The special carry case was designed by Australian Fauna Keeper, Paul Davies, to easily carry up to six tiny Feather-tail Gliders which can then be transported around the Zoo so visitors can meet the small gliding mammals.
The carry case has six compartments for each individual Feather-tail Gliders so they feel nice and secure, various vents of ventilation has been included in the design as well as a double locking system, much like doors to a photographic dark room to prevent any mishaps.
An area has been designed to allow a cooler block to be placed in the lid to keep the animals comfortable on hot days, or a heat pad to warm them up on cooler days, the carry handle is made from a recycled car seat belt.
Australian Fauna Keeper, Paul Davies, said: “I got the design from something my father made for me when I was a young boy to carry my pet guinea pigs around in. Our Zoo Carpenter, Ben Murphy, helped my creation come to life and I can’t believe how well it has turned out.”
“I love this little briefcase. It’s almost too good to use,” said Paul.
“Many years ago when I first started working with Australian animals, as an Englishman I was a bit daunted. I didn’t know what Feather-tail Gliders were or how to handle them, they were just so wriggly and miniature compared to everything I had ever worked with.”
“They became a challenge for me, and I know it sounds odd but when I related them to my guinea pigs things fell into place and now they’re my favourites.”
“I love giving people encounters with animals and teaching them about our native wildlife, it really helps promote our lesser known species, “said Paul.
“By meeting a Feather-tail, people then ask questions and want to find out more. They get to see something they aren’t expecting and that’s when the appreciation and wonderment kicks in.”
“The beauty about the special case is that when one glider gets a bit wriggly and ready to take a rest, I can pop it back in its hidey hole and get out one of its little friends.”
Feathertail Gliders are the smallest gliding mammals on earth with an average weight of just 12g. Being so small, they often preyed on by domestic pets, particularly cats.
Feathertail Gliders are also often mistaken for mice, but a closer inspection reveals they have a special membrane which stretches from front to rear feet that helps them glide up to 20 meters. They also have a delicate feathered tail that they use as a rudder during flight from which they get their name.
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