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Jessi shares the first 12 animal ambassadors they rescued.

Pearl the tegu's meet and greet: https://youtu.be/ZoMuQaqnc2w

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Hi guys.  Welcome back to Animal Wonders.  I'm Jessi.  I was recently asked by Felix Nixon, "What were Animal Wonder's first ten species?" and I'd love to answer that.

(Intro)

Now, this isn't as easy as it sounds, because I'm not sure if I should start counting from when Animal Wonders was first founded or when we first took in our first rescue or when we first decided we wanted to make this our life.  I think I'm going to start from when we first decided to open our home to animals that we wouldn't consider pets, with the intention of them becoming ambassadors for Animal Wonders.  

We already had Ambrose the cat, Freckles the leopard gecko, and Domino the corn snake, as well as three rats, Daisy, Sonya, and Coco.  Sandy the sand boa and Pearl the Colombian tegu were the first rescues that we took in that we didn't consider pets.  We had quite a few reptiles in the beginning because we were still renting a room and they're easiest to house.  Sandy belonged to a woman who became pregnant and was worried about the germs associated with reptiles while caring for a child.  This is legitimate, because all reptiles can shed salmonella in their stool, but it should be a concern whether you're pregnant or not and soap or hand sanitizer easily kills salmonella, so it's fairly easy to manage.

Pearl's rescue story is in her Meet & Greet, check out the video, link is below.  She was a lot smaller when we first met her, but she was still the largest animal we had at the time.  We then took in a couple birds, Louis and Igor, the sun(?~1:25) conures.  Their previous owner couldn't take their extreme noise level.  I mean, some (?~1:29) conures are really loud, but that's one of the first things that you'll learn with just a little reading so make sure you do your research thoroughly before bringing any animal home.  

Igor had splayed legs due to improper environment when he was a chick, and Louis had a scissor beak, meaning that his upper and lower mandibles didn't line up.  Both these handsome boys had big personalities and even though it's been a few years since they've passed, I still miss them.

Ivy and Kai, the half moon conures, came just a month after Louis and Igor.  They were supposed to be both male, but they ended up being male and female.  After several years, they laid four fertile eggs.  We found great homes for the first three babies, but the last little one was a little too feisty for most families, so we decided to keep him and that's how we got Loulou here.  

We then rescued an older female sugar glider named Monster.  She was illegally owned in California and her owner was worried that the authorities would discover and then confiscate her.  We got to know her a little bit and promptly changed her name to Sugar, which was much more fitting.  She was a sweet ambassador and we were lucky to care for her for five years before she passed away from cancer.

After we took in Sugar, Zoe the red lored Amazon parrot came into our lives.  She was still really young when her previous owners said they could no longer care for her.  They had only had her for a few months before they gave up.  Zoe was still a baby, but she was fearful and bit often.  She was a challenge initially, but since she was so young, she bonded to us in just a couple weeks.  She was only 6-8 months when I first met her and now she's 9 years old.  Zoe and I are continuing to work on her fear of objects, but overall, she's an amazing ambassador.

Chongo the lilac crowned Amazon parrot came next.  He immediately bonded to Zoe and it took him months and months to finally trust me enough to let me hold him.  He's a longtime resident at Animal Wonders, but he does not go out to public presentations because he's just too shy.   
Our tenth rescue was Pip the baby box turtle.  He was extremely malnourished when we got him and we were unable to turn him around.  Pip passed away about a month after we got him.  That one was really short and kinda sad, so let's do a couple more.

Our 11th and 12th rescues were Lady, the duchess pigeon followed closely by Norma Jean.  Lady was an elderly pigeon who was found in someone's backyard and was too tame to survive in the wild.  Norma Jean was a pigeon that I had trained for animal shows at my previous job.  When they retired him from shows, we offered to take him in because we already had a home set up for Lady.  They bonded immediately and were the foundation for our current pigeon flock, and while Lady passed away last year, Norma Jean is still doing quite well with the rest of our pigeons.

So that's that.  Our first 12 animal ambassadors.  We ended up rescuing another dozen before making the move to Montana and officially founding Animal Wonders.  The larger, more exotic animals came a few years later, when we were more settled and more financially stable.  I'm glad Felix asked that question because I love reminiscing about those first few years.  I hope you enjoyed meeting all those early animals. 

If you'd like to help support the animals in our care, you can check out our Amazon wishlist and buy toys and supplies for your favorites.  Link is below.  You can get things like this fish toy, a grass hut, or even bedding.   Thank you to Amanda, Nicole, Wendy, Mary, and Rachel for donating.

If you'd like to go on an adventure with us every week, subscribe to our YouTube channel AnimalWondersMontana.  Thanks, guys.

(Endscreen/Credits)

So I called my vet to run what happened past her.  She said that since he was potentially at risk for rabies exposure from bats, I was also at risk.  She said that I had two options.