3. March 2011 23:40
For Izzy's enrichment today we wrapped a deer hide around one of his favorite toys, a blue barrel. As soon as Izzy went into his yard he noticed something different and went to investigate. He pushed the barrel around and tugged on the deer hide trying to get it loose. Then he was distracted by his giant green ball floating in his pool, so then he had to go drown the ball. Izzy got excited and was running around his yard having fun. We try to provide our animals with new enrichment to keep them from getting bored and to stimulate natural behaviors. Alexis also loves deer hides and she destroyed one the other day. We're still finding deer fur around her yard!
12. September 2010 00:11
Right now the cats are enjoying the cooler weather. They are playing more and are generally more active. We have a new green ball that we use to get some of the cats up on tour and they love it! We can't actually give them this ball because they will shred it to pieces and then digest them. Alexis goes crazy when you throw it in the air or kick it back and forth. Izzy just stares it down like it was a prey animal. His feet are still hurting him a bit so he still isn't back to himself.
We had some deer meat donated this week which is very helpful to us! We were low on meat anyways, but deer is some of their favorite meat. They only get deer during deer season usually so it's kind of a treat. Alexis loves deer hides and bones! When we give her a deer hide we find deer fur ALL over her yard. Izzy doesn't like deer very much, he spits it back out. Our tigers are a little picky. So if you have extra deer meet or a whole deer that you don't want, feel free to donate! We can process an entire deer here ourselves.
The Birthday Bash is coming up quickly (October 9th). We are preparing fun activities and entertainment. We are also brainstorming ideas for new kinds of events next year.
4. September 2010 21:28
Our poor Izzy has blisters on his paws again and is not feeling well. His paw pads don't callus correctly because he spends so much time in the pool so he is suspetible to blisters. The past few days he didn't move much and yesterday he didn't even go outside. We have been medicating them so today he is doing better. Right now he is sleeping on his platform but early in the morning he followed Mohan along the fence, which is a good sign.
Today a gentlemen on a tour shared some monologues about a lion with me. I found them amusing and looked them up online. http://wuff.me.uk/monologues/P10.html I found them here. One is called "The Lion and Albert" and the other is "The Return of Albert". I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
We are expecting a busy weekend with the wonderful weather! The cats are deffinetely enjoying this cooler weather and are up and playing more. Also our new smaller enclosure is almost finished! We hope that it will be done within a week or so. This will be great for whoever has to stay in because they will now have access to outside and a pool.
As I type Alexis is attacking her foot. She sticks her hind leg in the air and then pulls it down with her front paws and bites it. She almost did a whole sumersault! She's rolling around trying to get her back foot as if it were something bothering her. We shouldn't expect any less from Alexis.
23. August 2010 21:36
Since we are closed on Mondays we have more time to put new stuff into the tiger's yards. Today we put a big barrel on a zip line in Gracie and Thor's yard, although Alexis is in there today. Izzy supervised from his enclosure next door. He was really hoping the barrel was for him! When we were testing out the barrel by pushing it down the zip line Izzy went crazy. We let Alexis out and all she did was sniff it. Once she figures out that it will make Izzy jealous I'm sure she'll play with it some more.
Yesterday the vet came by to do a visual check up on all the cats. He said they all look like they're doing well.
We are starting to prepare for the Birthday Bash on October 9th. We are looking for entertainment, so if you know someone or if you would like to do some entertaining please let us know! Thanks!
16. August 2010 22:21
Everyone has been very playful today! The heat has let up and everyone is enjoying it. Even Mohan has been up and playing around. We moved Izzy next to Mohan and they have been running up and down the fence together and watching each other all day. They walk down the fence together and at the very end Mohan gives Izzy a little roar and they continue on. Mo jumps in and out of his pool while Izzy stalks him from behind a tree. Mohan's playfulness is a sign that he is feeling well.
Thor and Gracie were moved into Izzy's yard where there is a larger pool, more platforms and a hill to run up and down. Thor found Izzy's scent and was rubbing against it and drooling, although earlier in the morning Thor was growling and hissing at Izzy. Thor loves to hide under the platforms in this enclosure and has wedged herself underneath so that you can barely see her. Gracie enjoyed running down the hill and plopping down into some cool dirt.
Raja was given a box with the cologne Brut sprayed on it. This is Raja's favorite scent! She rubbed all over the box and tried to eat it. The box is now a slobbery mess. Raja's tail is swollen at the base and has a raw spot on the underside. We have been trying our best to medicate the raw spot before it gets worse and it seems to be doing a lot better.
Before Alexis went outside she found a bone we had given Raja for breakfast. Alexis loves bones and this one was no exception. She guarded it with all her might from us. If we even looked at it she would growl and carry on. Finally she lost interest and went outside for the day. We put a watermelon in her enclosure this morning and when she found it she carried it around like a prize. She dug her claws and teeth in and ripped it apart all over her yard. At least it smells a lot nicer than a bone!
So far has been a good day for everybody at the sanctuary! We hope the weather stays nice!
9. August 2010 08:17
Today we hosted our first birthday party! We decorated the education center with birthday decorations and served Fizzy Izzy Rootbeer floats. The kids got to go on a tour and make jungle boxes to throw to the tigers. We had lots of fun!
Izzy has been trying to move his big tractor tire into the pool for the past few weeks and finally he was succesful. As amusing as it was watching him get the tire into the pool and then stand on it in the water, it was not so fun trying to get it out of the pool. It took three of us to pull the tire out! Let's see how long it takes him to put it back into the pool. Izzy is always full of suprises.
5. August 2010 03:42
Izzy is our 3 year old Siberian-mix tiger. He already weighs 500 lbs and has another year left to grow. Izzy came from a carnival where they used him to take pictures with young kids, but when he was only three months old he was too big for his job and they were going to euthanize him. Luckily he was able to come live with us and is doing great! Don't forget to try our Fizzy Izzy root beer, visit fizzyizzyrootbeer.com. Enjoy this Izzy photo collage!
31. July 2010 22:16
As interns, we must complete a group project and an individual project. For the group project the other intern and I have chosen to make a hammock from fire hoses so the tigers have a new way of lounging around (as if they needed help with that). We are starting to work on it today and hopefully we'll have it up within the next week or so! Once the tigers figure out how to use it I'll post some pictures.
We have just started training with the tigers. We do not train the tigers to perform but rather to help with vet care and to keep their minds active. Training is also an important component to the internship program. Training can be frustrating for the animal and the trainer. You must be patient with the animal and never punish them. Sometimes you have to wait a few weeks until the animal will do the desired behavior and you must reward them right then and there to increase the chances of them performing this behavior again. Right now we have Izzy target training. Target training involves a stick with a colored ball at the end, and the tiger must put his nose up to the ball in order to be rewarded. As soon as the tiger does the behavior that is asked, the trainer will click the clicker (this lets the animal know that this is the right behavior), and quickly reward the animal. Izzy has been target training for a week and is doing really well. He pays more attention when we have chicken as a reward. Hopefully we will start training the others soon.