Tessa Stripes is our newest animal keeper here at Carolina Tiger Rescue. She studied wildlife biology at Virginia Tech. Before coming to Carolina Tiger Rescue, she interned at Wildlife Safari. Her favorite animals to work with are tigers! She enjoys giving the animals at Carolina Tiger Rescue a safe and appropriate home for them. It’s a hard and dirty job, but she loves it! Her favorite time of year at the rescue is the fall, when all the animals get pumpkins for enrichment!

Keeper Tessa’s Blog 5/30/19

Our volunteers, work groups, and staff have been working for months on new outdoor habitats for Wednesday, Lola, Baxter, and Albert Kinkajous. Today, all the hard work was worth it when the kinkajous excitedly explored their new enclosures!

Most of our animals do great in the colder months and get straw and/or heating in their den boxes. However, our kinkajous and coatimundi spend their winters indoors and are moved outside when the weather grows warmer. That time has come!

Kinkajous are mainly arboreal, which means they spend most of their lives in trees. They have long, prehensile tails which they use to balance in the branches of trees. Prehensile means that they can grasp onto limbs with their tail. While a kinkajou may not hang from their tail, they can use it to steady themselves, like when you put your arms out to balance yourself on a beam. Because kinkajous are such great climbers, we wanted to provide them with many different things to climb on in their new homes.

Before the kinkajous were released into their individual enclosures, I checked over the areas one last time for any safety concerns and spread some treats on the platforms to encourage them to explore their new homes. The photo above shows Wednesday enjoying the view from her new wooden bench after she’d eaten a grape! Our kinkajous have den boxes, platforms, and fire hoses that they can enjoy. We can move all of these pieces around the enclosures anytime we clean, practically giving the kinkajous a whole new enclosure to explore. I like to do this to my own room at home; rearranging the furniture always seems to create a brand new space!

Our kinkajous loved checking out their new summer homes. Baxter jumped back and forth between platforms and even scurried up a post to climb on the ceiling as you can see in the picture to the left. He had a blast and I had so much fun watching them explore!