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(The art of cleaning enclosures)

There is an art to cleaning enclosures and cages in which your collection live, and there are important guidelines which must be observed and followed. As with all work with animals, firstly you must know how it lives in the wild to cater for its needs.

It seems right to clean and disinfect enclosures and cages – and yes it is necessary, as dirty enclosures and cages smell and look bad which in turn invites parasites, germs and can injure the animals health.  Of course this is also not good from the visitor point of satisfaction.

Many of the trees and other furniture that goes into an enclosure is quite often made of plastic or other artificial materials which are easier to clean than their natural counterparts, and many of these are cleaned and disinfected as part of a normal routine...but in many cases this is not good for the collection and may be the last thing an animal needs.

Scent marking by spraying urine, or by using scent glands and faeces etc is the method used by many animals to define their territories – this definition of territory gives the animal a sense of security if you take this away you have the strong possibility of  stressed animals which is the last thing needed.

Of course clean and disinfected enclosures are needed both for the health of the animal and visitor appreciation.  To ensure that cleaning of enclosures is done with benefit for all  a regime of selective cleaning must be carried out and areas of known marking should be staggered so that when the animal is re-released into the enclosure it is less likely to be stressed out by finding all its marked areas have not been removed.

What must it seem like to an animal whose olfactory organs are so infinitely more sensitive than that of us humans when they smell a strong disinfectant all over its home?

Don't do the wrong things for the right reasons.


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3.26 Copyright (C) 2008 / Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

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