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Jessi answers questions from viewers: who would she want to be, who makes her nervous, what reptile enclosures are used, worst part of the job, and how does everyone stay clean? Among others.

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It has been way too long since we've done our last question episode.  I'm Jessi, this is Animal Wonders, and I would like to answer some of the questions that you guys have had over the last couple months, so let's get to it.


Julian Jimenez asked, "If you could be an animal for a whole day, which one would you be and why?"  
I'm gonna choose an otter because they have a ridiculous amount of fun and their bodies are awesome 'cause they're just so flexible and bouncy and it also happens to be my patronus.  

And next question from Yen Xion, who asked, "Hey Jessie, has there ever been an animal that made you nervous the first time you met it?" 
Yes.  Mostly humans, but in all seriousness, if I meet an animal for the first time who doesn't know me and doesn't trust me, I can feel their energy and read their body language and it puts me on edge.  Building trust between an animal and a human takes time.  I think the most nervous I've ever been is when a chimpanzee came and sat in my lap, not because the chimp was upset or nervous, but because I've seen what an upset chimp can do and it's terrifying.  

Chris Sloths asked, "What are some animals that you plan on or hope to have in the future?"  
We get asked this a lot and it's always kind of hard to answer because we focus on rescuing the animals that need a home rather than searching out animals that we want.  Sometimes other animal facilities will offer to donate an animal that they need to find a permanent home for, and sometimes we'll say yes, and we'll take them in to fill in gaps in our educational programs.  I'm just so happy that we're able to provide a home for those that really need a safe haven.

Jashan Lashkari asked, "Where do you buy the cages in the reptile room?  They seem to be quite sturdy."
We've collected quite the mish mosh over the years.  Some of them work great for certain species so we've expanded on them as we've been able to afford better quality.  Most of them are Zoomed and Exoterra glass terrariums.  These two are Boaphile Fatt Staxx.  This one is a Vision Cage, and these two, I build myself out of particle board.

And we're back.  Next question comes from Anne Sophie Darier, "How do you clean the animals?  Do you have bath days?"
It depends on the animal.  Most of them stay as clean as their environment, so daily sweeping, mopping, or changing of their blankets usually does the job, but some do have bath days like Lollipop the skunk, the guinea pigs, and Prickle the hedgehog.  Others have dusting days, like Chili Pepper the cavy and Cheerio and Pebbles the chinchillas.  Others just don't bathe at all, like Kemosabe the porcupine, who enjoys being as stinky as possible.  Most of the reptiles only get a bath if they make themselves dirty.  Otherwise, they'll shed off their old scales and get fresh new ones every couple months, and the birds get misted regularly or they take a bath on their own.

Okay, from Grace McClenathan, "What is your least favorite part of your job?"
Oh gosh, definitely the paperwork.  We have three permits, two insurance carriers, federal and state business licenses, tax, and a multitude of contracts for our public programs.  That, and digging pathways through the snow to get to the hawk and raven (?~3:05) when its dumped two feet of snow and then dropped to -20 overnight.  That's not fun.

Alright, next question, from Anya Behringer who asks, "What was your first pet as a kid?"
When I was really young, my parents worked on a farm, so I spent time with the ducks, geese, and horses but I think my first official pet would be Sheba, our Labrador retriever.  I still keep her right here.  There's nothing that compares to your first animal love.

Alright, next question comes from Melie Breton who asked, "Have you ever received bad comments about either your business or the way you take care of the animals or even people who tried to put you down, and if so, how do you deal with it?"
We do get our fair share of criticisms about what we do for the animals and I get personal attacks as well.  For those that disagree with us housing animals in captivity, I'll often try and give them more information about why the animals aren't in the wild and the kind of care that we provide them.  I'm proud of the life that we're able to give the animals, which is why I enjoy sharing what we do with others and I'm also always looking to improve the animals' care whenever possible.  Getting constructive criticism is a great motivator to keep us trying as hard as we can and for those comments that aren't constructive, I do get a bit sad but ultimately, I disregard them because if they're not constructive, then nothing good can come of them.  For personal attacks, I'm pretty good at shrugging them off.  They don't know me personally, so their comments don't really hurt the real me.  If they don't like the way I sound or look, there are plenty of other channels for them to watch.  I don't want to spend my time thinking about them.  I want to focus on the animals and you guys, my community and fellow animal lovers.

Thank you for all of your questions.  If you have any of your own, go ahead and leave them in the comments below.  I'll try and answer as many as I can, or I'll just save them and put them in the next Ask Jessi.  If you'd like to learn more about  animals, how we take care of ours, and how you can take care of yours better or you just like to go on an adventure every week, subscribe to our YouTube channel AnimalWondersMontana.  Thanks, and we'll see you next week.


They might dunk their head, flap their wings, and shake their tail.  Be prepared for water going everywhere.  Some birds love their baths, while others just won't do it.  For those that are bath shy--