Here’s what happened in July!
New faces included a sugar glider, two Alpaca (long-haired) guinea pigs, and two crows in distress.
The sugar glider was surrendered by a woman who bought on impulse and was told that they were fine as lone pets. But when she did her own research, she realized that isn’t the case. She couldn’t give the glider what it needed and requested to surrender it to AnimO. We recognize and appreciate that this is a very difficult decision to come to. So much of the information that new pet owners are given in Japan is just plain wrong! Pet stores and sometimes even vets are giving people bad advice – social animals are kept solo, in cages that are too small, with the wrong diet, and without the kind and amount of enrichment they need to be happy and healthy. While we do accept some pets surrendered under these circumstances, a donation at time of surrender is strongly encouraged to help offset the costs of caring for the animal for the rest of its natural life. AnimO’s resources are extremely limited right now, especially after some astronomical vet bills (and hospital bills for heat stroke) this summer.
The long-haired guinea pigs provided an opportunity to talk about how challenging some breeds can be to maintain. Alpaca guinea pigs like this one need daily grooming, weekly baths with special pH-balanced shampoo, specific bedding to avoid tangles that gets changed daily, and monthly trims. (Please note that these piggies are not up for adoption.)
The two crows in distress seemed to be suffering from the same condition where they were awake and alert but with completely paralyzed legs. After doing a deep dive into research, it looks like the same thing or something very similar as seen in Canada in 2013 and in Australia with lorikeets. Nobody seems to know the cause, (possibly toxins left by humans in the environment) but it seems to be very nearly 100% fatal. Unfortunately that was the case with the two that came here as well. I consulted with the Japan Wildlife Centre about this situation, and they were a wonderful resource. If you’d like more information, there is a lengthy post on Facebook. https://fb.watch/mghwEO7MIh/
Every summer we get a lot of calls about crows that appear to be sick or hurt, and it can be tricky to tell which ones genuinely need help and which ones don’t. There is a Facebook post from July 5, 2023, with examples of both - one was injured but didn’t need to be rescued, and another (one of the paralyzed ones) wasn’t injured but did need help. https://fb.watch/mghnerFDHK/
In brighter news, a baby crow that did not have those symptoms is ready for release! Freedom has been offered to her, but so far she is choosing to stay inside at AnimO rather than join the flock of alumni. She’ll go when she’s ready.
Two more wildlife releases that happened this month were the tanuki with the tumor (unfortunately we don’t have photos of the release) and Maaya the pigeon. Congratulations to both of them and we wish them long and healthy lives!
Thank you to everyone on my Patreon, as well as everyone else that sent or brought packages of supplies. Every single donation is appreciated!
If you know someone who wants to support AnimO, or if you want to help more, there are lots of ways!