Saturday, August 28, 2010

Grizzly Bear Enrichment



The Grizzly bears got a treat today. They enjoyed fruit bocks during the hot afternoon. All we had to do was fill a bucket with water, add fruit to it and freeze it. We usually stick to their favorites: apples, pears, strawberries and of course don't forget the grapes. This is a big hit. We even gave Bill, the black bear who is a neighbor to the grizzlies, a fruit block. He came right out and started enjoying it. Of course, Bill always ends up pulling everything into his cave. You can check out more videos of the grizzlies and Bill enjoying their enrichment on our website, www.bigcat.org. Just go the the Animal page. You can also see videos and pictures of the cats enjoying blood buckets, which is a favorite treat for them during the hot summer days.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Khera's Pool





Well, now that the cooler weather has moved in, we are able to make some repairs to some of the pools. Today, interns got to perfect their mortaring skills while re-mortaring Khera's pool. Not only do interns learn how to properly care for these magnificent animals, but they learn about pool maintenance, vehicle maintenance, cementing pools and feed slabs, making troughs and working with PVC pipe. These are just a few of the many things they have the ability to learn during their internship.

Khera is a Bengal tiger who loves her pool. With this dry, hot weather, her pool began to leak as the ground shifted. Today, Khera laid by her drop gate and watched patiently as we fixed her pool. Eventually she did get bored and went into her house. Tomorrow she will be able to enjoy it again. Khera loves to play in her pool during the early evening hours. She will occasionally drag her firehose ball into the pool with her.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Scooter's Encounter with the Bumble Bee

Scooter had his first experience with a bumble bee the other day. The bee was crawling around outside his house while Scooter was rolling around inside his house. Well, on Scooter's way out he saw the bee and decided to give it a taste. Poor boy was quick to spit it out and left it alone.

On a happier note, Scooter did enjoy his purple boomer ball. He had a blast playing with it. He would pull it out of his water tub, throw it in the air and the roll around with it. You can see for yourself in the video clip.
video

Monday, August 23, 2010

We Finally Got the Picture


Domino is a male Jaguar who came to IEAS as a cub in 1993. During the hot Texas summers, he will occasionally cool off in his pool. Since he arrived, we have only been able to get two pictures of Domino in his pool. This summer is no different. We have seen him in his pool on numerous occasions with it being so hot. As soon as we get there with a camera, he just walks out of his pool and lies on his perch. Well, he was nice enough Saturday to wait for us. We finally got another picture of him in his pool! This summer heat is getting all of our animals to cool off anyway they can. Most of them have pools while others have mister systems to help them cool off. You can come see Domino and the others cooling off this summer on a tour. We have tours Saturdays at 11 and 3, Sundays at 11, and during the week just call the office to set up a time.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Scooter and His House


We put some hay in Scooter's outside house. We just wanted to provide him something in case he wanted to make a little bed. Well instead of making a bed, Scooter found that hay is very fun to play in. Every morning after eating his lunch, he would run into his house and roll around in the hay. He loves it! It is so entertaining to watch him roll and flip and even dig under the hay at times. Silly little bear.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Thank You



We recently had some help raising money from a group of special individuals. Kids from Camp Fire USA’s Camptivity Day Camp helped raise money for the animals of IEAS. They raised money through a car wash last week. They braved the hot weather to help these wonderful animals. I know the animals and the staff at IEAS are very grateful for their contribution. During these hard economic times, it is charities such as IEAS that suffer the most, but with the help and support of caring individuals such as these guys…we are able to give these animals the best quality of life possible in captivity. We want to say a big THANKS to these kids and everyone else who has helped support IEAS over the years. Without you…this would not be possible.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Scooter's New Toy

Scooter has found yet another toy to play with. He decided that his pan makes a good little toy. He throws it up in the air and then scoots it along the ground. His name is actually very fitting during this activity. It seems that every day, Scooter finds something new to play with or something new to do. He got a new water tub yesterday and he was diving into the water having a blast. Unfortunately we did not get any video of that little show, but I know there will be a next time.
video

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Keeping Cool







We hear that the entire U.S. is going to a heat wave this summer. Here in Boyd, it's no different. The past two weeks we have reached highs in the triple digits with a heat index of 105-110 degrees! We are lucky as most of our work is done in the morning hours which is the cooler part of the days. Then we try to stay out of the heat as much as possible. However, the animals of IEAS do not have the luxury of air conditioning to cool off in. Most of the animals seek shelter either in their house or lying in the shade cooling off during the hotter parts of the day. In the evenings, you can walk around and see just about every tiger or bear cooling off in their pool. The tigers and bears enjoy playing in their pools first thing in the mornings and also in the evenings. We have even seen Doming, a jaguar, cooling down in his pool. However, he has yet to allow us time to get a picture of him doing so. We hope you enjoy these pictures of the animals. You can come out for a tour at 11am and see them enjoy their pools in person. Just contact us at (940) 433-5091 to set up a tour! Don't let the heat keep you from enjoying these animals! It will be worth it trust me.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Scooter's boomer ball

Scooter enjoyed playing with his boomer ball yesterday. He was wound up during the morning and just went after it. As you can see in the video, he rolled around with it, threw it up in the air only to tackle it again. There were a few times when he lost his footing trying to go after the ball. He went rolling in the grass, but that didn't slow him down one bit. It was so fun watching him enjoy it. His mornings are spent playing which makes sense since it is cooler at that time. Then, in the afternoons, he just roams around while his care givers are visiting him coming over to rub against them looking for affection and reassurance. Most of the times, he will end the visit with a nap. He loves to lie on his perch in one area that is shaded and gets any breeze there is. That is his nap spot.
video

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Scooter's new house


Scooter now has a new house to play in. We gave him access to the house located in the outdoor area of quarantine. He loved it! It didn't take him long to bring a few toys from his indoor area to put into the house. The newness of the house still has not worn off as he spends his mornings playing inside the house. He would roll around with the toys a bit and then come jumping outside and roll around on the ground. It is so fun to watch him enjoy it. I know it's something that is not that big a deal to most, but to Scooter, is a whole new world to explore. We can only imagine what he will be like when we move him down to Bear Orphanage this next winter! He will have plenty to explore then.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cooling Off



The heat wave finally hit Texas this month. All the animals at IEAS are taking advantage of their pools and mister systems to help keep cool. Scooter is no exception. He is taking every chance he can to cool off in his water tubs after a hard play outside. He does have one advantage over all the other animals...Air Conditioning. He still has access to the air conditioning in his holding area. Though you may think he would choose to stay inside all day with it being so hot, he actually loves coming out to play when his caregivers come to visit. After playing for a while, he will take breaks to cool off in his water tubs; then it's back to playing. Eventually he gets played out and will take a nap on one of the perches with the Animal Behaviorist.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Jungle Gym for Scooter




Executive Director, Richard Gilbreth and Maintenance Supervisor, Roy Marley along with interns Dan and Andy have been working hard over the past week to build a fun, new jungle gym for Scooter. It is now complete and in one of the holding areas of Bear Orphanage where Scooter will be moved once he is big enough. The jungle gym has several perches, climbing areas and two slides! Once we put it down there, all of the bears currently living in Bear Orphanage were eager to check it out right away. Pixie, Rascal, Rowdy, and Scamp have all had a great time playing on the new jungle gym. We are sure that Scooter will love it once he moves to his new home!