I haven’t updated you guys on my life in a hot minute.
Well. GOOD NEWS. I graduated. I now have a degree in Applied Animal Management and I am now one step closer to being the animal human I have always wanted to be and hopefully onestep closer to my future career. (and the first one in my family to ever graduate!)
So the question you might be asking is “Where now? Toots. What are you going to do with your life after you have spent your last 4 years studying?”
Well the answer to that is I honestly don’t know. I’m hoping to continue progressing somehow and hopefully I will be able to continue learning about the natural world. Because in all honesty, I can’t get enough of learning about all the fantastic species we have on this planet, and I hope to learn about them for the rest of my existence.
I haven’t updated this blog in such a long time! Mainly because i’ve been finishing my degree, but now I am finished and back into the world of work and land of the living, I would love to introduce you to my new child. Everyone meet Bean the french bulldog!
She is such a wonderful character and very naughty! She is 100% true to the breed stereotype of being stubborn and loves to wind up our older dog, Poppy. But, I know she will and does to fit in so perfectly with our little family.
We got Bean when she was 8 weeks old and she is now a whopping 5 month! which shows how inactive I have been with blogging. (Its no good really.) And now she’s huge.
To spite her stubborn ways she has been a wonderful puppy, she is well behaved and has the most loving nature.
I have already spoke about how bees are important to both our ecosystem and economic well being in the past, as well as the decline of the bee populations and how this is becoming more apparent to the public in the recent years.
But instead of talking about why we need bees and that they are declining. This time I would like to address a simple question; why?
and the answer is, drum roll please.
Neonicotinoids insecticides is a relatively new pesticide regularly and widely used throughout the farming community and is highly toxic to the honey bee and other pollinators.
Penelope Whitehorn wrote a very interesting article on this and it shows that colonies of honey bees treated with neonicotinoids have a reduced rate of queens produced, up to 85%! which is a crazy.
Honey bees located close to agricultural fields usually forage crops daily for pollen that have been treated with pesticides which can heighten the risk of death and often leading to their mortality. which is a god dam shame if you ask me.
Colony Collapse Disorder is a syndrome that is effecting the honey bee populations a disease in which the worker bees and drones are disappearing from their hives leaving their queen behind and ultimately leading to the demise of that particular colony. This is a major threat to the survival of hives and its down to you guessed it neonicotinoids.
worker bees are becoming ‘insane’ and forgetting how to return home. exposing bee colonies to pesticide toxins is proven to increase the likelihood of colony collapse disorder and has the potential to be lethal to bee populations.
To round up this post here are some ways you can help the bees at home and some useful resources:
It’s been about a couple of month since I visited the deep aquarium but I really wanted to mention my visit here on this blog. The reason is it’s worth mentioning.
It was an incredible visit and I will be back in the future.
Leaving on a university trip, I honestly had no idea what to expect. I had not done any research on the centre and was going mainly because I was informed it was the home to two loggerhead sea turtles that had recently came and were on full public show (they are both about 4 foot may I add, it was incredible. They are everything I dreamed they would me and I almost cried).
2.5 million litres of water and 87 tonnes of salt go into the “Endless ocean” tank they are housed in, I was taking back by the size and hadn’t expected such a brilliant home for these creatures, which such an array of wonderful species including Zebra sharks, Green Sawfish, Honeycomb Rip tail rays and White tip reef sharks. You can see these animals getting fed and interacted with by divers from many different viewing points within the facility. Basically it was incredible.
Another brilliant talking point of the aquarium is the ‘Lagoon of light’. It was a stunning exhibit, filled with tropical, exotic fish and even juvenile zebra sharks, But I think the pictures speak more than anything I could say to describe the experience. And I honestly wish I had took better quality images.
So without further ado, here are some images from my visit to ‘The Deep Aquarium”:
What did you think of The Deep Aquarium? or are you planning a visit? Let me know about it 🙂
I have learnt a great deal from my own experience owning chinchillas, if you’re thinking about getting a new family member, I hope reading this will help you make a decision on weither a chinchilla is a suitable pet for you and maybe just give you a little insight to what it’s like being a parent to these fluffy rodents.
About 2 years ago I saw an ad for 2 female chinchillas on Gumtree I cried at my boyfriend for them and he gave in (obviously) I was on my way to owning furry little fuzz balls of my own.
I fell in love. Meet Florence and Edna.
Despite my aching love for my new fur children I had to earn there affection. Chinchillas are such sensitive little souls, wonderful pets and full of personality. However they can be very timid and take a while to warm up to you. This is what I have found with mine.
So without further ado, heres that care guide you have been waiting to read since you started looking at this post (sorry about that)
Time and Space
First off, I will ask do you have the time and space for these lil’ loves? I have found no matter what the pet, a lot of time should go into researching your pet as well as understanding how long they live and thinking about if you have the time to give them the affection they need, chinchillas can be very shy but if you put time into them you will be rewarded with there awesome personalities and a crazy abundance of trust.
You also should take into consideration the space your new pal will take up, your friendly neighbourhood “I will not name the massive local brand pet chain” cage sizes will just not do. Chinchillas need space to jump around and do, well. Chinchilla things. and those cages in my opinion just do not cut it.
My cage is a comfortable 92x64x160cm and has been stocked full of ledges, hammocks and layers that they can spend there night jumping around and annoying the fuck out of me, which brings me onto my next point.
Enrichment and Entertainment
Despite their tiny lil’ pea brains, chinchillas are such intelligent little souls and need a large amount of mental stimulation within there environment, by providing this you will have happier chinchillas with less risk of problems such as stereotypical behaviours.
I recommend creating a fun environment for them to live in as well as using toys to chew on, chinchillas teeth are constantly growing so wooden toys aid in keeping teeth at a healthy length.
Different levels and making changes to there environment such as moving objects round will keep your pets entertained, enriched and happy as well as getting your animal out for at least a recommended 20 minutes, 3 times a week.
(Ps. Please don’t house a chinchilla on it’s own unless it’s because of its own circumstance, these little guys thrive offeach others company, chinchillas can live alone but it will be more unhappy than when housed with a mate. Thanks)
Chinchillas are fuzzy little rodents you can’t get wet. Much like gremlins, but you can feed these guys after midnight and they don’t pop out green versions of them self. You use chinchilla sand to keep them clean, I bathe my chinchillas in sand twice a week.
Chinchillas are lil herbivores, kinda like lil rodent cows, but only nothing like that because they are chinchillas.
Feed your chinchillas a high fibre diet. Most pet shops do a pelleted feed which I recommend, this means that there will be no selective and picky eating which you are likely to get with musli type of food.
Having a pellet formed food means your pet can’t selectively eat certain bits in the food, and your pet wont get all the nutrition they need from their diet. Basically the musli food is like pigging out with fast food every day and making your floof unhealthy.
As well as a good food , Hay and fresh water should always be provided within a chinchillas diet (i know this is an obvious one). They can have a small amount of fruit like a small piece of carrot or a dried fruit, but don’t over indulge your animal as chins have super sensitive stomachs and could become sick.
A brief guide to chinchillas.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask, and if you think I am wrong about certain aspects of care feel free to challenge me on it, I am always open to learning new things for the improvement of welfare.
(Note: I do not know all and there is so many great care guides out there, this is more what I have found from my own experience, do your research kids! )
The honey bee (Apis mellifera) plays a crucial role within our communities and in our world.
How? you might ask.
Well first of all, they assist in the sustenance of the Earth’s natural ecosystems and are an important within agricultural crop growth, so there.
Bees pollinate up to 84% of crops that are grown for human consumption every year including fruit, seeds and coffees. (basically all the nice things we enjoy and need…who could possibly live without a non-fat decaff soya latte?! )
The annual crop pollination of bees globally has a worth of about 170 billion per annum, which is a lot of dam money and proves that bees are not only important to us on an Ecological level, but also on an economical one, making them pretty important to our environment.
The bee population has been declining for such a long time but has only recently come to the attention of the general public and many media sources. It is an important issue as many species of bees have fallen into the endangered category over the last year under the Endangered Species act according to the U.S Fish and Wildlife services including the Yellow-Face bee (Bombus vosnesenskii) and the Rusty Patched Bumblebee (Bombus affinis).
The importance of conserving the dwindling population of bees is becoming more apparent than ever, as not only are we at risk of losing plants, crops and food supplies that these beautiful little insects pollinate, but also the meadows and the animals that eat those plants causing a knock on effect through the food chain and ultimately the loss of other species within our biosphere and that is the last thing we want on our planet.
On the bright side of this topic, the more this subject matter is coming to light with the public and bee keepers alike worldwide. The more conservation efforts are being brought into local communities. such as volunteering at the bumblebee conservation trust and Supporting the British Bee Keeper Association.
With current conservation efforts put in place an becoming more known and education on the subject matter being more widespread than ever before.
And hopefully there is still time to save our fuzzy little bee mates from disaster and we can all pull together to put an end to the decline.
I grew up around so many weird and wonderful animals so it seems strange to think that my first choice in career wasn’t an Animal based one and that I actually didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be for such a long time. I spent years trying to figure it out, but looking back now it all seems so obvious.
One of my earliest memories is collecting caterpillars in various jam jars and tubs with my younger sister in my Nan’s back garden dreaming of them becoming a cocoon and then realising them as beautiful butterflies, but that dream was never fulfilled because caterpillars need air holes, which is something I learnt the hard way . (But we all need to start somewhere, right?)
As I got older I stopped being a serial caterpillar murderer but continued to spend my time around animals, we had an allotment and I would pride myself on helping my nan look after our chickens and rabbits, covered and mud with straw in my hair, a musky scent in the air I should have known then I wasn’t going to have an office job, but I didn’t and the little girl, grew up, got a dead end job, and lived an average working life, the end.
or that’s what i thought at least.
When I turned 20 and I finally started my way on the path to working with animals I finally thought “Hey i could totally do this animal thing and give it a shot” and i did and well, here I am.
I worked hard and totally did that animal thing, completing my level 3 at college and making my way to beginning my degree, how the hell I have done that I do not know. It was an eye opening, challenging 2 years of volunteering and studying but I am now just completing over 3 years of working in the animal sector and man, it feels good.
So you might be wondering why I have decided to write this blog now.
Well the answer to that my dear friends is that I feel there is a lot of blogs out there with people who have “made it” in the industry but never trying to make it. They all have their dream job and I have not yet reached my goal.
I want somewhere to log my journey into hopefully pursuing my dreams, to help inform people on conservation and hopefully share my passion with the 7 people who will probably read this.(Shout out to my Nanny).
I want to hopefully inspire people to follow their dreams, I will hopefully get there one day, and you will too.