Friday, August 10, 2012

A Recap of This Week's Events!

This week, we're going to shake up the "end of the week" blog posting by sharing this week's stories in reverse order (this will make sense once you get towards the bottom of this posting)!  

So let's start with yesterday's posting on Lydia, our senior bobcat, who was brought to In-Sync Exotics by a mother and son from Garland, Texas. Fearing animal control might put down the injured animal, the decision was made to bring the bobcat to In-Sync Exotics so our vet could examine, treat, and possibly release her back to the wild.  What we learned from her x-rays really surprised us... (click HERE for the rest of the story)

Moses and Otis (two more bobcats) were featured in Wednesday's blog posting.  Which bobcat was rescued from an overflowing creek and which bobcat used to live in a Dallas condominium?  Well, you'll just have to click HERE for the answers to both questions!

In keeping with our bobcat theme for the week, we posted the teaser question "Where Did Jasper Go?"  Well, he didn't travel very far and he's got a new roommate!  Who is he bunking with and how are they getting along?  Click HERE for the answers to these questions and more!

So what started our week on bobcats? How about the introduction to our newest member to the In-Sync Exotics' family--a little 2 1/2 - 3 month old bobcat whom we named "Naomi!"  Our new bobcat was found ... (click HERE for the rest of the story).

This week, we were able to give our little bobcat a thorough examination and an opportunity to explore one of our playgrounds--we hope you enjoy this video of our little curious bobcat!

Wonderful News!

Have you seen (and hopefully shared) our new video yet?  You may recall, one of our wish list items was a new automated phone service that would direct callers, through a series of prompts, to the right person or information service.  Well, our first wish has come true, thanks to the generosity of A Better Answer!.  A Better Answer provided In-Sync Exotics with free voice-mail services!  We are thrilled that A Better Answer donated this terrific service to In-Sync Exotics -- thank you very, very much, A Better Answer!  

We hope you enjoyed this week's blog posting and will join us again next week for more informative, funny, and interesting blog postings on our wild ones!  Remember, we are open for tours Thursday - Friday, so we look forward to your visit!  

Kaiya says "Have a tiger-ific and relaxing weekend everyone!"


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Who is this "Lydia" Anyway?

Say it isn't so!  We have posted blog stories on Chance, Isaac, Jasper, Moses, and Otis, but we've posted nothing on Lydia?!  Gasp!

Let's correct this little oversight, shall we?

Meet Lydia, a wild born or former pet bobcat (we're not quite sure which category to place our Lydia) with a very tragic past. On January 17, 2011, we received a phone call from a Garland resident claiming her son had captured a wild bobcat and the animal was currently in a small dog crate.

Apparently, while the homeowner was at work, her teen aged son captured the bobcat, with the hopes of seeking medical treatment for her wounds.  Fortunately, the adult, realizing that a wild bobcat needed specialized veterinarian care, called us that evening asking for help.

The bobcat was taken to our vet with the hopes of treatment and eventual release back to the wild.  Sadly, we learned during the examination Lydia’s days of roaming wild and free was tragically cut short. 

We noticed that all of Lydia's K-9's had been worn or ground down and she had obvious cataracts in both eyes. After a series of x-rays we discovered that she had been shot in her left front leg. The bullet had gone in and chipped bone off of her elbow leaving her with excruciating pain. Blood tests revealed that Lydia was extremely anemic making surgery a bigger risk at that time. So, after 45 days passed, we were able to complete the surgery and remove the bone chip and the bullet from her leg.

Lydia still has not regained use of her leg since her surgery and she has experienced additional health problems such as vestibular disease affecting her equilibrium (it's not as bad as when she first arrived, but it's still present). 

Isaac (front) protecting Lydia (back)
Today, 16-year plus (guesstimate) Lydia enjoys spending her twilight years with Chance and Isaac!  Lydia receives the royal treatment from the boys as they are often seen grooming our Lydia!

Even though Lydia is not thrilled people and will go out of her way to avoid us (with the possible exception of Vicky whom she will get up and greet her at the fence, hiss; swats the fence; and remain at the fence until Vicky walks away!), we are thrilled to have her part of the In-Sync Exotics' family!

Farewell In-Sync Exotics' Summer Interns!

Well, the last of our summer Interns have either completed or will complete their internship with us.  Sara left us on Saturday  so she could purse a degree in biology from Denison University, graduating in the Spring of 2015; Randi left us this week (Tuesday) so she could purse a degree in Wildlife Biology at the University of Montana, graduating in May 2014; and Jessica will leave us this weekend so she can pursue her degree in Animal Science and Technology with a Minor in Entomology from Kansas State University, graduating in May 2014!  Best wishes ladies in your future career endeavors working with animals!  

Our Fall Interns shall be starting very soon, and we are accepting Winter Internship applications! For information about this exciting internship opportunity, please click HERE!

You will not want to miss tomorrow's blog posting as we have exciting and funny announcements to make!

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!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Bobcats, Bobcats, Bobcats Abound!

Meet Moses (l) and Otis (r)!
In keeping with this week's theme--bobcats, bobcats, bobcats--we'd like to introduce you to Moses and Otis! Moses and Otis are two very adorable bobcats who have been living together for the last four years at In-Sync Exotics.

Let's meet our handsome boys -

Like Naomi, Moses was a wild-born kitten discovered by some people when he was about a week old.  He was found next to a creek that ran along their property. Since he was soaking wet and the water level was high due to heavy rainfall, they assumed he had been washed down the creek.

Hello Moses!
They took him in and called a local wildlife organization who advised them to take him back to the creek and place him in a carrier with the door open in hopes that his mother would return for her kitten. Unfortunately, the reunion never took place as the well-meaning people took him to the creek during the day and brought him back in their house at night to sleep in their bed. Since bobcats are nocturnal, the mama cat never came for him and the little kitten formed a bond with his new parents. After about a week of failed attempts to reunite the kitten with his mother, they contacted the wildlife organization who instructed them to take the kitten to a wildlife rehabilitator. The rehabilitator treated him for worms, coccidia and dehydration, but due to lack of space and prior commitments turned him over to a second rehabilitator.

The second rehabilitator worked with the kitten for months. She did everything she could think of to bring out his wild side, but to no avail. No matter how hard she tried to scare him, this sweet, little guy just kept purring.

The kitten trusted people....a death sentence for a bobcat living in the wild. On January 28, 2007, the rehabilitator gave the 9-month old bobcat kitten to In-Sync Exotics, knowing he would be surrounded by loving, nurturing people. Appropriately enough, we named him Moses.

Hello Otis!
Otis' story is a bit different.  He wasn't found as a wild kitten by well-intentioned people, instead Otis was illegally raised as a pet by a couple living in a Dallas condominium.  Since the couple did not know how to litter train or discipline their baby bobcat, Otis became increasing difficult to handle and needed to be re-homed.

So on June 15, 2008, the couple brought 2-year old Otis to our sanctuary for permanent placement.  It has taken Otis quite a while  to adjust to his new caretakers.  However, Otis and Moses bonded pretty quick, becoming fast-friends in record time!

Moses and Otis are inseparable, playing ball or enjoying their weekly enrichment together. We often see our two boys, beating the hot Texas summer heat, lounging on their platforms high up in the sky or in their building together!

Ever wonder how we can tell our handsome boys apart?  Well, Otis has large spots on his body, while Moses' spots are much smaller!

Lynxes Duchess and Trooper
So what's the difference between our bobcats and our lynxes anyway?  Well, our Lynxes are long and lanky with large "snowshoe" paws. They have very light spots - hardly noticeable. Our bobcats, on the other hand, are more recognizable as a cat. Ears are tufted, like the lynx, but they are quite spotted on the back and belly. Bobcats ranges in color from honey orange to smoky blue and his belly is white. This really makes their spots stand out. Both our bobcats and lynxes have “beards”. Oh, and as you may have noticed, both our bobcats and lynxes are pretty laid back in temperament!

Update on Neffi and Jasper!

Speaking of temperament, yesterday Neffi and Jasper interact for the very first time together!  It took some doing, but we were able to encourage Neffi to venture inside the building where Jasper was sleeping.  For about 15 minutes the two interacted--there were no hissing or fighting, which is a really great sign!  Jasper, the younger of two, was rather rambunctious, and we think he may have been a little too much for Neffi, as she was seen running out of the building.  We are hoping Jasper will reciprocate by venturing outside so he can interact with Neffi once again.  Baby steps, folks, baby steps...

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!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Where Did Little Jasper Go?

For almost two years, Jasi and Nefertiti lived together, played together, and simply enjoyed life together as best friends.  However, with the sudden passing of Jasi, we noticed Neffi looked a little lost without her buddy.  We thought that if she had a new cage mate, she might perk up some and enjoy the company of a new cat friend.

You're moving me where?
So last Tuesday, we decided to move Jasper out of Takoma's quarters (to his delight) and into Neffi's enclosure.  Our hope was (and still is) that the our bobcat (Jasper) and Neffi (serval) would become fast friends and buddies within no time at all!

We are still waiting.

When we first introduced Jasper to Neffi's enclosure, we kept the two cats separated.  Jasper stayed indoors and Neffi stayed outdoors.  We kept their connecting door closed so both cats could get used to the idea of  living together.  It wasn't long before we opened the door as both cats appeared oblivious of  the other's existence.  

We hoped by the time this posting came out, the two cats would at least be a little curious and sniff each other out.  During the day, we've been keeping a close eye on the pair, but so far, neither cat has expressed an interest in the other.  Jasper still stays indoors and Neffi still stays outdoors.

Andrea even spent the night with them on Sunday, in the hopes of catching them making nocturnal introductions.  But alas, they still they refused to leave their respective areas.

So, here's a picture of Neffi outdoors...

Posing pretty for the camera

Time to put away the camera!

...and here is Jasper indoors... (check out his glowing eyes!)

No flash so Jasper doesn't even know his picture was taken...

So, let's use the flash...

Jasper is now aware of the camera...

...and he doesn't like the flash.

Can you tell?

Picture taken without the flash...
...much better!

Sometimes our cats have an instant connection with one another (like Jasmine and Okemo) and sometimes it takes a little longer--much longer. We just hope that by the time little Naomi is ready to join Neffi and Jasper, our two reclusive cats will be the best of friends!  

Cat toes crossed!

We'd love to hear from you, so feel free comment and don't forget to click on one of the reaction buttons below. Oh, and don't forget to share your favorite blog postings with family and friends. As we are fond of saying, sharing is caring! Thank you!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Just Another Day at In-Sync Exotics!

Life at In-Sync Exotics is slowing returning to normal.  Our staff and volunteers worked hard this weekend, painting the cheetah habitat framework and taking care of our wild ones in 100+ degree temperatures.  No rest for the staff and volunteers as our cats kept everyone on their toes!

This week, we will start installing the cheetah habitat "walls" -- a rather huge undertaking requiring lots of "hands on deck."  So, if you happen to live in the area and would like to help us with this stage of the cheetah habitat construction, we'd love to see you on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday starting at 9:00am, all four days!  Your construction contribution to Kodi and Sam's enclosure helps us get that much closer to the day when our boys can finally explore their brand new habitat!  Thank you very much for helping Kodi and Sam!

Welcome Home, Naomi!

We'd like to introduce you to a new resident at In-Sync Exotics--little Naomi! Naomi, a bobcat kitten, is about 2 1/2 - 3 months old from Royce City.  She was found by a couple, sitting on the side of a busy road.  After keeping her as a pet for about two weeks, the couple decided it was time to re-home her.  Bobcat kittens are adorable when they are little, but they grow up fast and can be rather intimidating as adults--with very sharp teeth and claws.  

On Wednesday, the couple brought little Naomi to us.  This little kitten (not cub since bobcats are part of the cat family) was not afraid of her new surroundings, immediately winning the hearts of our staff and volunteers.   We hoped she might be a candidate for the rehabilitation captive and release program.  So we consulted with our local bobcat "rehabber" to see what Naomi's chances were for rehab and release. We were told told Naomi was not a good candidate for the program because she has no fear of humans and would constantly try to get into people's laps or climb up people's legs for food and attention.  So the decision was made to welcome Naomi to the In-Sync Exotics' family.  

For now, Naomi lives in a large (Great Dane-sized) dog cage until she is old enough to meet Neffie and Jasper.  Naomi seems to be in good health, except for a runny eye.  We are treating her eye with  antibiotic drops.  On Tuesday, she will meet her vet for the first time as part of her "entrance" examination.

Watch our video of Naomi munching on a bone!

Please welcome little Naomi to our family!

Okay, you found a baby bobcat! Now what do you do?

Bobcats are nocturnal and diurnal. There is very little social interaction between adult cats, often marking their territories with fecal matter and urine. Within territorial ranges, these beautiful animals can travel between 3 and 7 miles nightly looking for food and water. Mating begins in December and can extend into June, with the peak in March. Litters of usually 2 to 3 kittens are born after 50 to 70 days, most in May and June. Weaning occurs after two months, and young stay with their mothers until fall or later.

Momma bobcats are extremely protective of their young. If you think you see a baby bobcat, do not touch it or pick it up! Only allow an experienced wild animal handler to approach or handle the kitten.   Keep the kitten in visual if you can without startling the animal.  Often times, the mother bobcat is close by and will “rescue” her own kitten without your help.  However, if the kitten is in immediate danger (i.e. sitting on the side of a busy road), carefully attempt to capture the animal.  If you see the momma bobcat nearby, try to remove the kitten from the dangerous situation, and place her as close as you can to the mother. 

Special warning – Bobcat kittens are absolutely adorable. They look like normal kittens, soft and cuddly, and very sweet. This is not how they will act when you pick them up! If the kitten is young enough, she might not fight you, or bite, but she will still scratch you, struggle, and more importantly – she will make noise which is sure to get her momma’s attention. You do not want to start a fight with a momma bobcat. You will not win.

If there is absolutely no sign of the momma bobcat in the area and the kitten’s situation requires immediate intervention and you cannot wait for a wild animal handler, carefully attempt to capture the animal.  Place the kitten in a pet carrier or box, away from pets, people, children, and household activity. Keep the carrier or box covered and do not handle the kitten no matter how cute she is to you. Handling the kitten may ruin her chances for release back to the wild.  Do not try and bottle feed the kitten while you are waiting for a return call from the rehabilitator as baby bobcats eat solids sooner than you may think. Always keep handling and talking to a minimum and avoid visual contact whenever possible--you do not want the kitten to imprint upon you.

The sooner you can get the kitten to a wild animal rehabilitator, the better chance she has in returning to the wild.

Remembering Grumpy

One year ago last Saturday marks the day we said our final good-byes to Grumpy.  Grumpy was one of the Leona 6 cats who arrived at In-Sync Exotics on August 30, 2010.  Grumpy touched the lives of so many volunteers by exemplifying his desire to live and enjoy each new day

Grumpy loved chewing on bones, sneaking into his tub late at night, and chuffing at volunteers who kept him company during the day.  A couple of volunteers were particularly touched by Grumpy, saying that even though they were going through difficult times in their own lives, seeing Grumpy fight to enjoy life, despite his physical limitations, made them realize life was precious and should be celebrated every day with friends and loved ones.

Grumpy, you were loved and adored and we miss you very, very much.  God Bless you always, Grumpy...

Species: Bengal Tiger
(Panthera tigris tigris)

Sex: Male
Born: September, 1991
Age:  20 years old
Called In-Sync Home:  August 30, 2010
Crossed the Rainbow Bridge:  August 4, 2011