Friday, October 30, 2015

Let's Get Meaty!

Ever wonder about the process of feeding exotic felines? Here is an inside look into how our interns here at IEAS prepare the diets every morning!

Overnight the Triple A meat is thawed in bins where blood is collected. The blood is used to help combine and mix the supplements into the meat. Each log of meat (as seen below) weighs 10 pounds and is divided and distributed among the 35 cats.

The next step is to lay the pans out, one for each cat. The sizes can range anywhere from a bobcat bowl (L) to a Nala bowl (R). 

There are a few selective cats who no longer get the privilege of having their pans. Shown below is the aftermath of a Jaguar and Tiger getting pans. 

Each cat gets a different amount of Triple A depending on their weight, activity level, and age. The chart shown displays each animal and their designated poundage. 

There are certain animals, like our lion Shauna, who receive chicken only. Sapphire, one of our resident cougars, receives a combination of chicken and Triple A. Once all of the meat is distributed the multi-vitamin "Missing Link" is mixed into eat diet.

Any other medications needed are also mixed in to the proper animals' diet. 

Finally, each animal is fed and there are happy bellies everywhere! 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Lions, Tigers, and Grizzlies?! OH MY!

Lions, Tigers, and Grizzlies? OH MY!

No one says it better than Judy Garland regarding the fear that comes along when picturing an 800 pound grizzly bear in your presence.

All of our lives, we are taught to fear bears, particularly the fearsome grizzly bear. Even though our society views this particular bear as a danger to the human race, one man questioned this perspective only to see otherwise for himself. The bear man, formally known as Charlie Russell, believed that there was an essential factor missing between both human and grizzly: trust. He did a research study on grizzly bears in Kamchatka, Russia on his ranch to see if grizzlies were a major problem to the ranching business because of the many claims of them eating cattle. Additionally, he started a feeding program in 1972 in which he gave the grizzlies a few cows that died of natural causes for spring time to help lessen their appetite, aiding in keeping them out of neighbors' yards. He also rescued ten brown bear cubs from a zoo in Kamchatka to live free on his land, strengthening his understanding of grizzlies not being unpredictable as everyone thought.

For eleven years, the bear man surrounded himself with  many grizzlies, allowing him to have many encounters with them going in and out of the front door to his cabin. While studying these bears, he soon realized that they weren't the problem; rather, it was the fear and distrust that we have towards them that was the true issue. The belief that the grizzlies were eating the ranchers' cattle was used to justify killing them and stereotyping them as unpredictable beasts was proven false by his studies, though this took years and years to understand.
Here at IEAS, we make sure to respect our grizzlies and, through our Emotional Enrichment Program, the staff members form relationships with them that strengthen their trust in us and aids in the overall quality of life and care of the bears. 
Our grizzly bears are loving, affectionate, and filled with so much personality YOU COULDN'T POSSIBLY WALK BY AND NOT CAPTURE THEIR NATURAL ESSENCE. If you have the opportunity, please visit our sanctuary to get a tour of these wonderful characters!!

Happy Birthday, Mork!

Happy Birthday, Mork!

On Thursday, October 8th, one of our three resident White-nosed Coatis, named Mork, will be turning 12 years old! Mork was brought to the Sanctuary in April 2012 with his friend Mindy by a nice couple in Glen Rose, Texas, who owned them for 10 months, but then wanted them to have a better, forever home. Now, Mork and Mindy enjoy a spacious, natural habitat together containing enrichment toys, hammocks, several perches, an encircling walking ramp and a water misting system to keep them cool in the summers or a heat lamp and bedding for when it gets too cold.

White-nosed Coatis are native to the United States (Texas, New Mexico and Arizona), Mexico, Central America and South America (Columbia). They are members of the raccoon family and the order Carnivora, but they are actually omnivores that eat fruit, insects, small vertebrates, carrion and eggs in the wild. Like raccoons, they are good climbers that are well-adapted to human influence and have been known to forage through trash and campgrounds for food. On the other hand, coatis are active during the day rather than at night like the raccoon, but they are capable of becoming more nocturnal if necessary.

At IEAS, Mork’s diet consists of canine kibble, Fig Newtons, fruit (Mork's favorites are grapes, cantaloupe and honeydew melon) and eggs. For your viewing pleasure, check out this adorable video of the first time Mork was given an egg:

Mork and all of the other IEAS animal residents are available for adoption! For only $50/month (all donations are 100% tax-deductible), you can adopt Mork and receive:

  • An 8x10 photograph of Mork
  • An adoption certificate
  • One accompanied visit with Mork every month during which you can sit by the habitat and get to know him! (You must give us 24 hours’ notice before coming to the Sanctuary)