At PrideRock Wildlife Refuge, providing a permanent sanctuary and shelter for mistreated and unwanted lions, tigers and cougars is our guiding mission.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thoughts from Nia


Nia in a bubble bath

Raw’z. Raw’z. Raw’z. My name is Nia and I live with my sisters Nallah, and Nikki. I’m a white tiger, and Nallah and Nikki are orange. We all have stripes and very big paws and fangs like other tigers. We live at PrideRock Wildlife Refuge in Terrell because our owners didn’t want us. Then PrideRock found us and took us in. We have a great life now.

The PrideRock staff calls us The “N” sisters because we all have names that start with the letter N. They also let us swim in a giant waterfall pool and sometimes we even take bubble baths. Yeah, we love the bubbles but sometimes the bubbles go up our noses. That really doesn’t feel very good but after our bath, we smell pretty like lavender or roses.  

Our favorite time of day is breakfast. No, we don’t eat eggs and bacon or even pancakes but we do eat lots of raw meat, about 15 pounds of it to be exact. Sometimes we get ground beef or steak or chicken. And we don’t even have to ask “Where’s the beef?” like that lady on the commercial. Actually, I’ve never seen the commercial but I’ve all heard about it.

Anyway, we sisters also like enrichment time because that is when we get different things to play with. Sometimes we get to tear up boxes or a watermelon, and sometimes we play with a ball in the water. I like bobbing it up and down in the water and then trying to get it out without using my big strong teeth. It can be quite a challenge especially if Nallah and Nikki want to play with it at the same time I do. But we are sisters so we sometimes squabble but eventually end up sharing.
Nallah (in back), Nikki and white tiger, Nia


After we play, we nap. Tigers nap a lot for several hours. Maybe even up to 20 hours a day. I like to sleep on top of the den. Nallah and Nikki like to sleep inside the den. And sometimes we all cram in there together, like in the old days when five people had to sleep in one bed.

I better go. Nikki and Nallah are enjoying the pool. They don’t like to blog so I said I would do it. Next time I will tell you about how you can tell the three of us apart, well besides me being white, I mean.


Hasta luego (I really don’t speak Spanish, just tiger.) Raw’z is hello and goodbye for us tigers.

PrideRock speaks

PrideRock Wildlife Refuge recently hired Robyn Wheeler as its Media Relations Specialist. As part of her duties, Robyn speaks to various groups and organizations such as Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, schools, scout troops, church ministries and more. Robyn will tell you why facilities like PrideRock are necessary, how it got started, what types of animals PrideRock cares for and how each species receives appropriate diets, enrichment and veterinary care. PrideRock is located in Terrell, TX, cares for more than 60 animals with a staff of only four and a few volunteers and interns.

PrideRock continuously seeks donations, volunteers and interns as well as building materials, labor and equipment. To donate or invite Robyn to speak to your organization, call her at (972) 345-8544 or email at rwheeler@priderock.org.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Get to know the hyena

African spotted hyena
Striped hyena
Hyenas. Most people think of a vicious wild animal that eats dead animals. And while hyenas can be all of those things, they are so much more. For instance, four species exist included the African spotted hyena, the straggly brown hyena, striped hyena and the aardwolf. Most hyenas "laugh" or at least make a noise that humans consider to be a laugh. However, hyenas laugh to give an indication of its age and social status. Hyenas usually hunt and kill in packs. A group of hyenas will eat a zebra including the bones in less than 30 minutes. Striped hyenas, however, eat carrion and are often killed by vehicles while eating on the road. When threatened, the brown hyena is capable of "playing dead" similar to that of an opossum. Female hyenas rule the roost, so to speak. Males on any rank, even the highest ranking male, is always subordinate to even the lowest ranking female hyena. Most clans of hyenas spend a lot of time fighting with one another. Some say, the older the hyena, the more damaged the ears are. Many years ago, hyenas were thought to dig up bodies of the dead and eat them -that, is a myth. And it is still up for debate if hyenas are smarter than chimps. Their frontal cortex is said to be the same size as a chimps and in studies on intelligence, hyenas performed better at problem-solving and social cooperation than chimpanzees.
Straggly brown hyena

Aardwolf

Monday, July 18, 2016

Volunteer at PrideRock

Do you like being around animals and working for a good cause? If you live within driving distance of Terrell, TX and have some spare time on your hands, consider becoming a valuable volunteer for PrideRock Wildlife Refuge. Volunteers help with many activities including the cleaning of enclosures and water troughs, feeding, raking and light landscaping, attending expos and other public events, and even helping with social media and taking photos. Volunteering at PrideRock is a lot of hard work, sweat and dirt but volunteering is also fun, rewarding and a great way to meet new people who have your same interests. Volunteers are the heart and soul of non-profit organizations as these organizations usually have huge overhead costs, little revenue and few employees to get the job done. PrideRock depends on reliable, hardworking, motivated individuals to keep the cats and other animals comfortable, in good health and happy. Try it. You'll like it.

Volunteers must be:

  • 18 years old
  • able to commit to at least two days a month
  • a self-starter
  • able to follow directions
  • able to work in extreme weather conditions
  • be able to volunteer during the week
To learn more about volunteering, go to www.priderock.org, click on the opportunities tab  and then on volunteer application. Send to rwheeler@priderock.org and we will get back to you to arrange for your tour and interview.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Did you know.....

Did you know...
  • the largest lion ever recorded weighed 700 and measured 11 feet long?
  • a lion's eyesight is five time better than a human beings?
  • a lion can live up to 25 to 30 years old? The average is 13 years.
  • a group of lions is called a pride?
  • a female lion is called a lioness?
  • lioness hunt for food but the lion always eats first?
  • a lion's roar can be heard from 5 miles away?
  • less than 50,000 lions exist in the world today?
  • lions are carnivores, which means they eat meat?
  • lions have 30 teeth?
  • the offspring of mating a male lion with a female tiger is called a liger? The offspring of a female lion and male tiger is called a tigon? If a liger mates with a lion, the offspring is a li-liger.
  • lions can hear prey from one mile away?
  • lions will eat elephants, hyena, rhinoceros, hippopotamas, lizards?
  • many species of big cats exist including cheetahs, lynx, tigers, lions, leopard, jaguar, cougar (or puma), snow leopard, bobcat?


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Tigers, tigers and more tigers

Can you name more than two species of tigers? It might be difficult especially since some species are extinct or bordering on extinct. Here they are: Siberian, Bengal, South China Tiger, Sumatran Tiger, Malayan Tiger, Indochinese Tiger, and the extinct species, Bali tigers, Caspian tigers, Javan tigers and Golden tigers. And perhaps you didn't know that tigers and lions can mate and produce offspring. The offspring of a male tiger and female lion are called tigons and offspring of a male lion and female tiger are called ligers. If a ligers is breed to a lion, their offspring are called li-ligers.
Extinct Golden Tiger
What dangers do tigers and other big cats face today? Hunting and poaching. Many of the traditional Chinese still believe that tiger parts can be used for medicines like pain killers and aphrodisiacs. Tigers also face habitat destruction, polluted environments and those who believe wearing a tiger pelt or chuba is a status symbol. Today, fewer than 2,500 breeding tigers are in the wild. In Asia, tigers are in the top 5 big game animals. Tigers do not purr but make a noise called a "chuff" which is a low-frequency, short puffing sound. Tigers are carnivores, which means they eat raw meat, and they are said to be noctural (active at night) but many are crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk). Like a human fingerprint, each tiger has a different stripe pattern and can be used to identify one tiger from another. If a tiger should lose its hair, the stripes can still be seen on the skin.
Can you tell the difference between Nallah (above)
 and Nikki (below) by looking at their stripes?