Dr. Chloe Wilde is our wildlife biologist. She studied ecology at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Her favorite topic of study is conservation. Dr. Wilde is passionate about learning about and teaching others about how they can help wild cat populations, including reducing their use of products with palm oil in them. Though Carolina Tiger Rescue does not have any, Dr. Wilde’s favorite animal to study is the clouded leopard.
Dr. Wilde’s Blog 4/15/19
Hello there! Lately, I have been very busy getting ready for summer camp and our new homeschool program. I’m happy to report that all this preparation required a trip to one of my favorite places, the craft store, followed by an exciting find at the sanctuary!
Whenever an animal is put under anesthesia, or knocked down as we like to say, for a medical procedure or physical, we make paw prints with paint! We use a sponge to put safe paint on the pads of their feet and press it onto a sheet of paper. We were running low on some of our paint colors, so I decided it was time to restock. As you can see in this picture to the right, I got more than just the paint. That is because there is something new and exciting coming to camp this year – stuffed tiger dissection! One of our many wonderful volunteers is going to make organs out of fabric and cotton and we will put them inside a stuffed tiger toy. Campers will get to open the tiger up, see the inside of his body, and learn why each organ is important! I’m excited for the campers to get a more in-depth look at how a tiger’s body works!
When we returned to the Rescue, there was an unfamiliar face waiting for us. An owl has decided to set up camp near our staff entrance! Using my binoculars and skills I learned in my ornithology (study of birds) class at the University of North Carolina, I was able to get a closer look and we figured out that the owl is a male. We could tell because he is smaller than the other owl a couple of our staff members have seen out and about. With owls, unlike our cats, the females are larger than the males. The female owl also happens to be lighter in color than the male so we can tell them apart that way.
Owls are fascinating animals. They are nocturnal, which means they are most active at night. Most owls eat bugs and small animals; they will even eat other birds! They have strong talons, or claws, they use to catch and kill their prey. When you think of an owl, the first thing to pop into your head is probably their huge eyes! These eyes help them see at night and spot those small animals to munch on!
I am sure our owl has gotten plenty of entertainment from watching the commotion around the sanctuary and listening to the animals. I wonder what he thought when he first flew over and saw the tigers walking in their enclosures or heard the lions oofing back and forth!