MARCH 21, 2012

The new herd on the block

south west wildlife conservation centerJavelina are an interesting animal for Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center to release back to the wild. Javelina live in large herds, so when we release javelina back into the wild we first have to build a herd. The herd relies on each other for survival, so releasing individual javelina to the wild would not have a good outcome.

javelinaSWCC recently received two javelina babies, so they are the start to the new javelina herd. One baby was taken from a woman who found the young javelina and took it home to try to help it. The lady kept the javelina for five weeks before she realized she could not provide adequate care for the wild animal. She contacted SWCC and turned him over to us. Luckily, the javelina was young and we were able to make him "wild" again so he can be released.

The other javelina baby was a rescue; he was orphaned or abandoned by his herd. The baby was so little when he first came in we had to provide 24 hour care for him. Javelina babies are very sensitive and have a low survival rate without their mom, so SWCC's vet tech took the baby home to provide care during the night. He is much bigger now, eating on his own, and was just introduced to his new herd member.

When we first introduce javelina to each other, we have to separate them by chain link. All javelina have a scent gland on their back, so they rub head to back to share their scent. The whole herd smells the same, creating their own unique perfume unlike any other herd.

We have to wait to put a new javelina with a herd because the herd would attack the new one due to its different scent. Once the javelina start rubbing through the fence, we know they are associated with each other and sharing their scent and the new javelina can join the herd.

Luckily, the two babies hit it off and are best buds. They will continue to live together; once they are bigger they will be introduced to their new larger herd. Once incorporated into the herd they will all be released back to the wild.

Mountain Lion Cub Update
lion cubsCypress and Ash have been at SWCC for three weeks now and they are both doing really well. Cypress has her cast off of her leg and is walking and putting pressure on her leg. Both cubs are eating a lot, and are getting big. We were able to put the cubs in together, so they are enjoying each other's company.

They are very playful and love to wrestle, and after playing they lie together and groom each other. They are definitely bonded, and have a very sweet sibling relationship. We put a remote camera in their room, so we could catch them in action while not disturbing them.
Check out the video from the remote camera!