Monday, August 6, 2012

Just Another Day at In-Sync Exotics!

Life at In-Sync Exotics is slowing returning to normal.  Our staff and volunteers worked hard this weekend, painting the cheetah habitat framework and taking care of our wild ones in 100+ degree temperatures.  No rest for the staff and volunteers as our cats kept everyone on their toes!

This week, we will start installing the cheetah habitat "walls" -- a rather huge undertaking requiring lots of "hands on deck."  So, if you happen to live in the area and would like to help us with this stage of the cheetah habitat construction, we'd love to see you on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday starting at 9:00am, all four days!  Your construction contribution to Kodi and Sam's enclosure helps us get that much closer to the day when our boys can finally explore their brand new habitat!  Thank you very much for helping Kodi and Sam!

Welcome Home, Naomi!

We'd like to introduce you to a new resident at In-Sync Exotics--little Naomi! Naomi, a bobcat kitten, is about 2 1/2 - 3 months old from Royce City.  She was found by a couple, sitting on the side of a busy road.  After keeping her as a pet for about two weeks, the couple decided it was time to re-home her.  Bobcat kittens are adorable when they are little, but they grow up fast and can be rather intimidating as adults--with very sharp teeth and claws.  

On Wednesday, the couple brought little Naomi to us.  This little kitten (not cub since bobcats are part of the cat family) was not afraid of her new surroundings, immediately winning the hearts of our staff and volunteers.   We hoped she might be a candidate for the rehabilitation captive and release program.  So we consulted with our local bobcat "rehabber" to see what Naomi's chances were for rehab and release. We were told told Naomi was not a good candidate for the program because she has no fear of humans and would constantly try to get into people's laps or climb up people's legs for food and attention.  So the decision was made to welcome Naomi to the In-Sync Exotics' family.  

For now, Naomi lives in a large (Great Dane-sized) dog cage until she is old enough to meet Neffie and Jasper.  Naomi seems to be in good health, except for a runny eye.  We are treating her eye with  antibiotic drops.  On Tuesday, she will meet her vet for the first time as part of her "entrance" examination.

Watch our video of Naomi munching on a bone!

Please welcome little Naomi to our family!

Okay, you found a baby bobcat! Now what do you do?

Bobcats are nocturnal and diurnal. There is very little social interaction between adult cats, often marking their territories with fecal matter and urine. Within territorial ranges, these beautiful animals can travel between 3 and 7 miles nightly looking for food and water. Mating begins in December and can extend into June, with the peak in March. Litters of usually 2 to 3 kittens are born after 50 to 70 days, most in May and June. Weaning occurs after two months, and young stay with their mothers until fall or later.

Momma bobcats are extremely protective of their young. If you think you see a baby bobcat, do not touch it or pick it up! Only allow an experienced wild animal handler to approach or handle the kitten.   Keep the kitten in visual if you can without startling the animal.  Often times, the mother bobcat is close by and will “rescue” her own kitten without your help.  However, if the kitten is in immediate danger (i.e. sitting on the side of a busy road), carefully attempt to capture the animal.  If you see the momma bobcat nearby, try to remove the kitten from the dangerous situation, and place her as close as you can to the mother. 

Special warning – Bobcat kittens are absolutely adorable. They look like normal kittens, soft and cuddly, and very sweet. This is not how they will act when you pick them up! If the kitten is young enough, she might not fight you, or bite, but she will still scratch you, struggle, and more importantly – she will make noise which is sure to get her momma’s attention. You do not want to start a fight with a momma bobcat. You will not win.

If there is absolutely no sign of the momma bobcat in the area and the kitten’s situation requires immediate intervention and you cannot wait for a wild animal handler, carefully attempt to capture the animal.  Place the kitten in a pet carrier or box, away from pets, people, children, and household activity. Keep the carrier or box covered and do not handle the kitten no matter how cute she is to you. Handling the kitten may ruin her chances for release back to the wild.  Do not try and bottle feed the kitten while you are waiting for a return call from the rehabilitator as baby bobcats eat solids sooner than you may think. Always keep handling and talking to a minimum and avoid visual contact whenever possible--you do not want the kitten to imprint upon you.

The sooner you can get the kitten to a wild animal rehabilitator, the better chance she has in returning to the wild.

Remembering Grumpy

One year ago last Saturday marks the day we said our final good-byes to Grumpy.  Grumpy was one of the Leona 6 cats who arrived at In-Sync Exotics on August 30, 2010.  Grumpy touched the lives of so many volunteers by exemplifying his desire to live and enjoy each new day

Grumpy loved chewing on bones, sneaking into his tub late at night, and chuffing at volunteers who kept him company during the day.  A couple of volunteers were particularly touched by Grumpy, saying that even though they were going through difficult times in their own lives, seeing Grumpy fight to enjoy life, despite his physical limitations, made them realize life was precious and should be celebrated every day with friends and loved ones.

Grumpy, you were loved and adored and we miss you very, very much.  God Bless you always, Grumpy...

Species: Bengal Tiger
(Panthera tigris tigris)

Sex: Male
Born: September, 1991
Age:  20 years old
Called In-Sync Home:  August 30, 2010
Crossed the Rainbow Bridge:  August 4, 2011


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