Friday, September 28, 2012

Our Weekly Recap of Events!

What a great week for the animals of In-Sync Exotics!  We dubbed this week's blog postings "the week of information."  We hope you enjoyed and learned a lot from our shared information!
On Monday, we reported on our 2nd Annual "Putting for Paws" Golf Tournament event!  Everyone reported having a great time "putting for a great cause." We put together a video of the event that we hope you will HERE for more details!
Tuesday's posting, Africa Needs Lions, was a little different than our usual posting as we wanted to share with you the conservation efforts underway in Africa to save the African Lions.  To learn more about the plight of the African Lions, click HERE!
Do you pamper a precious pet on a daily basis?  To you cater to her every whim and desire?  Well, we can relate!  Meet some of our pamper exotics cats by clicking HERE for Wednesday's blog posting!  Our cats simply love all the attention they get from our staff and volunteers!
Yesterday, we asked the question "Can Viagra Help Save Tigers?"  Well, to learn the answer to this question, you'll have to click HERE for an informative posting on how modern pharmaceuticals may save the majestic lions! 
We also posted a special "Who Am I?"  to see if fans could accurately identify the exotic cats posted on Wednesday's blog posting.  We had a few brave souls who gave it try and we almost had a winner, twice, but alas each person incorrectly identified just one exotic cat!
Here are the winning answers:

Kahn with a comb-over!
Purrfectly paw-icured Java paws!
Tyjar blissfully enjoys his meaty meal!
Looking very handsome, Stryker!

Duchess stealing a quiet moment alone, away from the boys...

As soon as the keepers finished cleaning the area, Stryker
just had to...well, you know...
"Clean-up on aisle one!"

Last, but not least...
Sheila enjoyed a lazy drink of water!
Now that is pampering!

We'd like to thank our brave blog fans who participated in our "Who Am I?" challenge!  Stay tuned for more chances to participate in our "Who Am I?" contests--possibly win bragging rights and a prize, just for getting to know our wild ones!
Cheetah Habitat Update!
Let's take a quick peek at where we are at today!

Another week closer to the big day... which has not been set in stone yet, but it should be soon!

We hope you enjoyed this week's blog postings and that will join us again next week for more informative, funny, and interesting blog postings on our wild ones (and their wild cousins)! Remember, we are open for tours Thursday - Friday until October 1st (that's when we change to our Fall/Winter weekend only hours), so we look forward to your visit! 
We hope you have a safe and fun weekend!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Can Viagra Help Save Tigers?

Pills yucky!
Who would have guessed that an anti-impotency drug used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) may help save tigers in China?
When you do a general search on this topic, you’ll find several articles about a Beijing zoo that used Viagra, in combination with other drugs, to help encourage a pair of rare South China tigers mate.  Apparently, the male tiger did not show interest in mating with his cage mate, so the drug was introduced into his meals to increase his sexual appetite.
These articles were written over ten years ago, so we were interested to see if Viagra helped the tigers to mate.  So we searched and searched with no luck as to what happened to the tiger on Viagra. 
As it turned out, Viagra was not clinically tested for use with any animals and thus the likelihood that Viagra worked the same for tigers as humans, is virtually null.  In fact, it could be very dangerous to give Viagra to tigers because of the negative side effects such high blood pressure or heart problems.  Second, as you think back to the Viagra commercials, Viagra does not enhance sexual desire, so it would be unlikely that a male tiger will want to mate more often if given the impotency drug—assuming it worked at all!
So how can Viagra help save tigers?
Well, Chinese traditional medicine practitioners have used parts of rare and powerful animals for millennia. Among the ancient remedies is tiger penis to treat erectile dysfunction.  As the Chinese economy grows, so does its appetite for medicines and luxury goods made or obtained from tigers, lions, and other exotic animals.  Surprisingly, the introduction of Viagra may actually make a dent in the killing of endangered animals because it is easier and cheaper to obtain—not to mention Viagra actually works!
Conservationists believe that ED medication may catch on in China because traditional remedies are taught alongside western medicine in the Chinese medical system and are well received. Viagra's popularity may have been influenced by its more affordable price tag as well since the cost of endangered animal parts can be very expense.
“We haven't examined this idea empirically, but it's our belief that the rapid and observable effects of Viagra made it particularly likely to be adopted by people who otherwise avoid Western medicines,” said William von Hippel, a psychologist at the University of New South Wales in Australia. Von Hippel was the lead author of an earlier study which examined Viagra's acceptance in the Chinese market. The research was published in Environmental Conservation.
Mr. Von Hippel’s research found that older men living in China prefer to use ED medication in place of tiger and seal penis.
For tigers, an alternative to ancient Chinese remedies could not come sooner.  In our blog posting titled "A Species Under Threat of Extinction", dated October 27, 2011, six subspecies of tigers continue to persist, but three have gone extinct in the last 80 years.
As few as 20 tigers exist in the wild in China and poachers in India, catering to the Chinese market, are chipping away at that country’s tiger populations. Right now about 1,200 tigers survive in India – about half of the population of a decade ago and a fraction of the some 100,000 that existed in the early 20th century.
One major drawback to our optimism that consumers would prefer Viagra to exotic wild animal body parts is the high price of products made from endangered species can make them a status symbol. Just as during many other nations' rise to power, the lust for luxury items in China has put elephants, tigers, rhinos, sharks, and other high profile creatures in the hunter's cross-hairs.
“There is a lot of cachet in using expensive and exotic treatments, and the same holds for decorations,” von Hippel said. “A $20,000 elephant tusk carving is an object of admiration, but a $50 synthetic one isn't, even thought they might look identical.”
The market for endangered exotic animal products may decline in response to the growing environmental movement in China.  Remember at one time, the use of fur in fashion changed because of the growing support against using animal fur as a fashion status symbol.
“There appears to be a nascent environmental movement in China,” von Hippel said. “Indeed, I think the Chinese experience is likely to be typical, in that countries focus first on wealth and only after most of the people enter the middle class do they become concerned about environmental issues."

The question is—will there be any tigers left in the wild when people decided that it is no longer “cool” to harvest animals for their parts?
Who Am I?
We have an unusual Who Am I this week!  Yesterday’s posting was about our pampered exotic cats—a fun look at some of the perks our cats enjoy at In-Sync Exotics.  Now the question is—can you name the featured cats in order, to include the lioness at the very end of posting?

Where's my photographer?
First person to correctly identify all six cats wins bragging rights and a small prize. Simply send your response to our special animal email account (click HERE for the email address) and if you are the first person to correctly respond to the challenge, you win! You'll need to include your name and address in the email so we can send you the prize! Please do not post your guesses to Facebook or this blog posting comment box as we don’t want to give away the answers. We will announce the winner of this challenge on Friday!  Good luck to you!

We'd like to thank Janis, our blog reader for this story idea! Thank you, Janis!  If you have a blog story idea, please let us know -- we are always looking for interesting stories to share with our readers!

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, September 26, 2012

Pampered Puss


Indulge with every attention, comfort, and kindness; spoil.

So who is "pampered" at In-Sync Exotics?

And finally, you know when you are pampered when....


Now that's "curb side" service!

We'd like to recognize Susan Adams, Lark Demler, and Jessica Helmholtz for their great photos taken at In-Sync Exotics--"two paws waving in the air" thanks, ladies!

Got any pampered animals in your life?  Well, share, share, share your stories with us by filling out the comment box below.  You don't have to have a google account, just sign in under Anonymous!

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, September 25, 2012

Africa Needs Lions!

Today’s posting is a little bit different from our usual postings.  Instead of covering a story at In-Sync Exotics, we thought it was time to post a conservation article on the plight of the wild lion. 
Did you know 50 years ago, the wild lion population in Africa was over 200,000?  Guess what the lion population is estimated to be at today—50,000?  40,000?  Try about 20,000 or so!
The Making of A Leader!
There are several reasons why lion population is on the decline—growing human population in Africa requires land for farming—sadly displacing wildlife; many lions are infected with Feline Immundodefiency Virus (FIV) impacting their ability to survive and reproduce; inbreeding resulting in the loss of genetic variation; and male lions are major trophies for hunters. 
So why should we care whether or not wild lions survive in Africa?  After all, there are a lot of lions living in the United States today, either as private pets, zoo exhibits, or living out their lives in wild animal sanctuaries, right?  Why should we care what happens to animals living thousands of miles away?
Lions are a culturally iconic species—when you think of Africa—you think of lions!  No other species on the planet is represented in so many symbols, statues, representations, works of art, or described in literature as the lion.  Chances are you have a picture, poster, books, art works, bookends, or statues depicting the fierce independence of a lion. 
New Territory!
In Africa, lions are the top predator in its ecosystems—when the lions disappear, so do the delicate balance of the ecosystem.  To be honest, if we lose the African lion, future generations will look back and declare our generation a failure for not saving these majestic cats.  If conservation efforts are unsuccessful and the population continues to decline, 20-40 years from now all wild African lion populations will probably be gone.   
As mentioned above, we saw within the last 50 years the disappearance of over 180,000 lions—many now serving as trophies on someone’s wall or floor or found grounded into powder to be used as an aphrodisiacs.  Dare we turn our backs on these majestic animals? NO, we say! That’s where the wild lion conservation programs come in to stay as they try to save the remaining 20,000 African lions. 
There are a lot of conservationists living in Africa right now, trying to save as many lions as they can.  In order to save the cats, these hard working individuals have to convince tribes, business people, and political leaders that it is in the best interest of the country to protect the big cats.   There has to be a “buy-in” by the locals, else the attempts to save the species will fail.  Conservationists must work with the farmers and hunters, helping them implement conservation and management plans by fostering African solutions to saving the African lion.  Not an easy task to be sure. 
Lions on the move!
Local communities that may come in contact with lions must recognize the symbiotic relationship between the predator and the delicate ecosystem on which it relies and not automatically hunt down and kill the animal without provocation. 
Politicians must establish protected land for the animals, ensuring trophy hunters are kept out of the natural reserves.  Often times, land that was once set aside for the animals was converted for other human consumption use, lost its protection status because there were not enough law enforcement to protect the animals, or abandoned by wildlife authorities due to civil strife or lack of funding.   
As consumers, we must recognize that if we continue go on hunting safaris or buy fur, teeth, or bones of these majestic animals, then we are contributing to the demise of this species.  

As you can see, this is not a "local" problem--it's a global challenge!  
If you want to learn more about lion conservation, we have found a website that: 
  • Shows the current African lion population, country-by-country: Click HERE 
  • Lists their lion conservation projects:  Click HERE  
  • And shows great pictures, videos and updates of the lions they are tracking (as you can see above)   
  • Dambwa release pride: Click HERE 
  • Ngamo release pride:  Click HERE  
By providing our readers with the links to African Lion & Environmental Research Trust's website, we are by no means endorsing this organization.  We were simply impressed by the the vast amount of research information, pictures, and videos that we thought our readers might find interesting.  If you have a great lion conservation group you'd like to share with our readers, please complete the comment box below and share the information with us all! 
Please take a moment and check out what is happening to our lions’ wild cousins as they struggle to stay alive in the wild
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!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Our 2nd Annual "Putting For Paws" Golf Tournament!

On Monday, September 17, 2012, we held our 2nd Annual "Putting for Paws" Golf Tournament at Old American Golf Club in the Colony--and everyone who participated in this event said they had a great time!

Eight golfing teams, took on the 18-hole golf course "Rated top "check this" 5 new courses by Golf Magazine."  The feedback we received from our golfers on this course was that it was awesome!  The dedication, efficiency and friendliness of the staff really made everyone take notice and enjoy'. We'd like to thank Blake Arnold, the bartender, and the gentleman who was in charge of our lunch--which also was a huge hit and enjoyed by all--for taking such good care of us.  Lunch was a fajita buffet with all the fixings, mini cheesecake and cookies for desert with ice tea.  They even very meticulously accommodated our vegetarians--yay!  We cannot say enough good things about the the staff that took care of us that day.  They were simply over the top!  The course itself and the golfers' "comforts" and extra touches they provided were fabulous--thank you Old American Golf Club staff!

When we (volunteers) drove to the golf course early that morning to set-up it was still dark outside and there was a smattering of light rain sprinkles on our windshields!  Thankfully, the sun soon peeked out and the rain dried up.  It turned out to be a beautiful golf day!  Tee-off was 8:30am and we were able to start the tournament without a hitch.
We hope you enjoy this short video of our 2012 Putting for Paws Golf Tournament!

Here are our prize winners!

1st place winners received one Hybrid club each!

Donnie Church, Ryan Jaco, Zach Dean, Casey Dawson
2nd place winners received one Lynx putter each!

Glen Davis, Robert Boisvert, Tom Howell, Bob Wood

The "Middle Team" received putting practice device with two ball and a ball marker!
Lou Diamond, Ricky Danner, John Chapman, Rick Gonzalez

Our last place team received certificates for a swing analysis!

Joe Franklin, Greg Preston, Charley Coffey, Otis Coffey

There was no hole in one winner this year, but we did have a couple of players that came very close to winning the hole-in-one prize!
We also had a great raffle this year!  Check out the raffle items that our participants won this year!
  • Callaway hybrid clubs (2)
  • Adams hybrid club
  • Callaway golf bag
  • Women's golf bag
Certificates for:
  • Two night dog sitting at Paradise for Paws
  • Green fees for a plethora of local courses and private clubs
  • Certificates for a stay at the Fairmont and Palomar hotels in Dallas
A special prize package including balls, amateur sponsorship, hat and a year long 50% discount from Dixon Golf!

Dixon golf also had a representative on a par three hole to highlight their balsa and offer a sweet coupon package for a minimum $10 donation.  Every golfer received a ball plus In-Sync Exotics provided each golfer with a sleeve of balls featuring our logo!

Fellow volunteer (and golfer) brought equipment and know-how to showcase our new "Our Story" video which played throughout the day in the Club House.  It was well received and generated interest among fellow golfers!

We would like to say THANK YOU to the new faces we saw this year in our tournament and we hope to see you again next year!

Plus, we'd like to thank our volunteers who gave up their Saturday to support our event this year!  Thank you everyone!  This year, after expenses, we raised $3,009 for the animals!

A huge "paws in the air" cheer to Colleen Butler for organizing this event!  She truly did a terrific job this year--thank you very much, Colleen!

Hello Karin Saucedo!

Our awesome volunteers!
Courtney Roberts, Roberto Saucedo, Lisa Williams,
Ken Crenshaw, Colleen Butler, Stephen Austin (l to r)

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!