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Russell the Coatimundi - So Happy He's a Blur!



He zips around so fast, we can't even get a photo in focus, but that wasn't always the case. Meet Russell, our newest Coatimundi. He arrived in May 2006, and had been found in a cage during a raid on a dog fighting ring. Someone from the SPCA had been willing to hold him until we were ready for him at Popcorn Park.

Once here, he Initially wanted to stay curled up in his carrier as you see here, and was feeling very shy and insecure. After about 3 weeks, moved into a larger pen, he started to get more used to the presence of staff and our zoo General Manager, John Bergmann, who spent some time with him daily, helping him feel more welcome. Little by little, Russell would come a little closer, allowing John to pet and scratch him.

And then one day it became obvious that he was indeed feeling more settled Russell squealed when John came into the pen, ran over, climbed his leg like a telephone pole all the way up to his face, where he started licking him enthusiastically. Russell then hugged the top of his head, slobbered all over him and gave John a massage! Although it came as a surprise, John knew that he had finally been accepted by Russell.

Now that he feels completely at home, Russell is in non-stop motion, typical of any Coatimundi, and its been nearly impossible to get an in-focus shot of him ever since his first arrival. While Russell may not stand still for photos, were sure hed like to grab a few hearts on the run. Will you be his Wildlife Club sponsor and let Russell steal your heart?

12/1/2006

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