June (also May, July & August) saw many of our popular sold out sessions at Millbrook Garden Centres in Crowborough, Gravesend and Staplehurst. Our Mini-Beast sessions were a huge success and one of the surprise stars was Boris the Rat who loves sitting on a shoulder and having cuddles. Rats are misunderstood, intelligent and social animals who are incredibly rewarding to look after often forming close bonds with their owners. Boris has helped change many negative opinions of rats.
December saw our first Christmas in our new home and the animals are so happy having so much more room. One of our most popular animals arrived in early December in the shape of 3 mice. Mice, like rats, do seem to bring out the worst reactions in many, which is such a shame as they really are a lovely animal to care for. Mickey, Mike and Malcolm all love meeting people and to help cure some of those irrational fears.
We hope you like this small selection of pictures from our year and don't forget to send us photos of our amazing animals that you have taken too either through our Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Blanche is our beautiful white gerbil and the oldest of the group. Gerbils are an animal many of us were asked to look after in the school holidays. Always a popular pet but sadly another animal that often ends up in rescue. There are many species of gerbils, though the Mongolian gerbil is the one most commonly kept as pets. They belong to the family of 'burrowing rodents' and are naturally adapted to desert environments in Africa and Asia. In our experience they are incredibly hard to sex and so mistakes are easy so beware they multiply easily and quickly!
This sunny month saw the arrival of our 2 beautiful Duprasi - Dave & Dean. These fascinating creatures are also known as fat-tailed gerbils and are a member of the gerbil family Gerbillinae and are the only member of the genus Pachyuromys. They are more like a hamster than a gerbil in many ways but have a fascinating tail which is used to store water and fat, much like a camel uses its hump. What makes them even more unique is their endearing habit of sleeping on their back, with all four feet pointing upwards!
This saw the start of our hugely popular Meerkat Encounters. Bonnie & Mika are our 2 gorgeous meerkats who were a vast learning curve for us as there isn’t really a general manual for looking after 2 young meerkats... one of which had recently lost her bonded brother and the other who was sadly rejected by her mother which resulted in the loss of her tail. We were very lucky that with lots of help the 2 girls quickly bonded and became the best of friends.
This month saw big changes for Our Amazing Animal World with a moving of home from Kent to West Sussex along with the arrival of probably our most exotic reptile to date in the shape of the remarkable Hugo the Bosc Monitor. These impressive and large creatures are often bought as pets when they are small and manageable but grow to a large size needing extremely large enclosures. Hugo is an excellent example of why you must always research an animal before offering your home and make sure that the fully grown animal is still manageable. Hugo immediately became a big part of the family and struck up a strange friendship with Dudley the dog and the two are often found cuddled up together in one of the dog beds.
2017 was a year of many ups and downs but our really amazing animals constantly reminded us why we do what we do. From rare new arrivals to daunting rescue projects - there were so many memories but we have selected one from each month to highlight just some of our favourites.
We love to see your photos of our amazing rescue animals too so please do always send us any you would like us to see.
Here is our year in pictures…
This month saw the arrival of beautiful Horace (seen here during a lesson at a local school) the African Hedgehog. We were asked to home Horace by a family that couldn’t look after him anymore and he joined our other 2 hedgehogs Henry and Harold. The African pygmy hedgehog is a hybrid of the four toed hedgehog and the Algerian hedgehog, and is the most popular species of domesticated hedgehog in the world and subsequently do end up in rescue centres a lot. In our opinion they are not ideal pets...we think they are a bit like teenagers in that they are nocturnal and generally either found eating, sleeping or pooping!
Eduardo the Jackson’s chameleon began coming to events in November and was instantly a huge hit. Jackson’s horned chameleon or Kikuyu three-horned chameleon is a species of chameleon native to East Africa. The males possess three brown horns: one on the nose and two above the eyes, which many compare to the similarity of the dinosaur Triceratops. While they not as flamboyant as some other chameleons they are capable of remarkable color changes. When resting and happy, Jackson’s chameleons are most commonly a shade of green however, when they’re cold or when they’re acting aggressively, Jackson’s chameleons can display bold colors that include black, yellow and blue.
Halloween month welcomed the arrival of probably our most challenging rescue to date. A local rescue centre told us of a Cockatoo who has been abandoned a few times and was desperate for an urgent home. Tiki arrived and it was evident immediately that he was quite a character but with some deep routed issues of abandonment and also mourning the loss of his original owner. Mark started working with Tiki and the two formed a bond very quickly however Mark was very careful to take things at Tiki's pace and never pushing him to do anything that he wasn’t comfortable with. It has been a frustrating journey for the 2 of them with unpredictable behaviour from Tiki that often resulted in 1 step forward and 2 steps back and lots of nasty bites for poor Mark. A few months on, the 2 appear to have formed an unbreakable bond - whether Tiki would ever be ready for events is still far too early to tell but for now he has a forever home and the safe, secure environment he dearly needed.
Type your paragraph here.
Early in 2017 saw the arrival of Camilla, our beautiful Royal Python, and in the Summer she began attending events. In September we were invited to the house of Pop Royalty ‘Claire from Steps’ where Camilla was a huge hit with children and adults alike. Royal Pythons are also known as Ball Pythons due to their tendency to curl into a ball when stressed or frightened. Camilla is wonderfully calm and friendly and a wonderful girl to overcome any fears of snakes you may have.
Mildred the Ferret is our mischievous girl who fitted into the family brilliantly at the end of 2016 and started visiting people in February 2017. It took Mark a number of months to train her to stop her nipping but it wasn’t too long before she moved on from being our nippy nightmare into our special cuddle monster. Ferrets seem to be a real ‘marmite’ animal and we find people either love them or hate them - if you can get beyond their rather strong and unique perfume they do actually make lovely friends.
Loretta and Leroy are our two amazing leaf insects. The leaf insect is a nocturnal species of stick insect that is usually a bright green in colour and looks just like an actual leaf! They even have brown lines around the borders of their bodies which creates the perfect illusion. Native to the Philippines these amazing creatures are widely bred in captivity across the world (including the UK) for the pet trade.