Penelope Goes to Knoxville

Petting Penelope

I’m traveling back to Cincinnati from The Knoxville Zoo with Dawn, our head nursery and quarantine keeper. About 9 months ago, Dawn got to hand raise our three bat eared foxes, Frankie, George and Penelope. My first blog for the Zoo was about training Frankie and George. Penelope wasn’t mentioned because she was being trained to go to the Knoxville Zoo as an ambassador animal for their education programs.

Penelope with a favorite toy.

Dawn, her staff, and Blakely (the amazing nursery dog) have been caring for Penelope since she was 11 days old. I would go by the nursery twice a day, when timed allowed, and do training to prepare her for her transition to Knoxville. Penelope spent her days playing with her best friend Blakely and having full run of the nursery.  But the day finally came for her to leave Cincinnati and head south. So, yesterday morning Dawn and I packed up Penelope, taking her favorite toys, food, and other necessities in our largest Zoo vehicle, our Sprinter. Funny, I know, taking such a tiny animal in this HUGE vehicle (it’s diesel)!

Dawn getting ready to head to Knoxville.

We arrived in Knoxville around noon. The keepers at this small but really neat Zoo are all so nice and lovely! We were pleasantly surprised with Penelope’s accommodations. She has a large room all to herself. They gave her a cute dog house to sleep in too. As with any new animal to the Zoo she will spend the first 30 days in quarantine before being moved to her permanent place of living. She is going to love her permanent enclosure… It’s gigantic! There will be two different staffs caring for her for these first thirty days, the quarantine staff and the keepers she will have when she moves into the education center. The entire Zoo knew Penelope was coming and many people stopped by to greet their adorable new addition.

Dawn and Knoxville Zoo keeper

All the training she had from Dawn, the nursery staff and myself did help, she adjusted to her new environment like a champ. Dawn and I spent time with her new keepers and trained them on her hand signals, favorite spots to be scratched or pet, how to pick her up, harness her and just get to know her. The training went exceptionally well! It is wonderful to feel so good about Penelope’s new home and family.

We are especially excited to report they have a dog for her when she is out of quarantine!! They even said that if their little dog didn’t work out they would be happy to find a dog that would! What a happy ending for our little girl. Knoxville will definitely love their newest addition and we look forward to hearing about her progress there! I promise to keep you all updated!