With the weather cooling off, now is the best time to come out for a tour. All of the animals are loving the weather, and the cooler weather brings out the inner cub in all of the residents!
For those of you that want the more person visit, don't forget our Animal Packets (which make excellent gifts) and the Adoption Program. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
For those who are lucky enough to be greeted by Cappy on a tour, it is easy to fall in love with this Capybara.
Cappy was brought to IEAS by his former owner who could no longer care for him. She expressed her hope that Cappy would have a better life here at the Sanctuary, where he would receive the care and attention he needs and deserves. Cappy has become quite happy and comfortable in his new home. He has a sweet and gentle nature but can be timid at times in front of a large group. We've been working with Cappy using the Emotional Enrichment Program to build a relationship of trust and security with him, and he has responded well!
He has quickly won over one of the current interns, Lindsay, who provides Cappy with Emotional Enrichment just about every night. She has also been lucky enough to see this boy enjoy his pool! Cappy LOVES to take a nightly dip in his large pool which allows him to swim underwater when he wishes. Keepers also provide Cappy with a treat (a favorite enrichment item) to snack on every now and then. This boy comes running any time some bamboo is put out into his habitat.
One of the many questions we are asked is about the animal’s diets and the cost. Providing a balanced diet for these animals is extremely important for their well-being. At IEAS, we use a commercial meat product as a base for the diets but also supplement the products in a variety of ways. Our commercial meat comes from Triple A Brands Meat out of Burlington CO. The meat product we utilize is made especially for felines and we receive two types, Feline Complete Diet and Feline Complete Diet Extra Lean. The Feline Complete Diet is 85/15 (15% fat) and the Feline Complete Diet Extra Lean is 95/5 (5% fat). The lean is standard for all cheetahs. Both meats comes in 10 lb logs; 1/3 muscle, 1/3 organ, 1/3 bone.
The amount of meat each feline is fed is based on a number of factors. First we start out with 2% of the animals’ body weight. Then we take into consideration their activity level, body condition, and metabolic rate.
The rest of the residents require produce for their diets. Luckily, the majority of our produce is donated to us by local grocery stores (Lowe's, Dunn's Produce, Brookshire's, a Walmart in Ft. Worth, and Costco).
As for cost: Over the last few years, our food cost has risen sharply. As time progresses, the cost of food naturally increases and unfortunately, we utilize a lot of food here. We are looking at an approximately 15% increase in the last few years in cost. This year our food cost will be approximately $189,689, which is 30% of our total budget. To help off-set the increase in cost of meat for the cats, we stage our meat orders to get free shipping when ordering two and a half to three tons per order. Additionally, we have decreased the amount of meat that we order by supplementing it with the meat donated by Walmart. This has allowed us to maintain our food cost without affecting the care of the sanctuary’s animals for the last couple of years.
Thank You to our Donors
The past couple of months, one of our Keepers, Christina, has been busy writing proposals for in-kind gifts. In May, she was able to get ten cases of bleach donated by Uline Shipping Supply in Wisconsin. Then, in August, she got eight hoses donated by Swan Products in Ohio. Being a nonprofit organization, we rely solely on donations from private individuals and companies. So we would like to say Thank You to these two companies and all other caring individuals have donated to the wonderful animals of IEAS.