Johnstown, OH (PRWEB) November 01, 2006
The Feline Conservation Federation is continuing its efforts to educate owners and enthusiasts of exotic wild felines by offering its next Basic Wild Feline Husbandry Course Saturday, February 17, 2007 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Best Western Hotel, 5188 Capitol Boulevard, S.E., in Tumwater, Washington.
The following day students will visit Point Defiance Zoo, in Tacoma, Washington. FCF has arranged for students to have an educational behind-the-scenes tour of the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater featuring rare felines like clouded leopard, fishing cat and Canada lynx. FCF Director of Education, Carol Bohning says, "Teaming the husbandry course up with a visit to a licensed facility gives students the opportunity to observe proper husbandry practices first-hand and ask questions of the keepers."
The Basic Wild Feline Husbandry Course program began in 1997 and has been offered in 18 states and graduated over 450 students. The course is the only one of its kind, providing continuing education valuable to wild feline keepers, aspiring owners, veterinarians, animal control officers, wildlife personnel, and managers.
The 8-hour course is an instructor led, multi-media presentation, with 83-page student textbook, workshops, and certificate for students that pass the final exam. Course topics focus on natural history of the 37 wild feline species, regulatory agencies and permits, facility design, handling equipment, diet, health care, behavior and handling, and contingency planning.
"I feel one of the most crucial areas covered was laws governing exotic cats, in light of so many states and counties prohibiting ownership of wild cats," says Irene Satterfield, a sanctuary owner and Ohio course graduate.
The recent trend to pass such laws is a fear driven reaction to a few sensational incidents caused by owners that failed to act responsibly. "Most attacks aren't something that can be avoided by legislation, but can be prevented with increased knowledge and husbandry skills," says Bohning who is a certified husbandry course instructor.
The FCF provides information to exotic cat owners so that they and their cats are safe and properly cared for. "Laws and regulations already exist to protect the public and to give oversight to owning exotic felines," says Bohning. "FCF is educating people about these existing laws and teaching them the proper way of maintaining their felines in accordance with these laws."
A diverse mix of students ranging from professional to novice make up each class and contribute to the learning experience. "I understand much better the responsibilities of exotic feline ownership, and I benefited greatly from communicating with those who have had years, if not decades of experience," says Mark Levinson, who took the class in Indiana to prepare for his federal license. Levinson says, "One can never learn enough."
Pete Bergerson, a South Dakota course graduate and federally licensed animal trainer says, "I recommend it to anyone considering their first exotic cat and even those with ownership experience. Much of the course material is basic, but new slants on some things such as capture, behavior and handling are always helpful."
The Feline Conservation Federation, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2006. Membership is comprised of private conservationists, breeders, exhibitors, educators, zoos, and sanctuaries.
Registration is $95.00 for the Husbandry Course and $35.00 for the Point Defiance Zoo admission and tour. For more information contact FCF Husbandry Course, P.O. Box 172, Little Rock, WA 98556.