Thursday, May 1, 2014

Introducing Bardou

It’s been a lot longer than I anticipated for my next post. When one is in pain the ability to do so many little things is lost. I managed to get bit by a fire ant (or possibly spider) and have an allergic reaction to it. I was in a great deal of pain for 5 days. For me that's saying a lot because I have a high threshold for pain but I am finally on the mend although the site looks quite ugly. I will spare every one of the nasty details.  I got bit because I was sitting in the grass with our newest animal.

We have been hand-raising a baby coyote for about 2 weeks now.  The couple that turned it in found it in their front yard. The strangest part about this was that they live on an extremely busy main road.  They knew it was not just a puppy and could not possibly care for it properly, not to mention he was badly dehydrated and not doing well. We took him in and found that he was less than 3 weeks old. At this age it’s remarkable at how much wolf pups, coyote pups and fox kits all look alike. He was named after a wolf, Bardou, although it was the least likely option because of his size. In only a few days enough of him grew to see the details. To be perfectly honest, we had to send photos to experts because we do not have the experience needed to see such minute details in wild canids (aka canines). What we have is a coyote and why he was in someone’s front yard will forever be a mystery. It was too late for him to be rehabbed and released (unfortunately) because he had been imprinted on people so we decided to hand-raise him ourselves and use him for education.

Nigel and I both have hand-raised quite a few animals but it has been number of years for each of us. Our combined list includes lions, tigers, leopards, lemurs, parrots, monkeys, bears and wolves (among others). It’s an amazing experience. Very rewarding and exhausting at the same time.  People always tend to offer to the help through the bottle feeding days but they don’t realize that that is not the hard part. The tough times are when they get a bit older and more mobile. You not only have to keep up with them but teach them all sorts of new things about being a wild animal living among people.  It’s the little things like not allowing anyone to “play rough”. It’s cute when they’re little but when they grow up to be a full grown lion (for example) it’s not so cute. 

Bardou struggled in his first few days so we didn’t even announce him to the public.  He had to overcome his dehydration only to get constipated by baby formula. It was all a new change to his little body. We got him through it all and he is now eating canned food very well.  He’s exploring more and more now and it’s wonderful to see the world through the eyes of a baby animal. Every noise, every insect, every movement is something new to his world. What a way to learn to appreciate the little things. Although… I got a bit too close to those at least one of those little things. See, now you’ve gotten the first ‘bite’ story and I didn’t even plan on that one.  I don’t do well with fire ants. I would much rather deal with blood and guts before creepy crawly fire ants.  Enough about the bugs though, I got a bit side tracked. I'm sure you will get many updates on the adventures with Bardou. He has already won over the heart of everyone that has seen him.

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