Friday, January 28, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
After the cats received their Christmas trees, we knew it was the bears’ turn! Now, they are much more used to trees; we all know they love to climb! So, instead of giving them full trees to climb on, we decided to cut off the branches for them to use as denning materials. This way, they could be warm AND have some Christmas decorations in their dens! When we piled the branches in the holding areas on both sides of Bear Orphanage, they each reacted a little differently. On one side, Scooter, Scamp, and Greta’s normal playfulness was amplified by the fun new branches! Scamp plopped himself down in the middle of the pile to play. He would pull the branches up onto himself and rub his face and belly all over them. At the same time, Greta was right next to him, rolling back and forth and pouncing from branch to branch, making sure to also pounce on Scamp and Scooter a time or two! Scooter spent most of his time walking around in the branches and playing with Greta. He really will take any opportunity for playtime! Check out the video below to see how much fun they had tumbling and pouncing in the branches!
On the other side of Bear Orphanage, Rascal was the first of the bears to see the branches. We piled them right next to the cave he was sleeping in. Once he smelled them, he wandered out and sniffed around. Probably because he had just woken up, Rascal realized these branches would be great for sleeping with. He picked a few up, one at a time, and dragged them backwards into his cave. Over the next few days, we saw that on both sides of the Orphanage, the bears had begun dragging the piles into their dens and caves! Turns out these thick, soft branches really do make great denning materials for them!
We are so happy that these donated trees have had such an impact on the cats and bears of IEAS! It’s an absolute joy to watch them have so much fun with them! Thanks again to Rainbow Plant Sales in Saginaw, TX and to ALL of our supporters! Come out and visit soon!
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Even though Christmas has passed for most of us, the residents of IEAS are just now enjoying the leftover Christmas trees. Now, all of our animals have trees in their habitats, but something about a new and different little evergreen tree certainly seems to set them off! Most of the trees we provided for the felines stood about two to three feet tall. This allowed the cats to pick them up, toss them in the air, and bat them around with their paws.
Some were surprisingly playful, like Noel, one of our Siberian tigers who tends to put on his tough face most of the time. Instead of watching us as we watched him, like he usually does, Noel dove right into his tree, shaking it around and chewing it up. In no time at all, he picked the tree up and playfully ran full speed into his house with the tree to play in private!
A few yards away, the triplets, Akbar, Kumar, and Arusha, couldn’t get enough of their trees. They sniffed, batted, and shook their trees all around, taking a moment every few minutes to pounce on each other. They were certainly excited at the new toy, as they usually do.
Zippy, unlike the others, got a Christmas tree that stood about seven feet tall. We knew Zippy would enjoy it; she never disappoints when we give her new enrichment items! This time was no different. Zippy pounced right on it. She would grab a branch and roll the whole tree towards her. When it rolled on her foot, she would take off running, as if the tree were attacking her. After a loop around her habitat, she always came back for more.
Kim and Karen, who always love a new toy, had a blast as they would walk away from the tree, then run right back and pounce on it. They chewed them up, shook them, put them in their water troughs, then placed them in their houses for safe keeping. Even days later they have been seen playing with the trees!
Their neighbor, Lexus, is a VERY majestic and proud lion. He didn’t let this stop him from having a blast with his tree. He shook it up and chewed it to bits! We found remnants of it scattered all over. See below for a before and after shot of Lexus’ tree – you’ll be able to tell just how much fun he had!
Some of our small felines also had some fun. Chrissy and Tricia, two of our bobcats, waited until late in the evening to explore their tree but once they smelled it, they had a great time rubbing, laying, and rolling all over it! One of our interns, Amanda, saw sap on their whiskers and got some great pictures of them loving their trees (below)! They seemed so happy to have the pine needles scratching and rubbing their backs and faces for them!
A HUGE thanks to Rainbow Plant Sales in Saginaw, TX, for donating all of their leftover trees! And thanks to ALL for your support!
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Thanks to each and every one of you who voted for us for CITGO’s Fueling Good Sweepstakes. Because you thought about our animals for a few moments each day, we have come in third place and won $1,000 worth of CITGO gas and a case of CITGO oil! The staff and residents of IEAS could not be more grateful for the care and support you have for us! Now, instead of spending that $1,000 on gas, we can put it towards furthering our efforts to make the lives of our animals safe, healthy, and happy. We never could have reached this goal on our own. We know that it has only happened because of YOU. Thank you so much for your support! You are each an important part of the lives of our felines and bears!
Monday, January 10, 2011
Yesterday we had our first snow fall for 2011! The animals were not too thrilled first thing in the morning when it was raining, but once the snow started falling at lunch time, they were out having fun. Akbar, Arusha and Kumar were out playing in the snow, and Kimberly and Karen were actually playing in their pool! Now one would expect a snow leopard to thrive in this type of weather, but Katrina was not about to be out in the snow. She kept nice and dry in her cave under her water fall. It was only after the snow fall she ventured out to check on things. The bears were smarter and all stayed in their dens and caves during the storm. It wasn't until today that they came out to play. Nearly all the bears were out on the tour enjoying the cooler weather. There were a few that chose to stay warm and snug in their den. So, don't let the cooler weather keep you from enjoying these animals. Come out to see them on a tour!
Monday, January 3, 2011
Domino has a little system in place on the days we clean his habitat. He watches as we clean his habitat and spray his enrichment items with a 50/50 bleach solution. Then, you can see his eyes light up when we go to raise his gate. At that point, he only has one thing on his mind...get to his red boomer ball. While raising his gate or rolling up his hose, one will hear a squeaking sound. Well that noise is Domino licking and rubbing his nose across his boomer ball. It's clockwork. He does this every time we clean, and it makes for good entertainment for those watching. You can come see Domino on a tour. Just call the office to set it up for 11am Monday-Friday, or come by Saturday at 11am or 3pm or Sundays at 11am. How often do you get to see a Jaguar rub his nose across a boomer ball?!