Heidi is possibly the cheekiest of all the pets in The Nature Nook crew. This gorgeous little parrot is both full of energy and full of love. Heidi adores a cuddle with mum and, if she’s lucky, a yummy slice of apple. Green-cheeked conures are native to the South American rainforests, where they eat a variety of seeds, nuts and fruits. They are very agile, extremely good at climbing, and love to play. They are naturally found in flocks of around 10 to 20. This is a relatively small flock size for a parrot, which is why conures are known to form very close bonds with their bird or human families and can become very protective over their favourite person.
Haymitch is a Swiss breed guinea pig. Guinea pigs are fully domesticated, which is why there are many different breeds, and why Haymitch has his distinctive scruffy coat that looks very different from the smooth brown fur of his wild counterparts. Haymitch is a shy little 2-year-old boy who is unfortunately all on his own. Though guinea pigs are extremely social, living in groups of 10 or more in the wild, Haymitch fell out with his brothers. Because male guinea pigs are much harder to pair up, Haymitch is still in search of a best friend to join him. His favourite treats are dried pea flakes and water melon, and though he is nervous of people he does love a good chin rub.
Errol and BB are an unusual pair of budgies for a number of reasons. Budgies are the only parrot species that humans have fully domesticated, creating the larger English budgie, which is what BB is. Errol, however, is the smaller wild type – the Australian budgie. These two are both around 1-2 years old and are both unfortunately unable to fly due to physical conditions, but they don’t let that stop them from being very playful and chirping away all day long. In the wild, flocks of budgies can be very large, some with as many as 100.
Agatha is, despite what the name may suggest, a male banded bullfrog, also accurately known as a chubby frog. He is less than a year old but already has a voracious appetite and loves catching crickets. Perhaps the most interesting thing about Agatha is that he has the ability to puff himself up when threatened and even secrete a toxic glue-like substance to make himself unpalatable to predators.
These two ten-month-old female dumbo rats are full of beans and love to run, jump and play. Being social creatures, living in groups of around 6 in the wild, it’s important to keep pet rats in pairs or groups so they have someone to play with. Pepper and Pesto are both crazy about boiled egg, malt paste and mealworms. With these girls, it’s hard to tell what they love more, treats or playtime!
Cookie is a gorgeous 11-year-old cat who is very friendly and loves to curl up on his dad’s knee in the evening. Despite his age, Cookie is still absolutely full of energy, and, like most cats, he loves new toys and having lots of places to climb and jump around his home. Cookie’s favourite food is a little bit of ham given as a treat.
A 3-year-old Cocker Spaniel, Bree has buckets of energy for walks and can tire out even her most energetic human family members. Like most dogs, Bree needs lots of attention and plenty of exercise. Her absolute favourite thing to do is go swimming and she always makes sure to splash her human family too so they don’t miss out on all the fun.
Despite being named after the huge, terrifying reptile that famously terrorized Tokyo, Zilla is actually a very small and gentle 7-year-old leopard gecko. Zilla’s favourite treats are mealworms, which she gets lightly dusted with calcium powder to keep her nice and healthy. Leopard geckos have very soft skin so to avoid being food for bigger animals they only come out at night.
This cheeky little youngster is possibly our most advanced escape artist! If there’s one thing she seems to like more than food, it’s trying to escape from her pen. Piper is The Nature Nook’s newest arrival and soon she’ll be able to be housed with Haymitch to provide them both with some much-needed companionship.