Luckily my new nighttime medication protocol is working and I am now on almost 3 weeks of night terror free! It feels beyond amazing to wake up refreshed and awake. And I actually look forward to sleep at night. So of course the one thing that makes me insanely happy and what gives me something to look forward to on the weekends is the Sanctuary.
So on Saturday Feb 4th, I headed out there. Over that week, I got a list of things they needed and got supplies for the reptiles,birds, and primates. I couldn't wait to give every animal their new treats and toys! As I was headed there, my main lady texted me saying that Earl, the pig I discussed in my last January weekend blog, passed away the night before they believe from another seizure or stroke. My heart sank. I understand in the animal field you lose animals, esp at a sanctuary. Sometimes we don't know their history and try to just keep them comfortable and happy. We did know this guys history and it's not a surprise he passed away, but just very sad. When the grown unfreezes, Earl will be buried in the pet cemetery at the sanctuary.
R.I.P. EARL 2/3/12
Onto a brighter note, after having tears on my drive there I was able to talk to my brother on my drive up there because it was my nieces 2nd birthday! I can't believe it already. So of course that made me emotional because I can't be with her. So by the time I got to the sanctuary I was ready for hugs from my co-workers and some animal loving, I received both.
To start, it was a sunny day and warm for Feb- the high was almost 50. We had an extra volunteer that day so we got to get so much done in a faster amount of time. Every Saturday we clean out all the cages/enclosures. Because we had things thawed out, we were able to pick up any left over "items" in the outside enclosures.
Here are some of the animals enjoying the warm sunny day
The Artic Fox lounging in the sunshine
Buffy, the buffalo. Surprising he is so nice! He came right up to me and ate a bagel out of my hand! He is so big!!! You do have to be careful thoguh obviously, he could charge at the fence. But he let me rub his nose. I always find myself liking the oddest animals the most at times!
The exotic domestic cats in their enclosure indoors, all clean and comfy!
Here is the damn Emu again. I wondered why he was poking his head out so much and being alert. Turns out, his lady friend laid a giant egg and she is sitting on it and he is "on guard". No worries my emu friend, I will NOT be entering your enclosure anytime soon.
The Iguanas and the water dragon all spread out under their hot heat lamp after they got a nice warm soaking bath
The Amazon (pictured here), the Macaws, and Cockatoo were so happy with their new cage toys for their beaks ,berry treats, and mixed nuts! yum yum, they ate the walnuts up so fast!
We then made rounds outside for feeding and cleaning. The water was not frozen in the hoses so we were able to give water to everyone after we did the bear feedings. Bears get huge full buckets of food!
Here is Mohan,the white tiger.
He is walking around enjoying the sunshine and getting fresh water.
Kelsey and her favorite man
After tending to all the other outdoor animals(turkey,foxes,ducks,snow macaque,tigers, bears,etc) we had one tiger left to tend to. Biggie is a tough one. She is very vocal and likes to play but was abused. She was going into trap doors for feeding and cleaning at her previous location and the trap door would be shut down on her tail. She only has a half of a tail now. So the sanctuary took her in but she may be transferred soon. The frankenmuth zoo needs a tiger and she may be shipped there to her new 2nd and safe new home.
Kelsey and I were determined though to give her water because she kept licking her bucket acting like she wanted it. Everytime though we stuck in this metal hook to flip the bucket over and towards us, she thought it was funny to jump on it so we couldn't.
Finally I distracted her as Kelsy flipped the bucket and we were able to give her water.
When I first started at the sanctuary they told me and warned me not to put a hose in all the way because they will grab it with their teeth or claws and want to play with it and/or rip it. I took it seriously but didn't believe it'd happen. Well it did. Biggie grabbed the end of the hose and pulled Kelsey. I quickly grabbed the hose and then 3 other workers jumped in and we were all playing tug of war with a hose and a tiger. Funds are low for these long hoses so we needed it back, or part of it! After 20 minutes of pulling with all our strength, we lost. She won.
If you look closely, you can see part of a green hose in her waterbowl.
She then played with it and acted proud.
Damn her, my body hurt for almost 48hrs after this because of her strength! I think next week I will pick up a big ball from the dollar store for her to play with.
And that was my day. I ended up hanging out with my new co-workers/friends,had dinner, and chatted. The owner of the snctuary told stories and educated me. I love this little family and all the animals. It was a 12 hr day and it could not have been more perfect.