats sleeping styles.  Due to the large number of photos, we were unable to include the wonderful captions submitted with the photos—however, the photos truly speak for themselves! Whether it’s a cat finding comfort on a man’s shoulders, stealing our favorite blankets, curling up in our sinks when we need to get ready for work or taking over the doggies’s bed; cats have the unique way of taking over our lives—even when they are sleeping!

So enjoy the video and remember, even if your cat is sleeping, he's probably dreaming of you…

On a more solemn note, today is the day we remember Kenya, Vicky's beloved first tiger, who inspired "In-Sync Exotics."  Today we remember her passing with love in our hearts.  Tomorrow, we will celebrate her life in our blog.  So stay tuned as we tell you all about the tiger who inspired a dream to come true.

So, did you find this posting "funny, interesting, or cool?"  If yes, please let us know by clicking on one of the reaction buttons below!  And don’t forget to share this posting with people you know who would appreciate having their day brightened by clicking on one of our share links listed below!  Thank you!

Oh, and as a reminder, don't forget to vote for us today in the Green Source DFW Environmental Awards! Voting ends tomorrow!  All our napping cats thank you...