Zookeeper Sharifa made a bunch of tasty treats for the animals today: creamy mashed potatoes (a bit of cream cheese and chicken broth), orange juice glazed carrots, crunchy peanut butter banana bread (bottom left), pumpkin cinnamon bread (top) and rosemary herb greek yogurt bread (bottom right).
Yesterday we had to say goodbye to a much beloved member of our sanctuary family, Great Horned Owl Aerial. Aerial was born around 1990 and was found by two sweet little girls. The two girls at the time wanted to help save the small owlet and fed her hamburger trying to help her but not realizing that this was not good for her. After seeking help, it was sadly to late to fix the damage done from the lack of nutrition giving to Aerial’s small body. She had such a lack of calcium her left wing had broken badly in three places and had to be amputated. Her beak was also deformed which created complications for her to eat meals and prey. Fate had in store that Aerial meet her soulmate in Education Coordinator Vicki Valentine. Vicki took in Aerial at her young, broken age and helped her gain her strength back and heal her wounds. As an educational ambassador Aerial and Vicki touched an entire generation of students (and adults) with their outreach presentations over the 16 years until Aerial’s retirement. Now those children are teaching their own children that “Wild Animal Do Not Make Good Pets”. If you were lucky to watch them in action then you saw the magic that education brings and the power of how one animals story and hardships can inspire a community.
Bruce Lee famously said “Do not pray for an easy life; pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” Aerial is the definition of such strength and showed it in all that life had thrown at her in her 27 years. She navigated each turn with grace, beauty, energy, dignity, honor and wisdom only an Great Owl knows. The malnutrition from her youth set off a lifetime of health issues ranging from liver failure in 2003 that Aerial almost died from to a bouts with malaria, glaucoma and other severe optometry issues that completely took her vision. In the past few days her health faded quickly and she was gently euthanized while surrounded by friends that were there from her beginnings at the sanctuary and a few new ones she made. We will deeply miss you Aerial and take the lesson you taught us so well: “Beauty ends in Y just like each day. Choose to smile, embrace, enjoy and have a beautiful day, no matte
We mournfully announce that Coyote Iris was gently euthanized yesterday due to health complications. Wild Iris came to live at our sanctuary on 6/12/2003. The story goes that a family found her living with their dog in the dog house and they tried to care for her but realized quickly how wild she was. Iris had a brief stay with our friends at Animal Ark in Reno, Nevada before heading to us at a few months of age because she had been heavily imprinted onto humans. Beautiful Iris was very close to her 15th birthday and had been battling cataracts in her eyes and degenerative discs in her neck along with arthritis. It was getting difficult for her body to move her joyful and lively spirit around. Iris loved to play with enrichment and shred up items she was given. A long nap after a full belly was a daily ritual in her favorite napping spot. Peafowl would lay eggs on top of her exhibit during breeding season for some odd reason but Iris eagerly watched and waited as they would sometimes roll and fall in the exhibit giving her a tasty snack. Iris also loved to dig and displace dirt for keepers to sweep up daily. Wild Iris was adored by staff, docents, visitors and her favorite human Roberta.
Livestock Guarding Dog Marcus received his very own Bark Box purchased from the Enrichment Giving Tree. He spent his down time today enjoying the new toys and treats! Thank you to the kind visitor that supported this gift!! Photo by Zookeeper Sydney @barkbox
January 10th is recognized as #savetheeaglesday
The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act has help save these beautiful birds from poaching. Here are some fun facts about Golden Eagles.
The Golden Eagle is one of the largest, fastest, nimblest raptors in North America.
The Golden Eagles scientific name is Aquila chrysaetos
The Golden Eagle is the most common official national animal in the world. It's the emblem of Albania, Germany, Austria, Mexico, and Kazakhstan.
Golden Eagles prey mainly on small to medium-sized mammals, including hares, rabbits, ground squirrels, prairie dogs, and marmots. Black-tailed jackrabbits are a key prey species throughout much of their range. Eagles are also capable of taking larger bird and mammal prey, including cranes, swans, deer, and domestic livestock.
Photo by Judy Bujold @fotopassion
Today we said good luck to Zookeeper Lacey as she officially makes the move to the great state of Alaska. “North to the future” is Alaska’s motto and Lacey’s future is full of wonders and riches. Lacey has been at our sanctuary for almost nine years and has brought tremendous joy and hard-work to each day she is here. We have truly been blessed to have someone so passionate and dedicated to our mission and the animals. We wish her the very best on her new journey in “the Last Frontier” and look forward to when we see her again!
We will be closed tomorrow from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm to take down the Wild Nights & Holiday Lights decorations. (Open from 12:00 pm to 4:00pm)
Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers that helped make this event a success for the animals!
Raccoon Crash has terminal cancer and keepers are keeping a close eye on him along with the vets. His appetite has been up and down as of late. New recipes are being tried to give him tasty meals that he will enjoy and keep weight on. Zookeeper Sharifa recently made rice pudding, tuna casserole and veggie stew with chicken broth and quinoa. To quality test it she enlisted the help of the monkeys, bears and kinkajous. So far it’s a hit all around!
Photo by Zookeeper Sharifa.
It’s going to be a fantastic evening listening to the incredible vocals of the Wildwood Roses!
Johnny Cash songs and other delightful tunes sung in the background of the Johnny Cash Trail and beautiful Holiday Lights.
Thank you to the Wildwood Roses and Sunny Mitchell Theatre Projects for your wonderful entertainment tonight!!
Wolf Hybrids Draco, Lady and Timber are doing well together getting to know each other. The new boys are still not fond the noises the exhibit doors make but positive reenforcement and tasty treats are helping. They have made a lot of progression the past month that they have been here vs the trauma they came from.
Photos by Zookeeper Shawn.