Posts Tagged 'halloweek'

Animal Health Update: Bat Procedure Going Spook-tacularly Well!

national aquarium animal expert update

Common images evoked during this spooky time of year include pumpkins, black cats, and – of course – bats!

national aquarium flying fox

The species of bats native to North America are small, quick flying, highly maneuverable and typically eat insects. These are the types of bats the use echolocation to hunt their food and are the ones generally portrayed in these spooky images.

However, in many other parts of the world, bat species are large, slow-flying frugivores (fruit-eaters). These bats do not use echolocation to find food. And these are the types of bats we have here at the Aquarium. We have grey-headed flying foxes (so called because of their triangular, fox-like faces). This is the largest bat species in Australia. They can weigh up to 2 pounds and have wing spans that are as wide as 3 feet.

We are currently treating one of the bats for a small abscess on his face. Right now keepers are “hot-packing” it daily and it’s definitely improving.

national aquarium bat procedure

To positively reinforce him for staying still while they apply the hot-pack, my team provides him juice or a bit of baby food. This type of reinforcement training is integral to our care of the animals.

Did you know that you can train your pets to voluntarily participate in their care (such as nail trimming, vaccines, blood draws) and even look forward to it? I’d love to have you share your stories about what husbandry behaviors you and your pets are doing.

Blog-Header-LeighClayton

Come in First With These Last-Minute Halloween Tips!

national aquarium family expert update

It’s just days before one of my all-time favorite holidays, Halloween!

Still not sure what your costume is, how to decorate your place or how you’re going to drag home all that candy? Not to worry. Before you hit the big Halloween stores (and crowds), you may want to consider some of these less expensive, eco-friendly options:

  • Thrift Store Treasures - Avoid the plastics, vinyl (PVC) and even lead that can be found in store-bought Halloween costumes by searching the racks of your nearby thrift store or closet. When I asked my 4-year-old what he liked about making his own costume he replied, “Because if I had a store costume, it would be just regular. If I made my own, it would be crazy and silly!” Hard to argue with that!
  • Re-Use and Re-Imagine - Scouring through your recycling bin may lead to some truly creative costume ideas. Re-used cardboard boxes could become a fire truck or train (held up by suspenders),  a robot, popcorn box, or hot air balloon basket. Plastic milk jugs might be transformed into fairy wings, a princess tiara, turtle shell or even a Frankenstein forehead!

    DIY mantis shrimp costume

    For those of you who like a challenge, check out this peacock mantis shrimp costume one of our educators made from recycled & thrifty materials!

  • Ditch the Disposables - Hosting a spooktacular Halloween party? Deck out your house in these fun and easy DIY decorations! When it comes time for trick-or-treating, forgo purchasing those plastic pumpkins and carry your candy in a pillowcase/reusable grocery bag!
  • Don’t Fill the Landfill - When all the parties have passed and your belly is full of candy, hold on to that costume and don’t toss it out with the trash. Next year, you could be the hero of your neighborhood by hosting a “costume swap” where everyone brings their old costumes and trades for a new one.

Hope everyone has a safe, planet-friendly (and most importantly FUN!) Halloween! 

Blog-Header-HeatherDoggett


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