Pelican Moves to the Zoo

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For the past month, we have had a pelican living in the greenhouse here at TreeHouse.  Today, we brought it to its new home at the St. Louis Zoo.

The keepers take the crate holding the pelican into one of the buildings where birds are housed so that they can take the bird's weight.

All new animals joining the zoo’s collection spend a mandatory 30 days in quarantine to ensure that they aren’t carrying any parasites or infectious diseases that could spread to the other animals.  The zoo is currently renovating its hospital building, so instead of going to the normal quarantine facility, our pelican will be spending its 30 days in a holding cage near the nursery.  It has a pool to swim in, and it can look through the bars at its next-door neighbor, another pelican that was rescued from Portage Des Sioux by the World Bird Sanctuary.  That pelican also arrived at the zoo today, so assuming neither bird has to spend additional time in quarantine (as a result, for example, of a fecal sample coming back with worms), both will join the flock at the same time.

We say goodbye to our pelican at its quarantine holding cage.

The zoo’s flock of American white pelicans currently consists of about 15 birds, all of which are rescues like ours.  In fact, two of them were brought to the zoo by TreeHouse in the past.  According to the keeper who checked in the pelican and showed us around, having such a large flock makes it very easy to introduce new birds.  Often, when a small number of animals are together for a long time, they will bully and exclude any new animal that is introduced.  But with a group of this size, a new addition will almost always fit in somewhere.

The flock cruises around the island where it nests.

So, next time you’re at the St. Louis Zoo, check out the pelican flock.  They nest on an island next to the Lakeside Cafe.  One of them will be the pelican we rescued from Riverlands in February.

Bobcat Status: Week 3

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The bobcat’s condition is continuing to improve.  She has now moved into the exercise room, so she has a lot more space to move around, and she seems to be taking advantage of it.  Bobcats are crepuscular, meaning that they are most active during the dawn and dusk hours, so during the day she spends most of her time resting either inside or on top of her den box.  Still, we can tell that she is much more active when no one is around–she knocks things over and drags her food all over the floor of the exercise room.  She’s also been eating well.  We’re feeding her mice and a variety of types of meat.  At the moment she has a leg of deer that she’s been chewing on–we sometimes get fresh roadkill to feed out to our animals.  I imagine the deer meat must be a real treat for her.  Bobcats will occasionally take down deer in the wild, but it is rare for them to go after such large prey.

We are hoping to be able to move her outside next week.  In the outdoor cage she will have even more space to move around and she will have the chance to climb and leap onto different platforms and shelves.  This will give us the opportunity to better assess her condition and determine the outlook for her release back into the wild.  First, though, we have to finish building the cage!  It was originally intended for Tigger, but although he passed away just a few days before we admitted this bobcat into TreeHouse, we are still rushing to complete the cage so that we can use it for her rehab.

Bobcat Status: Saturday

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The bobcat seems to be feeling somewhat better today.  When Pam tried to give her fluids this morning, she started hissing and growling and fighting her a little bit, so Pam decided that rather than doing it by I.V. today we would put a big dish of water and a bowl of food right outside her nest box to see if she’ll start eating and drinking on her own.  No one has seen her eat or drink yet, but when I went to check on her a few hours ago the food bowl had been tipped onto its side, so at least she must have been investigating it.  She was also holding her head up a little more than I have seen so far, so we’re hopeful that she is on the road to recovery.

Bobcat Status Update

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The bobcat seems to be about the same today as she was yesterday.  She is awake, and she watches people as we move around the mammal ward, but isn’t eating or drinking on her own yet.  She was given fluids subcutaneously again today.  She did show some spark and became a bit agitated when her bedding was changed, but she is still pretty lethargic.  Recovery from injuries of this type is a long, slow process, and the bobcat’s progress is about in line with what we would expect to see at this point.

The bobcat has started sticking her head out of her nest box far enough to watch us as we move around the room.

Belleville Bobcat: UPDATE

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The bobcat that was brought to us yesterday after being hit by a car just outside Belleville has been transferred to TreeHouse in Dow.  She is now conscious, with her eyes open and pupils responsive.  She is receiving supportive treatment for her injuries, and now we will just have to wait and see whether she will make a complete recovery.  She is still lethargic, but increasingly alert.

Roche Madden from Fox 2 News was out at TreeHouse earlier today shooting a story on the bobcat.  The story will air on either the five or six o’clock news tonight.

The pictures in the gallery below were taken this morning while we were administering fluids subcutaneously.