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Help us design enclosures, update diets, make fat cats thin and more...

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by maipenrai, 27 Dec 2012.

  1. maipenrai

    maipenrai Member

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    Location:
    Kanchanaburi, Thailand
    Hi all!

    I have been working at a Safari Park in Thailand for some weeks now, bringing in volunteers from all over the world who have the skills needed to improve the lives of animals living here.

    Currently we are updating 22 (13ft x 17ft) cages (some empty) containing 2 binturongs, 1 asiatic golden cat, 3 leopards, 6 macaques (1 x lion tailed, 4 x pig tailed and 1 x stump tailed) 2 white handed gibbons and 1 phayre's langur. All cages when we arrived had never been opened - the animals were brought in from the pet trade, dumped in these small concrete blocks, the door was locked and the only interaction was to feed them a handful of rice and 2 bananas a day thrown on the floor where the cockroaches would compete for the food. Truely shocking.

    We have introduced new diets meeting their requirements (with the exception of the Phayre's langur - how do we find out what leaves are edible for her? - now on 600g of mixed fruit and 20g of carrot a day) and cleaned the years of urine build up that had accumulated on the concrete floors of all the cages. The volunteers are up at the binturong enclosure now fitting a 3ft deep permanent water feature and we need to be updating all cages.

    As for materials, we have not been denied anything we have asked for.

    But we really would like a team of experts that we can consult when we get stuck, especially with regards to the asiatic cat who has lost his front right paw due to being caught in a trap in the jungle and is getting very fat, very quickly.

    We would also LOVE to see any enclosure designs that people may come up with. We have hundreds of acre of jungle to play with to get the animals outside and lots of volunteers with building, carpenting and welding skills arriving almost constantly to help.

    Any advice re: training any of the animals (especially the binturongs) would be really useful.

    We are all working for free, paying our own way so that the park has every reason to keep this project going. We work 6am until midnight, 7 days a week, but when the gibbons started to groom us, and the angry frustrated stump tail stopped shaking his cage every time someone walked past, it makes us realise that this is all worth it You can track our progress on www.facebook.com/safarivolunteer

    Thanks in advance for your time
     
  2. epickoala123

    epickoala123 Well-Known Member

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    When you say update do you mean increase size? because those cages sound very small.
    I would personally love to see some pictures, you could ask for a gallery to be made in the Thailand gallery, on the gallery request thread, which is in the help and feedback section.

    And finally, welcome to zoochat!
     
  3. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Hello,

    Welcome to zoochat, I am very curious about what you are doing, a questions if you do not mind?

    Why has the owner Mr. Pun-yah* Prasopsookchokemanee now permitted these changes?
     
  4. maipenrai

    maipenrai Member

    Joined:
    27 Dec 2012
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    Location:
    Kanchanaburi, Thailand
    Thanks for the welcome and fast replies :)

    We need ideas for larger enclosures that we can put in the jungle, the cages are VERY small and 4 of them we can't access and are working on this trying to find a way to safely repair the cage without having to tranquilize the animals. Basically the door the the holding cages is either missing or rusted open.

    As for why he is letting us do this now, I approached him several times over several years and built a rapport with him. He has realised that he can access a huge market if he could only attract foreign customers as well as the Thai customers who come (visitor numbers are extremely low) so he has let me start this project. Any advice, guidance, enclosure designs, diet tips etc is really welcome. We have zoo keepers, animal dieticians and other experts coming sporadically over the next few months and I have experience and qualifications working with carnivores and ungulates however the 22 cages at the entrance have taken priority due to the conditions present there. However we would love to have as broad a knowledge base as possible so if anyone has anything to give, please do!
     
  5. maipenrai

    maipenrai Member

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    Location:
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    6 of the cages are doubles and we have the leopards (2 doubles), binturongs, and asiatic cat opened to access both sides of the cage. We're not really supposed to cut the wire but have been doing dawn raids to pull the dividing wire down!
     
  6. JBZvolunteer

    JBZvolunteer Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    @maipenrai none of the links that you provided for the facebook page work on either your profile or in the thread. Could you give us the name on facebook so we can search it?
     
  7. epickoala123

    epickoala123 Well-Known Member

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    yes i've been having technical difficulties as well:mad::(:confused:
     
  8. maipenrai

    maipenrai Member

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    Ah really? I'm not sure why but that's good to know. I'm on the FB now and the HTTP in my browser is:
    https://www.facebook.com/SafariVolunteer?ref=hl
    Does that work?

    Someone has kindly agreed to build us a website containing all our enrichment activities and designs (we have almost unlimited materials so have had lots of chances to get creative, the gibbons and langur are especially fun to build toys for!) and animal profiles We sent the content 10 minutes ago so hopefully in a week or so we will have a really in depth website showing exactly what has been going on here. We have had a volunteer making stop motion movies of our progress and she will be producing a mini documentary within the month where you can meet us all and see how far we have come with the standards here.

    We are all working really hard to give these animals a better standard of life and are 110% dedicated to the cause. They feel like old friends after just a few weeks already :)
     
  9. The Vegan

    The Vegan Well-Known Member

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    I thought I might update this old thread!

    I have offered to help this program with design tips & resources-I just wish I could be there!

    So far, all of the cages have cleaned, renovated, and expanded. Enrichment has been added, and all of the animals are on better diets. The gibbon island is currently being built, and the pair of gibbons, who have been being introduced to each other, will be moved soon.

    More habitats are in the works, including one for Toast, the Asiatic Golden Cat who lost a paw in a poacher's trap.

    The website is up, at http://www.safarivolunteer.com/, but the facebook page generally has the earliest news.

    Best wishes,
    -TV
     
  10. Miguel

    Miguel Well-Known Member

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    Portugal
    Just sent you guys a private message on facebook.
    I might be able to help with training stuff if you're still interested.

    Miguel
     
  11. khakibob

    khakibob Well-Known Member

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    Australia
    "Safari" Volunteer??

    Are you a hunting outfit? The name suggests it.

    Cheers Khakibob
     
  12. maipenrai

    maipenrai Member

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    Location:
    Kanchanaburi, Thailand
    Only 'hunting' for people to help us!
    ;)
     
  13. The Vegan

    The Vegan Well-Known Member

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    Yeah...hunting is the reason some of the animals are there. Toast, the Asiatic Golden Cat, for example: One of his paws was severed off in a snare.

    P.S. Fun fact- "Safari" means "Journey" in Swahili. :)