This afternoon, a group of us went into the large excercise yard with our beautiful 2-year-old African serval, Siri.
Siri can be quite playfiul, so we brought along some of her favorite toys to not only encourage her exhuberance, but for some valuable excerise time.
Because she is still young, we are hoping that through regular interactions, Siri will enjoy the time she spends with us. She’s certainly one of our most popular animals and has quickly become a favorite among the staff, interns, and volunteers.
Please enjoy the pictures and the video below! Just click the link to watch.
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.
We’ve had Chaco, a young viscacha, for about a year now and she’s still not as comfortable around people as we’d like. We go in her enclosure every day to clean and feed her, but she tends to stand still in a corner while we go about our business. Kim, one of our staff members, has been bringing Chaco home for sleepovers every once in a while and the rest of our staff and interns have been making an effort to spend more time feeding her treats and coaxing her out of her comfort zone. She’s pretty shy but she is such a sweet girl!
She really loves being pet!
Just look at that cute little face!
All volunteers, interns, and staff at Zoofari have to learn how to safely handle the animals they will be working with. The volunteers and I had an intensive learning session with Kim Wright, the Compound Manager, on how to handle some today. Catherine, one of the volunteers, was a little reluctant at first to hold the cockroaches and snakes, but she stepped up to the task, acting like a pro in no time. It’s amazing how quickly a person can get over being squeamish by holding an animal and looking at it a little more closely.
We all practiced handling one of the “baby” boas, who are no longer babies, by any means.
Don’t try this at home! Snapping turtles have a very long reach with their necks. They can almost reach their back legs! Lucy is used to being handled, and is pretty docile (for a snapping turtle).
Here is my favorite snake, Harley, the hognose snake. His little upturned snout is so cute! Who would think a snake could be cute? He is our only venomous snake, but the venom is more like that of a bee sting.
He looks like he’ sticking his tongue out at us. He uses it to taste the molecules in the air, instead of smelling. Look closely at his underside, with the strong black and orange markings. We’re lucky to have such an awesome snake.
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.