Scooby dooby doo- a hamster joins our “zoo”!

1 Jun

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We recently adopted a hamster from the SPCA Adoption Center in Raleigh. His name is Scooby and he had been there for two months and needed a new home. Scooby was one of three hamsters brought into the SPCA. His brothers still need a home. They are Shaggy and Tiny.

I like hamsters because they run around in balls. They are very playful and soft. Scooby is friendly, funny and loves to be held. He will run in his ball or on his wheel all day if you let him. Scooby is different shades of brown. He is really cute when he stuffs his food in his cheeks. Its funny to see him run on his wheel with big puffy cheeks. Also when he goes in his little house with full cheeks he sometimes won’t fit through the door. I feel like that when I want to eat alot of chocolate chip cookies.

Scooby is a Syrian hamster, also known as a Teddy Bear hamster. We used to have a dwarf hamster named Peanut and he didn’t like to be held as much as Scooby does. Syrian hamsters are supposed to live 2 to 4 years. Syrian hamsters originally came from Syria. That is in the Middle East. The Syrian hamster is super sweet and a good pet.

Hamsters are omnivores, this means they eat fresh vegetables, berries and nuts. Wild hamsters may even eat insects.

fun facts:

–Did you know that hamsters are short sighted and color blind?
–A male hamster is called a boar, a female is called a cow and babies are called pups.
–There are 25 different species of hamster. The Syrian or teddy bear hamster is the most popular.
–The origin of the word hamster comes from German – to hoard. This must be because they pack their cheeks with food.

I really like hamsters. If you ever want a great first pet, this is what you should get. Also if you want a pet of any kind, check the local SPCA first to help the animals there get a good home. And don’t forget you can visit to see the bunnies and hamsters there too. Sometimes there are also guinea pigs and once there were chinchillas. There are always lots of cats and dogs that need good homes too. you have to fill out an application if you want to adopt a pet and pass a test that you will take care of it. I volunteer there a lot mostly with puppies. I volunteer because I care about all animals and I love seeing the animals go to their new homes.

I think Scooby is really happy in his new home. I hope he will have a happy life. I’m glad Scooby is in the “Tucker Zoo.”

Go Crazy for Animals!

Dylan

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CRAZY FOR CHAMELEONS!

2 Feb

quincyI have a chameleon named Quincy that I got in November when he was a baby. My sister and I saved up our money to buy him. He was only about 3 inches long. Now he is about 6 inches long. He has shed his skin several times as he grows. At first when he was shedding his skin we thought something was wrong. We thought he was too damp. You have to mist chameleons twice a day so his skin doesn’t get too dry. Someone told us that it is hard to keep chameleons alive but we are doing very well.

There are 180 different types of chameleons. They differ in size and color and how they look. We think Quincy is a Flap-necked chameleon. In the wild they can be found in eastern and southern Africa. We got him at the reptile show in Raleigh,NC. Sometimes in the United states people will find a green anole and think it is a chameleon but it is not.

The flap necked chameleon can grow to around 13 inches long and live around 2 to 3 years.

I like how it is cool to watch him. When you watch him it is cool to see him eat. He moves really slow and has unusual feet. I like his prehensile tail. It’s like a fifth arm when he is climbing and it also curls up. When he eats a cricket he hunts it and then his tongue shoots like a purplish pink cricket death ray. It’s really fast and the tongue is long and grabs hold of the cricket like it is really sticky.

I also like his eyes. He can be looking at me and at the same time watching a cricket. His eyes move in different directions.

Quincy also changes color based on his mood. Like when he is cold he turned dark brown. When he moved to a new cage he turned grey brown. When he is happy he is green. Sometimes he is green with brown stripes. Like he is saying I’m happy but don’t touch me. Wouldn’t it be cool if people were like that and you could tell by their color if they are happy or not. Today I feel green.

Quincy has a big cage that he can climb all around so he feels like he is in the wild hunting his prey. He likes to hang out on a stick or vine near the heat lamp.

I hope you get to see a chameleon eat a cricket sometime. There are some videos on youtube or you can to the next Repticon show at the NC Fairgrounds.

The first picture is a picture when Quincy was little and this picture below is what he looks like now.

Go crazy for animals!!

Dylan

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Beautiful Bison!

29 Nov

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CSC_0150I am writing about bison because we went on a trip out west this summer to Yellowstone and I saw lots of them! They are amazing animals. They are also called buffalo. They are big and shaggy with huge heads. They are the heaviest land animals in North America but they are really quick on their feet. They can run up to 40 miles an hour. They have really cool curved and sharp horns.

Bison are herbivores. They like to graze on grass, herbs, and twigs. They regurgitate their food and chew it again like a cow does. Many years ago bison covered alot of North America. In the 19th century settlers killed over 50 million bison for food and to also hurt the Native Americans.At one time there were only a few hundred left. But today there are about 200,000 on preserves and ranches. They are “ecologically extinct.” Yellowstone National Park has the largest population of about 4,000. We could see their footprints around the geysers and hot springs. We learned that they like to go around the hot areas in the winter to stay warm. The earth surface around the geysers is really thin so there is a chance they could fall in but they seem to know where to walk.

Fun facts

  • The bison is heavier than a piano. A piano is 500 pounds and a bison can be 930 – 2200 pounds.
  • Female bison give birth to one calf every 9 months.
  • The bison’s thick fur is so thick that snow can land on it and not melt.
  • My mom’s Dad who lives in Texas had a pet buffalo named Byron. He liked to run away and one time blocked the road so that a school bus could not pass. Byron also fell in love with a long horned steer which got him in trouble.

I hope you like to learn about Bison – you can also see some at the NC Zoo in Asheboro.
Go Crazy for animals!

Dylan

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Amazing Alpacas!

3 Aug

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I am writing about Alpacas because we went camping at Honey Bear Campground in Boone, North Carolina. They had Alpacas and goats. I like the Alpacas because they are fuzzy, sweet and nice.   After I spent time with them I think they started to recognize me and one time they started to make a crying sound when I left. Mostly they made a humming sound.

Alpacas look cute because they have big eyes and a cute face. Alpacas have been domesticated for over 1000 years.

Alpacas are native to South America. The alpacas were domesticated by the Incas. Their wool kept them warm in the high mountain air. They also used their dung as fuel.

They weigh 100 – 170 pounds. They live to be about 20 years old.

They are ruminants . This means they are cud chewing animals. They like to eat mainly hay, grass and ferns.

In 1984 some importers brought a herd of Alpacas to the United States. The herd has grown from zoos to private farms of almost 20,000. There are two types of Alpacas in the world. Huacaya and Suri. Suri have long fur that makes dreadlocks and the Huacaya has wooly thick fur like a teddy bear. Most of the alpacas in North America are Huacayas.

Other interesting facts

Alpacas have a community dung pile. Aka they all poop in one area. I’ve heard they have even been house trained.

They can breed with Llamas

Alpaca fur is soft and the wool is water repellant and mostly fire proof! A lot of people like the wool for coats, sweaters and blankets. Their wool comes in 16 colors and doesn’t have to be dyed with chemicals.

They make weird sounds that is hum and haw and orgle. The unique sound of orgleing is made by the male during breeding season.

 

I hope you like this. And I hope you like the pictures. Alpacas are really amazing and they are our fuzzy friends.

Go crazy for animals!

Dylan

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Inside the Owl!

7 Jul
At the BHI Conservancy

At the BHI Conservancy

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I am writing about owls and what they eat. I went to Bald Head Island and dissected an owl pellet. An owl pellet is the stuff that an owl throws up that they can’t digest.  It was really cool to find what an owl eats like a mouse skull and bird beaks inside the owl pellet. My brother found a large rodent leg that was still connected and moved!

We learned about owls. They are a very interesting bird because they are predators. They have forward facing eyes and ear holes. They have something called a facial disk. These are special feathers around the eyes that pick up sounds and light.

The smallest owl ever recorded was one ounce. Its length was 5 inches. This is the elf owl. The Great Grey owl is the largest owl every recorded. It is about 28 inches long.

Owls do not make any kind of sound when flying. This plus their strong beak and talons make them very good predators.  They like to eat rodents and other birds.

interesting facts:

  • A group of owls is called a parliament.
  • Owls lay eggs with an interval of 1-3 days.
  • Owls can turn their heads 270 degrees.
  • Owls do not see things that are close to them very well.
  • You can recognize a barn owl by it’s heart shaped face.
  • On Bald Head there are five owl species.

I hope you get to see an owl soon. They are in my neighbor hood and we can hear them sometimes at night.

Go crazy for animals!

 

from Dylan

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Dylan

Curious Cats

9 Mar

spca twinsspca 1spca 2I am writing about cats because I have volunteered at the Wake County SPCA Pet Adoption Center. My sister, Mary Jordan and I are  both Cat Matchmakers.  Cat Match Makers help clean up after the cats and also helps to pair a potential adopter with the right kitty to love. I like it because you get to see all the cute kittens and cats and you get to play with them. Every cat is different in the way they look and act and they have a personality. A match maker has to match the personalities as well as the best home for the cat. My cat Flip was adopted from the SPCA and he is a total SPAZ. He has a lot of energy and he fits our family well.

Some interesting facts about cats are there are 500 million domestic cats in the world. A group of cats is called a clowder. A boy cat is called a tom. A girl is called a Molly or a queen. My Labrador retriever is named Molly so maybe that is why Flip and the dog get along well. Hmm?

The heaviest domestic cat on record is 46 pounds and 15.2 ounces. That is a fat cat. I think this is more than Garfield, one of my favorite cartoons.

Cats live 12 to 15 years. They lick themselves alot to keep clean.

Did you know:

  • Calico cats are always female?
  • Cats act like they are making muffins when they are happy.
  • Cats can run up to 30 miles per hour.
  • Cats can not taste anything sweet.
  • A group of kittens is called a kindle.

These are some pictures of the cats we met at the SPCA. The cat lying on the laptop is our crazy cat Flip.

All cats at the SPCA have had shots and have been checked out to be healthy. Cats come there from owners who give them up or they may have been strays. The SPCA adoption center does not kill animals. The link to their website is below.

www.spcawake.org

So go cuddle with some kitties – they will make your day.

Go Crazy for animals!

Dylan

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Precious Puggles!

6 Feb

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I love Puggles because they are very energetic and their coat is very fine and silky. A Puggle is a dog that is a cross between a Pug and a Beagle. It is often called a designer dog which is mixed breeds. The Puggle was first bred in the 1990s.  They have the wrinkles of a Pug and the long muzzle and ears of a Beagle. I think the longer muzzle must make breathing easier. Most Puggles are 13-15 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 18-30 pounds. The toy size Puggles only weigh 8- 17 pounds.

I have a Puggle and he is 3 months old. He is like the Beagle and has a lot a energy. When he is tired he snores like a Pug. He really cute so you can’t be mad at him if he is naughty. Another cool thing is that his skin is too big for his body. So if you grab his back you get a handful of skin and it makes him harder to hold if he is wiggly.

Puggles may be stubborn to train so we are taking a puppy class. Puggles also like to dig and they act like they are always hungry. They gobble their food. If you have a Puggle make sure you don’t overfeed them.

To get a healthy dog never by a puppy from a irresponsible breeder or a puppy mill. Do you research like we did!

An interesting fact about a Puggle is that they can be howlers and a tendency to wander. Our Puggle also has a tendency to find my Mom’s red boots and poop on them.

I hope you get a chance to hug a Puggle sometime.

Go Crazy for Animals!

Dylan

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