Chimp Toys and Cleaning

Chimpanzees are fun, curious, and can be very dangerous. Their moods are finicky, as you can’t always tell what’s on their mind. They are highly intelligent and can often outsmart their human friends-not necessarily with intelligence, but by the fact that we (humans) overlook their intelligence…if that makes any sense!

One thing that all beholders of Chimpanzees must have are toys. Toys keep these massively strong apes happy and in a good mood. The problem that everyone has is that due to their strength, most toys simply can’t hold up.

I’ve found that companies that specialize in chimpanzee toys, and chimpanzee toys only, tend to make the best products. They understand the quirks, strength and intelligence factors that only a chimp has. The problem is that many sanctuaries operate under donations and can’t afford to possess many specialized toys.

What I’ve found, and I’m happy to share is that Kong toys tend to work great. Yes, that’s Kong, that makes dog and cat toys. Their products are really build to last and can even withstand the strength of a full grown male chimpanzee, for a good amount of time. Eventually, the chimpanzee will win and destroy these toys with their powerful and hands and jaws, however, the cost ratio is fantastic.

And important aspect of the longevity of chimp toys is cleaning their enclosures. This isn’t something that your common cleaning company can handle. No way. These creatures require high heat and high pressure water cleaning with harsh products such as bleach to help eliminate smell and ensure disinfection.

Chimp toys is a highly researched area, rarely leading to the same results. There are very few products that are affordable for sanctuaries, but some provisions can be made to ensure that Chimps get the enrichment that they need. This is an area that I have not invested a lot of time, and remains in open status as I try to discover the best toys out there to share with my friends.

Exotic Animal Cages

Cages are critical to animal and human safety. I can’t say that I’ve researched any product more than this. I have more lengthy and in depth conversations on this topic than any other. I’ve known cages to fail, which resulted in the death of humans, and animals.

This is a pretty controlled area in most major city zoos. The budgets are large and revenue generation works wonders in these settings. Even in cities when Zoos are free, and operate by public taxes and donations, caging systems and enclosures are the foundation of the zoo. Basically, zoos are built around safety, and it’s one of the largest budgetary items in a zoos operational costs, below the cost for food and staff.

There are other zoo like operations called sanctuaries. These are rescues that take in exotic animals that people try to keep as pets. These animals include lions, tigers, cougars, wolves,  bears, and the list goes on. It’s really sad that people try to make pets out of these wild animals, but when their young and cuddly, it’s hard to imagine the amount of power these animals will one day posses.

Exotic Animal Cage

One animal sanctuary that I’ve visited a number of times, called Wild Animal Sanctuary, located about 30 miles east of Denver Colorado uses a great enclosure system for their lions. The lions have several acres to roam, but when they need to be secured, they are placed in large scale cages called Safari Exotic Animal Cages (product: EXOTIC_ANIMAL_CAGE_EAE24128).

This is a fanatic product, which includes heavy duty metal brackets that bolt into the ground, and even have levers to ensure that animals cannot dig out.

The Wild Animal Sanctuary added their own locking mechanisms to the their cages. One time I was in town, they actually could not open a locked cage and got the assistance from Unlock Ops to help open a door. The lock in question malfunctioned, which is important to understand to prepare staff on how to handle this situation. Doors are never locked with staff in cages, to avoid entrapment. But for security, it’s critical that doors are tested daily.

The last important item that’s worth of noting is that some of these cages are a lot larger and heavy than expected. Often, for installation, maintenance and repair require, cranes are needed. When cages needed to be pulled out of tight areas, there’s no other way to do it. Something worth keeping in mind as this is a consideration often looked over.

I’m sure I’ll be writing about cages much more in the future and will even tell more “winning stories” from other sanctuaries that utilize different types of systems and products to enclose their animals.

Great Tip for Zoo Visits

I love zoos. Going top different zoos, it’s easy to caught up in following the common flow of the crowd, being rushed from area to area to keep up with the moving traffic.

I found that I often didn’t enjoy the zoo because of the crowds and my inability to truly review and study each animal the way I liked. Remember, my trips to the zoo were different. Because of my job, I was very interested in learning about animal enclosures, toys, props, gating systems and so on.

I found for me, that it always helps to review the map of the zoo before going. This not only creates excitement (at least for me), but it helps you appreciate the overall journey.

zoo map

I admit, I don’t spend much time at some of the exhibits. So, what I do with the map is get a clear idea on what areas to avoid, and which are my priority.

This simple tip only takes a few minutes as you can get zoo maps online, from just about ever zoo facility out there.

The next time you have a planned trip to the zoo, give this a try. Take ten minutes to review the zoos map, identify the areas that are most important to you to see, and plan, as you walk, which areas to spend the most time.

I hope this tip helps you!

My New Website for Friends and Family

Finally, what you have all been waiting for!

For the last 3 years, you all have been asking me to create a website to share the product reviews I do for pets. For those of you that are new to my website, I’ve been traveling the country for the past 25 years exploring a passion for animals. Over the past 7 years, I’ve been very interested in the products companies make for pets.

I developed my love for pets roughly 35 years ago when I started working as a volunteer for the San Diego Zoo. That adventure initiated by me picking up donated meat from various grocery stores throughout the San Diego area, and delivering that meat specifically to the lion center at the zoo.


It was a process and experience that I can still remember like it was yesterday.

It was typical for volunteers to work over the course of a summer, and return each year during the summer to help out. Me, I was in love. I ended up working there for 4 years, 3 years of that being hired on as a staff member.

After the first year, I lost my job of picking up and delivering meats to the zoo, as that job was specifically for volunteers. My job later evolved to Buyer of Zoology Assets. Very fancy terminology, but basically my job was to purchase assets for the zoo such as cages, toys for animals, enclosure apparatuses,cleaning products, and just about everything used in animal operations. My job did not include purchasing for human operations, which included things like research, office materials, human food and waste products, cleaning supplies, etc.

After leaving the zoo after 4 years of great work, I worked as a buyer and distributor of pet products for a number of big box stores and mom and pop shops. I use the word Work, but I actually never, ever felt like I worked a day in my life. I loved it. I loved sourcing  and learning about products for pets–the research involved and the passion that everyone that worked in the pet goods industry had for pets.

In this new website of mine, I’ll be sharing stories from my past, as well as providing some insights on current products. If you have any suggestions on products you’pd like to get a review on, I’d be happy to give that a shot. I’m not familiar with everything, but if I do have any experience with the product or company that makes a product, I’ll be more than happy to share