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Jessi reveals the new expansion for Chili Pepper and Pickles the cavies and Kizmit the porcupine!

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Hi guys.  Have I got a story for you.  In November 2014, we had this idea to build a great new space for two of our animal ambassadors: Chili Pepper the Patagonian cavy and Pickles the guinea pig needed more space to run and play and most importantly for Chili Pepper, to dig.  We asked for help from our community of supporters and we got a big response saying yes, let's do this.  So we did it.  Let's go see it.


Okay, it's been a little over two years since we had this plan and a few things have happened.  We have more guinea pigs.  Cheddar and Brie have joined the herd and we introduced another animal who's pretty excited to see us: Kizmit the African crested porcupine.  This is the original space we had for Chili Pepper and Pickles.  As you can see, it's not big enough to house more than just the two of them. 

We had planned for the new space to be completed in 2015, but two major things set us back.  The first winter, the temporary roof caved in and then the next year, the construction team was delayed.  The new space is just through this door.  Let's go check it out.

Here it is, guys.  Isn't it amazing?  This has taken so much planning and waiting.  The waiting was the hardest part.  At first, it was just this huge pit and it was kind of hard to imagine what it would all look like when it was done, and then we put up the roof.  I helped where I could.  Next, the footing and the walls went up.  We used really thick insulation to make sure it would stay warm even in the coldest winter months.  We laid down radiant floor heat and put up some walls on the inside and that's when it started looking more like a real space.

We got electricity and then sheet rock and then cement block walls and now, it's all done!  And it's here!  And it's kinda overwhelming.  Let's talk about how awesome this space is.  First, it has full spectrum lighting.  It has chew-proof walls, but natural branches for them to chew on.  It's filled with sand and clay so they can dig as much as they want and underneath it all, it has radiant floor heat so it's less expensive to keep warm.

It was an incredible moment letting these guys explore for the first time.  Look how happy Chili Pepper is digging!   This was about five minutes after I opened the door.  Kizmit was obviously excited, too.  Look at her!  When everyone else settled down, Pickles made his way out to see the new space, too.  I put in some little tunnels and hides so the guinea pigs felt more comfortable, since they tend to get nervous in big open spaces.

Thank you so much for being part of the Animal Wonders community.  I'm a bit overwhelmed thinking about how much love and support went into making this happen.  These animals deserve the best and I'll keep working every day to improve their lives.  Thank you for going on this adventure with us and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

If you're new here and you'd like to go on an adventure with us every week, subscribe to our YouTube channel AnimalWondersMontana.  If you'd like to help support our channel, go to and become a monthly Patron, and if you'd like to help improve the animals' lives, go to to donate.  Thanks guys.