A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper

A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper
Ever wonder what its like to share your world with a bunch of crazy critters? Tune in to find out!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Levels of Tame

I am happy to report that we have a new level of tame with my littlest man Nigel.  His evolution into our family has been slow but steady.  We went from a critter that was afraid of noises and of me to one that is pretty tolerant of being picked up, to one who does pretty well at the vet with other people and one who interfaces with the other animals.  We had another breakthrough yesterday - drum roll please......he let me cut his toenails yesterday with no fuss....all of them in one sitting!

Trimming the toenails of a hedgehog is quite the challenge - the spikes are just one aspect of this.  They tend to tuck their feet under them and they are sensitive to you touching the foot area.  My strategy has been to rub his little feet every time we have a bath so he gets used to me touching.  This has helped I think.  The other unintended aide to the process was him having a few little red bumps on his belly.  I would check them multiple times a day by holding Nigel on his back.  He doesn't really love that but he tolerates it so its easy to tip him a bit for access to his toes.

He is still huffy in some situations and he occasionally rolls up into a ball but not very often.  We are still working on interfacing with strangers and with Clooney.  I was happy to see them checking each other out with no angst on Nigel's side the other day - progress.  On a scale of 1 to 5 for tameness - with 1 being not and 5 being very I would say we are a solid 3 trending towards a 4.  Nigel is 6 months old today and I have had him about 4 1/2 months so we are doing well.

On a side note - today is the day - fingers crossed for a birthday critter present....  :)

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