If you have a cat at home, you’re probably familiar with the affinity cats have toward boxes. If there is any sort of box laying around, or maybe even just one slab or cardboard, the cat will find a way to sit in or on it no matter what size it is. Why this is, I am not sure, but some theories suggest that the boxes provide a bit of a hiding place from which the cats can watch and ambush prey or simply provide a bit of insulation and warmth from the colder ground. Whatever the reason, they definitely enjoy boxes and seem to be quite comfortable in them, and guess what? Big cats like them too!
We give our servals, lynxes, and bobcat boxes for behavioral enrichment and they all seem to enjoy it. Check out Siri napping in her box:
To mix it up and make the boxes even more interesting for the cats, we will also put some different scents on them. It is important to keep a bit of variety in enrichment or else the animals will become so used to a stimulus that they will be bored by it. The whole point of enrichment is to engage an animal’s mind and encourage natural behavior. Although Siri is sleeping in this picture, she and the other cats, enjoy playing (and simply sitting) in the boxes as well. Today she also enjoyed playing from the inside of a bag with one of her trainers and a volunteer.
Today, we took Baloo our male binturong out for a little stroll to enjoy the beautiful weather. In doing so, we not only accomplish Baloo getting more comfortable with us, but in addition, familiar walking on a leash as many of our animals do when meeting groups or in shows.
Baloo did an outstanding job! Our goal is to remain consistent in our daily training and socialization with the animals and make going to shows and events a real treat for them.
Chloe is one of our Coatimundi, Coati for short, that we have at the facility.
Coati are a member of the Raccoon family but unlike Raccoons they are diurnal. Coati are omnivores who’s diets mainly consist of invertebrates and fruits. They are located in Central and South America and are found in the rain forests. Their long, sharp claws help them to climb trees and they have very strong legs to support themselves. Coati have flexible noses to help them find food underneath objects such as logs. They live in social groups that are made up of mostly females and their young. These groups can consist of up to 30 Coati!
Our Coati Chloe is such a sweet girl and a great animal ambassador.
Here is a video of her attempting to open her behavioral enrichment for the day. It looks like she’s opening a present. She is adorable!
One of the routines here at wild wonders is to keep our animals well socialized.
Ashley, the other intern, and I joined together on enrichment/socialization duties. Ashley is trying hard to make friends with several animals by giving them treats and spending quality time with all of them.
First, we went into the enclosure with Flick and Frankie, the fennec foxes. Flick came right up to us and took treats, where Frankie on the other hand is a little shyer.
Next we fed the kinkajous, Diablo and Chloe (coatimundis), Baloo and Raji (Binturongs) all through their enclosure. It is best not to be in their enclosure before they are comfortable with you because they can stress out.
I love Diablo’s nose! It’s so long, and moves around on its own, kinda like a pig’s. He makes these squeaking/grunting sounds when you come up to him. He loves all kinds of treats and he’s fun to work with.
Here are some pics of our adventure…..
Today I went with Wendy, a ZooKeeper at WW, to a couple shows in Costa Mesa. Interns and Volunteers are often brought along to events to help with heavy lifting and animal holding. For this event we brought Siri (serval), Sleepy (opossum), Puff (bearded dragon), Baba (ball python), Soy (hedgehog), cockroaches, and Flick (Fennec Fox). Siri hasn’t been to a show in a while and we certainly don’t want this superstar to get rusty. The best part of this event for me was being able to handle and show all of the animals, except Siri!
I held Flick for the first time. He is so adorable, and has such soft fur. When he is in his crate, and you open it, he lays on his back and whimpers, giving you his submissive greeting. He needs to be held securely under his chest and bottom. Sometimes when he felt a little scared he snuggled in my neck! Soooo cute!
The second show was with a small group of 5 year olds. This was a great situation to show Siri. We took her out before the show to get her used to the room. She loved the woven mats that the kids were going to sit on! She was sliding across them and playing with them. It was so funny. We’ll have to get her some of those mats to play with.
Before the show she jumped up on the table on command, and was behaving very well. During the show she didn’t jump on the table, but she did let Wendy pick her up. She ate her meat on the table and played with a toy. She is definitely still bringing her A game.