October 25, 2012
Perkins Wildlife Center Co-Manager
When she arrived at the museum Charcoal weighed 12 pounds. She has more than doubled her weight since then and is still growing! Her preferred diet includes rats, mice, quail, chicks, and ground meat, but she is not a pure carnivore. She eats a variety of fruits and vegetables as well and particularly likes apples. She also welcomes yogurt and raw eggs as a treat.
The wildlife staff works hard to socialize Charcoal and give her stimulating enrichment items. She prefers enrichment activities that involve digging, especially in big tubs of shredded paper or piles of mulch. Her favorite game to play with staff members is tug, with either a towel or a rope toy.
Charcoal is extremely food motivated and eager to please so her training is going very well. Here is a picture of Charcoal standing on her station a few days after her arrival:
And here is a recent picture of her stationing. One can see that we had to upgrade to a larger station to accommodate her rapid growth!
Charcoal is also kennel trained so that we can take her to the vet and target trained so that we can move her to desired areas around her exhibit. We have been doing some tactile desensitization with her too so that if we need to give her injections in the future she will be used to us touching her. She has been receptive to this and I don't think any staff members complain that part of their jobs is to pet a young coyote!
Overall Charcoal has adjusted very well to her new home. She is healthy, playful, and captivating. Come stop by the Perkins Wildlife Center for a visit and watch as she continues to grow!