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Jessi gives updates on Rook the Raven, Joy the Macaw, and Cheeks the rabbit. Spoiler: they're all doing amazing!

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Hi guys.  I'm Jessi and we're here at Animal Wonders.  Today is update day, updates on animals you've met before, how they're doing, and what's new in their life.


Let's first check in with Rook the raven.  The first time she was on the show, we were still working on our trust bond and it was a bit unnerving for her to be in the same room as a big tripod and camera.  Today, we're still working on our trust bond.  It's complicated and that's probably going to be our ongoing relationship status, but overall, it's going really well.  When we first rescued Rook, we thought that she may be a he, but might be a she, too.  We didn't know, really.  Recently, we were able to share Rook with a corvid specialist, John Marzluff, and he said that he thinks she's female.  John said because she was about 750 grams and hadn't gained significant weight in two years, she lacked a large ruff around her neck and she was rather quiet and non-territorial.  He was pretty sure she was a she.  

Rook is coming out to do a few more public presentations for older audiences that can stay quiet.  She still doesn't prefer to meet new audiences but if they can stay calm, it helps keep her relaxed.  Rook's favorite food are mealworms and we like to hide them all over the place so she has to find them in her enclosure.  Rook is telling me that she's done for now, so let's go ahead and let her go on home.

Alright, now that Rook is back in her home, I want to show you one of her favorite things to do.  Our intern built this cool contraption.  I told you we like to hide things around her enclosure and so what we would do is put the mealworms in here and it was actually weighted so it would stay like this and she had to learn to tip it upside down to get the treats out but shortly after we gave it to her, she realized she could just rip it apart and get all the food and then it would not work anymore.  I'm so happy that she did so well today in front of the camera.  It just makes me so happy that our relationship continues to grow and that she's thriving in her new home.

Now let's check in with Joy the blue and gold macaw.  We've been having a lot of fun together.  Last time we saw her, she had just received a brand new enclosure that was four times the size of her previous one.  She has been a little nervous in the new space, but now, she's totally comfortable and has gotten really confident.  Over this last year, she's really started to come out of her shell and she's been showing me new behaviors. 

One of my favorite behaviors that she's been sharing is that she's actually quite cuddly.  Hi.  She likes to snuggle her head into the crook of my arm and she loves her feathers groomed morning and night, but she's not gonna snuggle with me right now and I don't think she's gonna let me groom her 'cause I think she's a little bit nervous about the camera.

Joy is also going out to a lot more public presentations and she's showing that she's a lot calmer around audiences, which I think is awesome.  However, she does not like to wait her turn.  I have to put her in the beginning of the line-up or else she'll scream out saying I want my treats now.  Once she's done her part, she happily goes back into her crate.  

On the drive home, I do have to be careful that I don't let her see me eating any treats.  If she does spy me eating a treat, I won't hear the end of it for the rest of the trip, so I've learned to keep the junk food out of her view and also keep a pocket full of healthy treats just in case.

Joy is really living up to her name.  I'm so happy that she's doing so well after all she's been through and that we're able to form a stronger trust bond as the years go on.  

Now let's finish up with the little guy that's near and dear to so many people who have met him over the years: Cheeks the rabbit.  Cheeks is seven years old, which is pretty up there for a rabbit.  As he gets older, we're making sure that he has everything that he wants, even if it's different than when he was younger.  He used to enjoy getting out a lot more.  We have an outside run for him and he'd go out all the time for a good romp in the grass, but recently when we bring him out, he doesn't romp around and he doesn't eat the grass.  He'll stomp his feet until we bring him back in. 

I've been asked a lot about how Cheeks makes it clear that he prefers his current enclosure over a larger one and it's because I've learned how Cheeks communicates.  In the wild, rabbits use stomping to warn their fellow rabbits that danger is near and Cheeks uses stomping to communicate when he's upset.  For example, when we've taken his favorite toy away to put in the wash and he wants it back now, he'll stomp until it's returned.  He'll also stomp if we're checking on the nocturnal animals and we leave the light on too long, and if I spend a long time in the cavy enclosure giving Chili Pepper some pets, Cheeks will start stomping and I'll go out to see what's going on and he'll be waiting at the door for his pets, too.  

So Cheeks has made it very clear that stomping is how he communicates when he's upset about something and this is how we're able to continue to give him a great life in our care.  We still like to get Cheeks out a lot, but he prefers to be inside.  Cheeks reminds me that every animal is an individual and it's important to listen to their particular wants and needs.  Joy the macaw reminds me that patience can really pay off in the end and forming a strong trust bond is crucial for a happy and healthy life for some animals, and Rook the raven reminds me that every animal has their own story.  Her story is still unraveling but I'm eager to get to the next chapter because I know some really good stuff is coming.

Thanks for watching and if you'd like to go on an adventure with us every week, subscribe to our YouTube channel AnimalWondersMontana.  If you have any questions for me, you can leave them in the comments below and we'll see you next week.


They said that she was trying to move their gerbil from one place to another and she did it by picking it up by its tail.  I cringed as I guessed what she was going to tell me next.