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 05, 2016

Behavior Reminders

There are days with the crazy brood of ferrets need some reminders about the appropriate way to behave with the humans.  The little boys, Bash, Kai and Theo, in particular, need to be reminded that they can't be rambunctious, bitey and generally wild.

Bash is probably the easiest to remind.  He is such a tender hearted ferret that he hates being in trouble or reprimanded. He very quickly stops whatever behavior you are not happy about - usually its biting (not malicious biting at all - it's playing too rough) or scratching - he loves to scratch on my feet.

Theo is much the same - he is a bit older than the other two and tends to be more mellow overall.  He too, likes to bite occasionally and he sometimes scratches as well.  He usually stops fairly quickly once told NO - unless he is super excited and wound up.  Then it takes a bit for him to settle down.

Kai - well.... Kai is my wild child.  He is exuberant, rambunctious and just plain crazy.  First off - he is a leaper.  He will leap at your legs when you are walking - leap at your hands if you are playing and leap into your lap if you are sitting down.  He also likes to climb - your pantlegs if you are standing, your shirt if you are sitting.  He is wild - did I mention.  He is very much the biter - again it's not malicious like I am biting you to be mean or make you go away from me - its biting out of excitement and playfulness.  He loves to play and wrestle.  Kai takes quite a bit of corrective action before he ceases his crazy behavior.  Eventually he does stop and then interacting with his is quite enjoyable.  Even though he is my wild boy - he is one of the most affectionate of the ferrets.  It's not unusual for him to shower your face with kisses.

The little girls - Maddie, Fiona, Violet and Tabby - rarely have to be reminded.  None of them are particularly bitey.  Occasionally Fiona or Tabby will scratch at your feet - but you only have to ask them once and they both stop right away.  I have found that little girl ferrets are way more mellow and way more independent that little boy ferrets.

Ferrets are incredibly intelligent creatures.  They learn quickly.  They are also incredibly rough and tumble with each other which is why they play so rough with their humans.  They scratch on each other and bite and pull on each other's coat/skin (which is very tough by the way).  They just need those gentle reminders that they need to engage with people a bit gentler than with their ferret siblings.

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