Correct husbandry makes all the difference
This sweet little royal python arrived to our doorstep skinny, small, shakey, and not shedding properly.
It was clear that she was not doing very well and we were unsure if she had neurological issues, or if she was too far gone.
Luckily, by providing her with the correct warmth, humidity, photoperiod, décor and a nice deep substrate, she has been eating well and her shedding is getting better. We also managed to get the stuck eye caps off of her poor little eye, and now she can strike properly. We will keep you updated!
Tiny Teddy mini piggy joins the family
It is no secret that Hannah is obsessed with guinea pigs, so when an associate called saying she's taken a little guinea pig from a not-ideal situation.
She was small and had a little eye infection but the vet was overall happy that she was ok to start a careful bonding.
We will keep you updated with her progress!
Support our fave piggie charity
We love fundraising and supporting charities and organisations doing amazing work for animal welfare.
Little Pip's Guinea Pig Rehoming are an incredible, small charity run by one amazing lady and her gorgeous family.
Last year we managed to raise £200 for them for Hannah's birthday fundraiser and will continue to support the work they do.
My 8ft nope-rope
Aphrodite, the BCI Boa constrictor came from a poor living situation and sometimes still suffers with health issues. As she has approached 8ft, we gave her a nice warm bath and a rub down to ensure she was looking and feeling her best.
Bathing big snakes isn't easy, but by giving her something to 'hug' she felt a little more safe.
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What a lovely Poppy-girl!
Poppy is the perfect client; she is sweet, attentive, loyal, loving and above all, loves to show you she's in a good mood with her cute little paws.
Poppy is a great reminder that you don't have to be a pedigree to be amazing and we couldn't agree more. Love you, Poppy-girl!
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It's a Win-win!
Local lady Rosie asked for some advice on training timid little Winnie after the rescue pup started to settle in.
We went through the basics of positive reinforcement and the typical 'tricks' suitable for sausage dogs and shes been updating us on her amazing progress. Well done Win!
Something fishy in the aquatics room...
Our awesome non-mainstream learners got the chance to learn that aquatics are actually amazing!
Expecting boredom, these guys got an amazing experience learning about the feeding behaviours of a range of tropical fish, marine fish and amphibians. They did a fantastic job offering enriched feeding tasks to the animals.
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Fun on the forest floor
Our awesome special needs learners did a session today learning about the importance on enrichment for captive animals and how this can prevent boredom and stereotypies.
Look at how happy Balloo and Winnie were with their 'scent' box, trying to discover some healthy treats hidden among the straw, hay, spices, herbs and peels!
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Two good friends was going away and would not leave their baby, Riley, or their lovely cats, Cassius and Khaleesi, with just anyone.
I am very fortunate to have been able to pop by a couple of times a day to care for these lovely pets and treat them my own.
They even got a little report card explaining tasks completed!
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British intensive pig farming has come a long way
The lovely James over at WUC's pig unit really showed the team and the students that welfare needs must be met even for animals bring bred and housed in intensive systems.
We got to see all facets of the unit, learning about the production cycle and biosecurity, and how the correct management of the pigs ensures that have everything they need, from correct company to enrichment.
Super Salamander Adventures
When you get a call about an animal education centre getting closed down, it is heart breaking. Unfortunately they were part of a school, who was unable to secure staff to care for the animals during lockdown.
We reached out and found homes for lots of animals including a pair of fire salamanders, which ended up in a great conservation area on the continent, where they were tested for diseases and fungus, and left to live their lives undisturbed.
Another chance for Cookie and Daisy
Mother and daughter duo, Cookie and Daisy, were surrendered recently as they were being kept indoors without proper access to outdoor space and had become very overweight.
An amazing local lady had designed and built a palace outside, complete with kitted-out wendy house, hills, tubes, grass, herbs and a massive run.
The girls are doing so well and have even been introduced to some new little friends.
Message us for advice on proper pet housing and enrichment!
All creatures great and small
I love inverts, and so should you! Invertebrates are so important to the ecosystems - bees have even been recently declared the single more important organisms on the planet!
This little butterfly was being tormented by a cat, and being fresh from the cocoon, wasn't ready to fly. We collected him up, gave him a chance to stretch his wings, and sent him on his way in a cat-free zone.
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That's an axolotl of eggs my friend!
Recent aquatic residents, the axolotls, settled in to life at the ASU reptiles room very quickly.
We know this because in a matter of weeks, they started to lay lots and lots and lots of eggs.
Before long, we had a very small handful of axolittles, which are not only cute but can be used for UK conservation programs.
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A new home for Jorge!
Jorge (prounounced Horhey) is an Argentinian Horned frog, or Ornate Horned frog, also known as a 'Pac man frog'. This little one was handed over to use and since being given some warmth, moisture, love, attention and food, is growing to be a lovely addition to the ASU rescue reptile room.
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Autumn clean for the budgies
We visited a lady in the community to do a check up on her lovely rescue budgies, Bobby, Brucie and Bindi. They have been brought intodoors for the winter.
We were impressed with their amazingly large and enriched indoor set up, but were able to offer some additional decor advice, show the lady how to use the hooded troughs and also gave them a super deep clean to keep them hygienic and healthy.
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Poor Zeus lost his lady love a few years back but we managed to track down and find him a suitable mate which means he is able to perform his natural behaviours once again. Whilst we do not actively breed and hatch babies, we do allow the mating behaviours of these lovely cresties to occur and intervene if any eggs are laid.
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Hutched buns finally see that the grass is greener!
When a family reached out for help after taking on a pair of rabbits, they quickly realised that they weren't ready to care for their advanced needs.
With a fully vaccination history, and details of their neutering and age, they were a rare case that were very easy to place.
After a thumbs up from the vet, they were taking to the ASU @ SWCHS where they got to spend their first day grazing to their hearts content!
Horace and his hot water bottle
Horace was fostered by Hannah and Dave for a few months following a decline in his owner's health.
He has now found his forever home with a lovely lady who has kept tortoises previously and fell desperately in love with him.
She loves him so much, that when his ceramic heat bulb stopped working one evening, she was so worried about his temperature dropping that she put him on a hot water bottle for the evening.
Horace loved the treat and sprawled out like no one had ever seen before!
Rabbit welfare, rescue, and lots of bun-cuddles
Hannah was lucky enough to travel north and visit the wonder Fliss for some expert rabbit welfare experience and lots of cuddles with some of the best rescue buns.
Rabbits are difficult pets to keep given their incredibly complex social, enrichment and housing needs, but Felicity and her family are doing an incredible job leading the way for expert bun-welfare.
Diamonds? No way! Dog's are a girl's best friend
Pseudo-therapy dog, Wolfgang, has been doing the rounds this week, visiting his favuorite people for fuss, love, attention and treats.
Seen here with number one fan, Frankie, Wolfie made such an impression on her, she walked him round all day, and took him for rides all afternoon. Lucky pair - keeping each other in excellent spirits.
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The joke's on us...
'Butter wouldn't melt' Loki had been given to us to help rehabilitate him as he was underweight and hostile. The poor lamb was struggling to shed, was a poor striker and had caps stuck on his eyes.
In all the confusion, he decided Hannah was lunch, but with a calm and confident nature, some cold water and a warm bath, we managed to get him seeing clearly and fed a more appropriate dinner.
Do stick insects like peri-peri?
We don't actually know because we don't share out nandos...
Meeting and networking to swap invertebrates with other sites doesn't have to be all business. We met the lovely Animal Collections Manager, Sophie, at Nandos to collect some amazing stick insects for our friends at Writtle!
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The ASU @ SWCHS is Saffron Walden's Agricultural Science Unit and is responsible for the education and training of farming and animal management students, as well as offering experience to all those interested in the world of rearing animals.
I am fortunate enough not only to lecture here on topics including exotics, zoo welfare, wildlife management and research skills, but I also get to do some hands on marketing for their events.
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