July 23, 2011 – Program 1 – Max attends his first wildlife program at a state park. He did pretty well for 12 weeks old.
September 17, 2011 – Max attended a Wildlife Festival in Marlboro VT on Saturday, September 17th sponsored by the Southern Vermont Museum of Natural History. Max was not cooperative as he had been in previous programs throughout the summer and I had to place him in the exhibit enclosure while discussing his species, the Canada Lynx. this was not his fault and partly mine since I have not had the time for proper training.
October 27, 2011 – The eyes of the lynx – The image on the left is Oct. 2011, and the one on the right is Oct. 2013. Notice the difference in the eye color.
November 1, 2011 – All Teeth – Max’s adult canines are coming in but his baby ones refuse to vacate. So, he’s in some discomfort and is biting a lot to relieve the pressure. I managed to get his upper left removed on 10/29 and upper right on 10/31. The lower canines are not loose yet.
No Fear – First snow on 10/28 and Max decided to go for a climb. He’s not afraid of heights but I am, even on the ground!
November 7, 2011 – Bucket vs Max – I put a bucket in with Max on Oct 31st and the darn cat tried to get in it and lay down. Ok, he did succeed but I didn’t have my camera. Of course, after I ran to get it, he couldn’t manage the feat again. It would have been a great shot but here’s some of his attempts.
November 15, 2011 – Max’s New Digs – Got Max an indoor cage within my insulated workshop. It’s only 4×6 but plenty big enough. He has a window box and can come and go as he pleases to his outdoor 6×10 covered cage attached to a 5×10 run. Can you say “spoiled?” No, wait…it gets better. I had to attach a piece of cardboard to a portion of his cage because he could reach out a foot and was pulling my skulls and bones off the shelving. He thought he would have a bit of fun. I placed Lily Woodchuck’s old nest box in the cage for him and now he sleeps more. Being Prince Max, I even made him a pillow for the box. Now he can sleep in luxury! Mom says I worry like a new mother. Well, Max is pretty precious.
December 3, 2011 – Mischief Max – As some of you know Max has a large 6×20 outside enclosure with half of it covered and an inside small cage 4×6 and gets one-on-one attention several times a day. Often I let him run the workshop when I’m cleaning his litter pan. Yes, believe it, he IS litter trained which surprises me as when he was completely outside he rarely used the pan for anything other than urinating. Now that he has an inside condo, I guess he likes the comfort of a pan. Go figure. Anyways, my workshop is just that…a place to do woodworking with tools, cleaning bones & skulls, a freezer full of Max meat, all my educational supplies of skulls, antlers, and furs along with animal supplies and half of my wildlife reference library. Oh, and Max’s cage. He loves to climb on top of the shelving which is also stacked with stuff. He just doesn’t climb but darts and dashes quick silver.
December 8, 2011 – Max Lynx Growth – When I worked at the Zoo I would keep records on our baby animals including body weight and amount of food they ate, etc. Since I got Max, I’ve kept a daily log on when he’s fed, food amount, vitamins, meds or other supplements added, weekly body weight and measurements of him. I also note behavior or any other pertinent information like when he started cutting adult teeth. Of course, there has been plenty of photos to visibly record his growth, too. This is a once in a lifetime privilege for me and I want to make sure it’s written down. (Like I did with Lily Woodchuck.) I’m often asked about how big he’s getting. I show photos but it’s difficult to determine size from a photo. We can see that he’s gotten much of the standard lynx grey coat and that the brown he was born with is disappearing leaving only his hind quarters showing that hue. I suppose that will change to grey, too. Although, the female lynx I worked with at the Zoo was brownish grey. We shall see what Max will mature to be!
December 24, 2011 – Max visits the Pember Library – Yesterday, Maxwell visited the Pember Library for a short exhibition. This was a test on how he would react in public after being away since September. He did very well. Now neutered, he has calmed down but still needs a good dose of people in front of him. He was spooked by coughing and the floor creaking. The crowd was a good 10feet away and at times he would lay calmly on the table with his rear end inside the carrier. His new step-in harness was great at restraining him. When he got scared, he would go inside the carrier for a bit. Yes, he wanted to climb the library shelves, but I deterred him. In September, he would freak out when my hand touched his back during a presentation but I’ve been using a relaxation technique by Kayce Cover and intermediate bridging to get him to focus on me and not go within himself. I have to report that he not only allowed my hand on his back and shoulders but accepted chin scratching and ear touching. I think that with further exposure to people, he will be an excellent animal ambassador. Although he was exposed to no less than a thousand people this summer for educational lectures, but as a cub he was not too aware of them and got skittish as he got older. I plan on bringing him to the Pember Museum for exhibition next week while I work.
I call this…baby steps.
December 28, 2011 – Max visits the Pember Museum – Max was brought to the Pember Museum on Wednesday, December 28th for an exhibition from 1:00-5:00pm. He did very well. First I put his litter pan in with him and after he used it, I removed it so he would have a bit more room. He paced for a while then settled down. People came and he watched them intensely either from on his back, lying down or pacing. I guess it depended on how comfortable he felt at the time. My desk was on the other side of our tiger exhibit but I could see him through the space between the case and wall. At one time, I caught him with his leg fully extended upwards scratching the chin of the Caribou mounted above his head. It was a sight to see! There was at least a foot between the top of his cage and the Caribou. Although there was no way he could inflict damage, I placed a tank cover to obstruct his view. It worked. He lost interest. He will be back at the museum for another exhibition on Saturday, January 14th from 10:00am to 2:30pm.
Accidents happen – Earlier in the day at home he decided to jump at me & caught me off guard catching a nail under my left eye. He was only in a mischief mood but it left a good scratch missing my lower lid by an eighth of an inch. It is healing nicely as you can tell by the photos. Just had to post. I have worked with exotics for over 9 years and have a few bites and scratches accompanied by stories. I don’t know of anyone who has worked with animals closely and not been injured in one way or another. All of mine have been minor and it just happens. This one was my fault by trusting the little devil too much. I have been working with him on calming down, relaxation techniques, but have failed to prevent him from leaping at me. But it’s so fun, mom!! I plan on researching this problem with other feline owners. Oh, and if you think exotics are dangerous, think again. I have been bitten and scratched by domestic animals, too. In fact at age 4 I was bitten in the face between the eyes by a neighbor’s dog. Why is it always the face? Even the mosquitoes… . At girl scout camp when I was a kid this little pony bit me in the butte! I didn’t do anything except walk away from it. Why me? lol