Friday, March 2, 2012

An Emotional Week in Review

We started the week off with a blog posting titled “Cougar Call.”  Our readers learned why cougars cannot roar like our mighty lions at In-Sync Exotics.  As a special treat, Cerella demonstrated what her cougar “scream” sounds like to our readers.  Rest assured, no cougar was harmed in this demonstration.  Cerella was only expressing her displeasure of Spike (who happens to live "next door" to her) as he walked past at the time her "song" was recorded. 

On Tuesday, we introduced you to three of our cross-eyed cats, Harley, Kaiya and Freddie, who live normal lives at our sanctuary.  We also discussed what causes certain cats to be cross-eyed.

Wednesday’s blog was filled with great information about our cheetah habitat plans; an update on our Razoo project (which exceeded expectations!!); Spring Break invitation: our discounted calendars; plus more hoodies and caps available in our on-site gift shop!  Did you know we have a Twitter account?  Well, you do now!  Tweet with us at @Insync_Exotics as we update you on the latest In-Sync Exotics happenings!

On Thursday, due to popular demand, we posted the second installment of our Tiger Cam videos.  Nadia, one of our curious tigers, takes a special interest in the tiger cam video camera.  You have got to see what she does with the camera!  

We also posted a video from our Dallas NBC affiliate.  It was a great interview video showing some of the “behind the scene” production of the tiger cam videos.  Vicky and Barry gave some great information why the ingenious tiger video cameras were situated throughout the tigers’ playground.  A must see video!

Of course, the tiger cam videos are leading up to "The Tigers of Texas" documentary!  We provided our audience with a little sneak peek.  Have you seen it yet?  If not, you can see the video HERE.

March 2-4:  In-Sync Exotics will have a booth at the 30th anniversary of the North Texas Irish Festival located in Dallas' Fair Park.  The festival is a 3-day celebration of all things Celtic: food, music, costume, history, and culture.  So if you can, come out and visit us at this great event!

Okemo relaxing and grooming himself
We close this posting on a rather sad note.  We received Okemo’s cultures results this week and the news is not good—Okemo, our beautiful tiger, has squamous cell carcinoma that has spread to his jaw bone.

Normally, tigers with this type of condition may have up to six months to live, but unfortunately, we don't know when Okemo became ill.  Our vet believes he may have been sick for quite a while, prior to his arrival to our sanctuary, so we have no idea how much “time” he might have left with us.

Okemo is in good spirits and he is eating well.  Sadly, there is nothing we can do for him since the cancer destroyed a good portion of his jaw bone.  We will continue to monitor his progress and make sure he is as happy and comfortable as possible.

So, as you can see, this week has been an emotional rollercoaster for us.  We are thrilled with the tiger cam videos and the media coverage they have received this week; we are very proud of our animals and we just love showing them off! 

Of course, receiving the heartbreaking news of Okemo's plight highlights the reason why we exist in the first place; we provide love and comfort to animals needing our help during their most difficult life moments.  We are grateful we are here for Okemo and we will work very hard to make his remaining time with us is happy and comfortable as possible.  After all, he’s family.

We hope you have a wonderful weekend and don't forget, we are open on Saturday and Sunday for tours!  Thank you!

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Snack Cam!

We have a special treat for you!  Our second tiger cam video gives you a very close-up view of one of our curious tigers, Nadia!

It's simply amazing what our tigers will do when they find a "new toy" on the playground!

"Snack Cam" from Barry Stevenson on Vimeo.


I had 3 "tiger cams" rolling this morning.

The first filmed "the babies" entering the play area and resulted in the first video we released called, "A New Toy".

This camera (#2) was positioned facing the cement tunnel with the hope that it would capture the tigers playing.

Boy was I wrong!
   ~ Barry Stevenson
Stay tuned for more exciting videos on our fabulous movie stars--the tigers of In-Sync Exotics!

If you like this video and would like to see more, let us know!  Comment, share, and click on one of our "Reaction" buttons at the bottom of this posting!  Thank you!


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A Sneak Preview of What's Yet To Come!

For our loyal readers, here is a sneak preview of what is come!

The Tigers of Texas documentary film tease from Barry Stevenson on Vimeo.

Share the great news with your friends, family, and co-workers by using the share buttons below! 

So what do you think?   Let us know with your comments and/or clicking on our "What is Your Reaction" buttons!

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Why is Everyone Talking About Us?

For our fans living in the Dallas Fort Worth area, did you happen to see us on the news last night?  If you didn't or if you live outside our viewing area, here's a recap of the story:




Documentary filmmakers working on "Tigers of Texas" put cameras in the playground of In-Sync Exotics' Tiger Country enclosure to capture the tigers in everyday life, but the tigers have reacted as if they have a new toy.

By Catherine Ross, Collin County Reporter

Looks like the tiger cam video is catching on!  Be sure to pass on the our tiger cam link to your friends so they can enjoy the video too!  

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Great Information for You!

It’s Time for a Cheetah Home Improvement Project Update!  

Very soon we shall be breaking ground on the new cheetah habitat! Below is a sneak peek at the new habitat schematics—now keep in mind as you review the plan, this habitat will be about 14,500 square feet! As you can imagine we are very excited to get this project underway. We are hoping to have the Cheetah Home Improvement project completed within 70 days or so from the day we break ground, barring any unforeseen challenges.


Razoo Update

We would like to thank the wonderful donors who contributed towards our Help Big Cats Receive Their Annual Vaccinations Razoo project!  We not only met our goal of $1,025, we exceeded goal by $170!  The left over dollar amount will go towards our summer deworming program!  Thank you everyone for your kind support as we work hard to provide the best care possible for our exotic wild ones!

Spring Fever

So?  Do you have any plans for Spring Break this year?  How about a road trip to In-Sync Exotics!!


Our exotic wild ones are feeling frisky, so you'll want to come out while the weather is great!

We are All a Twitter!

By the way, did you know we have a Twitter account?  Tweet with us at https://twitter.com/#!/Insync_ExoticsWe will be posting updates on the animals daily so you can keep up with the latest In-Sync Exotics happenings!

Are you a loyal Cat Tales blog reader?  Join us!  So far, we have 25 members and we would like to grow our numbers.  To join, click on the "Join this Site" button located on the right margin (above our ASA accreditation seal). 


Great news if you haven't purchased an In-Sync Exotics' calendar yet!!  We are selling our dwindling supply of calendars featuring our gorgeous animals at 30% off!  Regular prices were:  $18 (in store) or $20.50 (mailed).  30% sale prices are now:  $12.60 (in store) or $14.35 (mailed). 

Here's how you can order by mail:
  1. Click here to pay by credit card (MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express). Credit card payments can be made using our secure PayPal processor, so click on the "Donate" button to start the credit card transaction!
  2. In the "purpose" box, please indicated the number of calendars purchased and where we should ship the calendar(s). If shipping calendars to more than two destinations, you may have make separate purchases on-line so as to accommodate the text size of the addresses typed in the "purpose" box.
  3. Remember, during the holiday season, mail takes a little longer in reaching its destination, so you'll want to order your calendars before December 16, 2011 so it will arrive before the start of 2012! 
If you want to pay by check, you can mail your calendar payment to:

In-Sync Exotics
PO Box 968
Wylie, Texas 75098

Remember to include the name and shipping address of the calendar(s)' recipient(s).

Here are a few more pictures of Sam and Kodi enjoying their lounge bench!


Move over!!
Privacy please!

Last, but not least, we have a new supply of hoodies available!!



Thank you Karin for your help in showing off one of our caps and hoodies!  Our incredibly warm hoodies are $55 each and our hats are $20 a piece!  If you'd like to have one mailed to you, please contact Insync Exotics for shipping costs; else they are available at our on-site Gift Shop, while supplies lasts!

We hope you found this posting informative.  Be sure to check in with us tomorrow for more great stuff!

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cross-Eyed Cats!

Have you wondered why some cats seem to be cross-eyed? Is it because they are staring at you just a little too intensely?  Or are they just checking to see if you are actually paying attention to them?

Well, it turns out cross-eyed cats actually have a medical condition known as strabismus.  Strabismus describes the abnormal positioning or direction of the eyeball. Normally, the eyeball is held in place and moves from side to side and top to bottom under the influence of small muscles which attach directly to the eyeball. Occasionally one muscle may be longer or stronger than the muscle located on the opposite side. This causes the eyeball to veer off in an abnormal direction. One or both eyes may be affected. If both eyes deviate towards the nose, the cat is referred to as cross-eyed. Cross-eyed cats are just like any other cats, they just see life a little differently.

Cross-eyed cats inherit this condition, no treatment is recommended as the abnormality is generally a cosmetic problem which does not affect the quality of life.

There are a small percentage of cats that are cross-eyed as the result of nerve damage in the eye muscles. If a cat has a disease in the vestibular system, which helps the cat to retain his balance, the cat may experience a constant spinning sensation. In order to adjust to that, his eyes move abnormally.  This is not a cosmetic problem and should be seen by a veterinarian.

All and all, cross-eyed cats are beautiful animals that have no outwardly difference from other cats except their cosmetic disparity. 


Did you know that we have three beautiful wild cats with the cross-eyed condition?  Yep, we sure do!  Harley, Kaiya and Freddie are all cross-eyed and live normal lives at In-Sync Exotics!

Our white tigers are special tigers because they have several health issues they must overcome.  Did you know for instance, that when stressed or confused, all white tigers cross their eyes?  Now, not all of our white tigers look cross-eyed—Kazuri and Kiro  have normal looking eyes.

As it turns out, the white tiger cross-eyed condition is directly linked to the white gene and is not a consequent of inbreeding.  Unfortunately, white tigers cannot see as well as normal tigers and suffer from photophobia (light sensitive).




As to our cross-eyed cougar, Freddie, we have no idea whether this is a genetic issue or if he was injured prior to his arrival at In-Sync Exotics.

Bless Kiaya's heart, she is blind in one eye and cross-eyed in the other!  We don't know what happened to her eye only that she has a scar that extends across her nose coming from the corner of that eye.  Because her other eye is crossed it's sometimes difficult to tell what she's looking at since she seems to be looking about 10 feet to the left. 

When we questioned the previous owner as to what may have happened to her, the reply was that he just didn't know. 

Thankfully, Kaiya's vision problems don't seem to bother her at all.


We hope you enjoyed this posting on our cross-eyed cats.  As a reminder, we only have two days left, with February 29th as our last day, to donate towards our Big Cats Need Vaccinations!  Thanks to a kind donor last week, we are getting closer in meeting our goal of $1025!  We are short only $160!  Can you help us meet our goal today?  Yes?  Great!  Please visit our Razoo project HERE to make a generous gift. 

Thank you  to everyone who contributed towards our cats' vaccinations--we really appreciate your heart and dedication towards our cats' health care needs!

We hope you enjoyed today's blog posting.  Let us know what you think of our cross-eyed wild ones by clicking on the reaction buttons below and don't forget to share the blog with others by clicking on our share buttons!  Thank you!

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Cougar Call

The cougar is the largest native cat in North America. Chances are you probably won't spot a wild cougar in the Texas hill country as this elusive cat is more afraid of humans than you of her.  She would probably spot you from a great distance, turn tail, and run in the opposite direction. 

Hello Cerella!
Cougars make a variety of sounds including chirps, peeps, purrs, growls, moans, whistles and screams, but they can’t roar-- only lions, leopards and jaguars can do that.  Members of the Felinae group (i.e. cougar, lynx, bobcat, and ocelot) possess the ability to purr or make shrill, high-pitched sounds.  So what makes cougars different from their larger counterparts?

Surprisingly, cougars are technically small cats, members of the same group as domesticated cats. Their size is comparable to leopards, with adult males weighing around 140 pounds and measuring 6-8 feet long from nose to tail.  Now that’s one large “small cat,” right?

While these dimensions sound awfully large to be lumped into the same category as your pet kitty cat, biologists didn't make an error with the cougars’ classification. Although large, the cougar is most closely related to smaller felines and is closer genetically to the domestic cat than to true lions. (Get it?  Mountain Lions?) Anyway, cougars received the designation because of internal anatomy rather than external good looks. Underneath a small cat's tongue is a bone called the solid hyoid which is attached to the windpipe and larynx and helps produce the animal's vocalizations.

Instead of solid hyoids, large cats have flexible cartilage that can vibrate in that oral space, allowing Sabu, Jynxie, and other lions to roar. So your domestic kitty can meow, hiss and growl all day, but that solid hyoid prevents her from roaring like the mighty MGM lion.

Cerella getting ready to "talk!"
As small cats with solid hyoids, cougars can't produce a deep roar, but females can out-scream a 2-year-old child throwing a screaming tantrum at the movie theater. The cougar scream is a rare, high-pitched noise that rips through the wilderness air and causes people to freeze in place. Are those screams warning signs for us to get out of their territory? Are we too close to the female's cubs?

Like the wolf's howl in the night, these cougar screams serve as forms of long-distance communication. Only female cougars are known to make this screeching call, when preparing to go into heat.  So if you happen to hear the chilling scream of a cougar in the distance, just think of it as cougar mood music -- and take off in the opposite direction to avoid being attacked by a love-struck interested male!

It is rare to hear a cougar scream in the wild, so we have a treat for you!  Cerella, one of our beautiful cougars, is going to demonstrate how a cougar scream sounds in the wild! Keep in mind, while Cerella was spayed years ago, she still has the chops to keep the other cats in their place.  You may want to remove small children and animals from the room as her screams can be rather intimidating!

video

Want to start a conversation?  How about loading Cerella's "ringtone" to your mobile devices?   If you would like her "ringtone" just e-mail us HERE and we'll send you her lovely sounds!

We hope you enjoyed today's blog posting.  Please let us know what you think of today's story by clicking on one of the buttons below.  Thanks!  Oh, and don't forget to share this posting with those who'd appreciate Cercella's sounds by using our share buttons below!

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