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Jessi answers questions from viewers! Who likes radishes? Can exotic animals be pets? Any new enclosures? And more!

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Hi guys.  Welcome back to Animal Wonders.  I've done question videos before where I've answered a few questions, but today, I'm gonna change it up a bit and I'm going to answer as many questions as I can in five minutes.


Do people spend the night at Animal Wonders?
I mean, I spent the night at Animal Wonders when I'm worried about a sick animal or the power going out, but no, other people like the kids at our summer camps, they don't spend the nights, and if they did, nobody would get any sleep because the nocturnal animals are really loud.  

With wildfires happening, have you tried to provide air filtration for the enclosures?
Yes.  We have a ventilation system with a filter,  but it wasn't catching all of the smoke, which is dangerous for our birds and other animals that have sensitive respiratory systems like our rodents.  So an awesome donor donated some really nice air purifiers that are made to filter out smoke, so we're doing the best we can in the situation.  It may smell like a campfire outside, but inside, it just smells like porcupine pee.

What do you wish you could do to expand your organization?  What programs would you like to implement?  
I would love to share the animals in new and more enriching ways with more people locally and internationally.  A few ideas I have are live cams for the animals, more summer camps for older ages, and maybe even a nature center, but my all-time top priority is to improve and expand all the enclosures for the animals.  That's my ultimate dream.

What is the most difficult animal you work with and do you think it'll become easier with training?
I definitely say that Mimi the marmoset is the most challenging animal I work with.  She's a sweetheart to be around and I love giving her new toys and things to explore, but she's also an adult monkey and she's never been formally trained so she gets frustrated easily.  Her way of coping with stress is to bite, scratch, or leave the situation, so my goal in training her is to minimize her frustration as much as possible so she enjoys the experience.  The only way to make it less difficult is for me to keep working with her and celebrate each small success that we have together.

What's an animal that you've never worked with but would really love to?
I love animals with complex social interactions, so working with a group of (?~2:06) or bats would be really cool, but I also really enjoy sharing unusual animals with others, so an animal like a (?~2:13) or a sloth or an (?~2:14) or a hornbill would be really neat, too.

Do any of the animals like radishes?
Nobody likes radishes except me, but Chili Pepper and the guinea pigs will eat the radish greens, so we make a good team.

How does one's appearance affect the animals?  Do you need to avoid certain things?
Appearance can have a big impact.  Since I'm kind of unusual in the fact that I have red hair, most parrots are very wary of me at first and I have to work extra hard to earn their trust.  Also, I have to avoid wearing a hat or other bulky clothes because some animals view clothing as an extension of your body and they can kind of freak out a little bit if all of a sudden you have a really weird-shaped head.  I try and avoid jewelry as much as possible.  Lots of animals will be curious and try and grab or bite at necklaces or earrings.  Rings are also an issue.  Many of the parrots will investigate them and try and bite them off and Gaia the armadillo tries to dig them off, which isn't fun, because she's really strong and she can hook her nails under my rings.  I also have a rule against perfume, because it can irritate the respiratory systems of some of the animals or make them uncomfortable, so in general, your appearance and the way you smell are things you need to think about when you're working with animals.

Do you think there's any situation where having an exotic pet could be ethical?
Yes.  If the animal is being properly cared for in all aspects, then I don't have a problem with having an exotic animal in captivity.  To properly care for an animal, the owner has to be well-educated in the animal's natural history, habitat, and behavior, and they have to provide the proper nutrition and behavioral enrichment to satisfy their needs.  Some privately kept exotic pets get excellent care and live happy and healthy lives.  What's important to remember is that exotic or wild animals are not domesticated and they're not genetically geared to want to please humans or live harmoniously with them.  Wild animals are in it for their own wants and needs and the caretaker has to put their needs above their own desires for companionship.  

Are you expanding the place since you got new animals?
We are!  We're working on a new indoor room, a new outdoor space, and a new home for our little beaver.  There's so much stuff happening right now.  It's keeping us super busy and I want to share it all with you.  I'll be posting all the happenings on our Patreon page,, where you can follow us or become a Patron for $1 a month or as much as you want.  We do fun things like vote for new animal names or new episode topics.  We give feedback or suggestions for new discussions and we'll be posting an extended version of this video over there just for our Patrons.  

If you have more questions for me, leave them in the comments below and if you'd like to go on an adventure with us every week, subscribe to our YouTube channel AnimalWondersMontana.  Thanks, guys.