Friday, July 30, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Like all the animals at IEAS, Scooter has found himself a favorite toy. He has a beaver toy that he plays with every day. Every time we go out to play, he finds that toy and rolls around with it. There is not a day goes by that he doesn't play with his beaver toy at least once. I am sure this toy will last him for at least a year. There are two white tigers who were rescued 4 years ago. They came to IEAS with a little pig toy. To this day, they still have that pig toy near by. They have not torn it up or even put a hole in it once. So I am sure Scooter's toy has a lot of play left in it.
Monday, July 26, 2010
With the growing of confidence comes the testing of abilities. Scooter is testing his abilities every day. He now begins his climb up a tree branch with a leap. Most of the time he hits the mark...other times...well not so lucky or graceful. Luckily his quick thinking keeps him from falling flat. He more or less just ends up swinging from the branch until his back feet find their grip. This is all typical behavior for a little cub Scooter's age. He has to learn some how, and the best way to learn is to practice. Scooter is progressing nicely for his age. We are very pleased with how this little guy is developing.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Scooter is becoming more confident by the day. He is now venturing out on his own to check out his surroundings. He usually stays in the section closest to his indoor area, but he loves to get on the perch and just watch the world go by. He even sat there and watched as the staff mowed the Sanctuary grounds. This morning while we were outside for his play time, he even walked over to where his new neighbor, Rowdy, is staying. They both just looked at each other for a few seconds before Scooter came running back over. So these are little things, but it just shows how confident this little boy has gotten in just the past few weeks.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Scooter helped the interns clean the vet clinic the other day...or he thought he was helping. Scooter's indoor area is part of our vet clinic. There is a tiny space under the door leading to Scooter's area. The interns were cleaning the main vet clinic building, but as they were trying to sweep up the leaves that Scooter had pushed under the door, they realized it was going to be a never ending job. Scooter didn't like the fact that they were taking the leaves he had put there, so he kept pushing more under the door every time they took leaves away. This made what was supposed to be a 20 minute chore much longer. But the interns had a laugh and I know Scooter enjoyed it as well.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
We had something big happen today. One of Scooter's friends, Zippy, made a giant leap. Zippy is a female Bengal tiger who was rescued after hurricane Ike. She was rescued from what was called a make-shift home zoo in Crystal Beach, TX. This 400-pound tiger was abandoned as Hurricane Ike tore through the area. She was left in a locked enclosure with nowhere to go and no choice but to attempt to ride out the storm. Amazingly, Zippy survived the devastating storm.
Zippy now has a large habitat with a pool and waterfall, perches, grass and an assortment of enrichment items to play with. It was to no surprise to the Staff of IEAS that Zippy really didn't want to get into her pool even though tigers normally love water. She had spent days treading water waiting to be rescued! The closest she would get is to lay in her fall with her tail draped in the water. Well this morning, two years after her rescue, the Curator was going about her usual work and noticed that Zippy was in her pool! She was just laying there enjoying her time. This makes all of us at IEAS extremely happy knowing that she has the confidence and security she needed to make this stride and has regained her love for water! My only regret is that we were not able to get a picture of this big event. We are confident there will be a next time and will post pictures as they come.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Well, Scooter is showing us just how strong he is getting. We had set up some bushes in his play area for him to play with. He has now pulled them out and hauled them into his indoor area to demolish. This did leave quite a mess to clean up, but it does make us feel good knowing that he is getting stronger by the day. He has gone from a scrawny, weak little cub, to a one tough, healthy little boy.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Scooter has come along way since his first days at IEAS. In the mornings, he craves "lap time." After finishing his bottle, he wastes no time to get into the lap of his caregivers. He loves the affection and the contact. Scooter would have received this kind of attention from his mother, so it is important for us to provide as much of it as possible.
This week, Scooter has been cooling off in his tubs and water trough. The Texas heat is back and he is feeling it. You will find him in one of his water tubs just about every afternoon. He has even become more confident in himself and has started venturing out on his own. He has been out playing in the water by himself, eating grapes, and just watching the work go on around the Sanctuary. It is amazing and wonderful to see this little guy become so confident and enjoy himself after the rough start he had.
Scooter enjoys playing in his brush pile and climbing on his trees. This morning, he found himself in a bit of a pickle when he was trying to reach some grapes that were just out of his reach. His back legs slipped off the side fencing and he found himself hanging from the top of the habitat by his two front paws. He did manage to grip the side fencing again with his back legs and was able to get down. In the end, it was worth it for him because he did manage to get the grapes he was after.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
On June 8, 2010, the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary (IEAS) received word that a small six-pound orphaned black bear cub, Scooter, was found and captured wandering at Excursion Inlet just west of Juneau, Alaska. He was motherless, alone, frightened and in poor health. When Scooter was found, he was malnourished, underweight and covered in lice. The local veterinarian only gave him a 20% chance of recovery. Scooter was sent to Fortress of the Bear for safe keeping until a home could be found. "Alaska typically does not take a wild animal into captivity unless it has a facility ready to accept it," says Tom Shumacher, Biologist at Alaska Game and Fish Dept, acknowledging that otherwise it would have been necessary to euthanize him. IEAS immediately responded to this call and accepted responsibility for his care throughout his life. The cub was picked up at Sitka, Alaska by Richard Gilbreth and allowed to ride in the airplane cabin due to the assistance of Alaska Airlines and their booking agent, Kerri. Scooter was a sensation on the plane ride back to his new home. Richard has even received calls and emails from caring passengers wanting to know how Scooter is doing.
Scooter’s first night at the Sanctuary was scary for him. He was in a new place and alone. However, the Staff of IEAS began giving Scooter the proper care and attention he needed. He quickly became bonded with staff members of IEAS and has benefited greatly from our Emotional Enrichment Program in which we provide him with a source of security, comfort and affection that he would have received from his mother. Scooter would waste no time at all to hop in the laps of his caregivers. When ever the staff goes in, Scooter comes right over whining like he would to his mother and sits in their lap. He loves attention and enjoys playing with the enrichment toys he was given.
When Scooter arrived at IEAS, he was free of lice, but he was still underweight for his age. Since his first day, Scooter has gained almost 20 pounds! He has taken to the formula and fruit we have given him. He has adjusted very nicely to his new home at IEAS.
The past few weeks, Scooter has progressed better than we could ever have imagined. He went from a frightened, malnourished orphan, to a healthy little bear cub who is going to have a wonderful childhood. He is already enjoying his habitat. He loves climbing up and down the trees and eating the grapes that are growing outside his habitat. We have given him a brush pile which he loves to play hide and seek in. He loves to dive on the pile and scurry down to the bottom only to pop out and take off running. One of Scooters favorite games is when we go to clean his inside area and he chases the hose and runs through the water. He loves racing back and forth splashing and sliding. He is like a little kid playing in the sprinkler on a hot summer day.
This is only one of many animals that are lucky enough to receive a second chance at a new life. The animals at IEAS are here through no fault of their own. I am sure Scooter would rather be roaming the mountains of Alaska with his mom. At IEAS, our number one goal is to give these animals the best quality of life possible in captivity. We all get a warm feeling in our heart when we are able to rescue an animal in need and in many cases, save them from death, to give them the quality of live they deserve. However, all this does come at a price. It is with the help of caring individuals that we are able rescue animals like Scooter. Donations are needed. If we hadn’t stepped in to rescue Scooter, then he would have been senselessly euthanized.