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Exotic Animal Awareness

Please note, we do not advocate any of our Animal Ambassadors as pets. Keeping an exotic animal (and even a domestic pet!) requires a lot of research, time, knowledge and money.

 

There are many important requirements to consider in order to provide any animal with appropriate care and a happy, full life. Our keepers have trained, studied and worked with animals for many years and have a wealth of knowledge and experience in order to provide all of the animals in their care with the highest welfare and husbandry standards possible.

 

Teaching Talons is designed to inspire and educate and we bring the animals to you. Our team of animal ambassadors go back to appropriate enclosures and diets under the full care of the Teaching Talons team and also receive a variety of enrichment on a day to day basis.

 

All of our animals are from private collections, zoos, responsible breeders or they are ex-pets and rescues whose owners could no longer keep them. The fact so many of our animals are donated to us, reflects the difficult nature of caring for them. None of our animals are wild caught (although we do not know the full history of our rescue tortoise, Strawberry and three of our snails were wild caught and imported for the food trade before being rescued).

The welfare of our animals is always our top priority. As a result, the animals at your event may be subject to change, although we will endeavour to meet your requirements where possible. This can be for a variety of reasons, for example some of our animals may not suit a particular event (for example due to conditions in an outside setting). They may be feeling under the weather or for example reptiles may be shedding their skin. In these circumstances we will not bring them.

 

All of our animals are gradually habituated and desensitised, at their own pace to variety of sights and sounds that may be experienced when they are at encounters. They are all trained gradually to avoid any stress. Handling is also built up slowly and paired with positive assosiations, such as their favourite treat. As a result we are able to pride ourselves in our exceptionally laid back, friendly team of Animal Ambassadors. If we were to see any signs of tension or stress in any animal (from cockroaches to owls!), they would immediately be removed from that situation. Their welfare comes first.

 

Our animals are all trained through positive reinforcement. This means training is reward based and they are never forced to do anything they don't want to. We actually find many of our animals thrive on interaction. Those that don't simply don't come out with us on encounters, but have a safe home with us for the rest of their lives (for example; one of our rescue chinchillas, Mallow and one of our rescue corn snakes, Marley don't attend any encounters). We feel it is important to assess each animals individual personality, likes and dislikes, and this determines the bookings they do or do not attend.

 

We hold an animal transport lisense and our animals get used to travel gradually, in secure, species appropriate travel crates and enclosures with food and drink constantly available. Most of our journeys are 20 miles or less and only animals used to, and relaxed on longer journeys attend bookings that are over 30 miles away. We also ensure suitable temperatures are maintained for different species.

 

We don’t allow children under 5 to pet or hold animals in line with BIAZAs animal handling policy as younger children aren’t always as spatially aware or gentle, particularly around smaller and more delicate animals.

 

We do not allow public to handle our tarantulas or amphibians as they are very delicate and amphibians have very absorbant skin. We also don't allow public to stroke our owls, due to their delicate feathers, although they are trained for tactile health checks.

 

We also work in line with the Hawk Boards Campaign for Falconry to provide the highest welfare standards both at home and at events for the birds of prey in our care.

 

Our animals are registered with Scott Veterinary Clinic, who specialise in exotic animal vet care and form part of the veterinary team at Woburn Safari Park. We also use Medivet, Flitwick for our domestic animals.

Animal Welfare

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Tel: 07718 923708

Email: info@teachingtalons.co.uk

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To transform the way children and adults alike see the natural world through 'edutainment'. We aim to provide fun, engaging, informative interaction with animals that will inspire our audiences interests and passions for wildlife.