What's happening this month?
Introducing Athena and Dakota
As you all know Nikita was very close to her sister Shakira. For the last year we had been monitoring both sisters health and behaviour. It became clear that if we lost one, the other would struggle emotionally. Shakira and Nikita had lived together for 11 years so the loss of one would be a huge shock to the other. Knowing this, we discussed what would be the best option. The outcome of these discussions were that we would look for two puppies to introduce to the pack. This would not only increase the pack number but would also bring in new energy and would offer reassurance to both Nikita and Shakira.
In June we collected Athena and Dakota and after a quarantine period, we began the introduction process. From the very first introduction Shakira was interested. She was friendly and gentle towards the pups and accepted them into her environment. As the weeks went on, the pups began to spend more time in the enclosure with Shakira and Nikita. The interactions were always positive and soon we no longer had to supervise them. During this time it became clear that Shakira's health was deteriorating and we did not have long left with her. On the 16th of September, Shakira was sadly laid to rest. In the weeks following, the relationship between Nikita and the pups began to form. It took a few weeks for the new pack structure to fully develop and now the three are best of friends. It was obvious that the pups helped Nikita through the grieving process and offered her the reassurance that we hoped.
We spayed 2 of our caracal females Mercury and Sasha at the Cheetah Experience vet clinic to prevent any behavioural issues or broken friendships. Caracals are very territorial and can be aggressive if another is in oestrus within the enclosure or close by.
Not only will this help our caracals to maintain their friendships and live peacefully but also eliminates the risk of developing pyometra and reduces the risk of future health complications such as cancer. We plan to sterilise Saturn as soon as Mercury has recovered.
This month our volunteers had spooky fun making all the animals their own jack-o-lanterns!