Hashbrown’s Squash Garden

Hashbrown has a wonderful Squash Garden! Hashbrown is the education groundhog at the Toronto Wildlife Centre. (See my earlier post about her here.)

Eric, one of the staff people at the TWC, does a great job and is super creative in her enclosure, enrichment, and care. He gave me a tour of the garden when I arrived for my shift this week. The garden is awesome – and it came about organically, so to speak.

Hashbrown is fed squash as part of her diet, among other fruits and vegetables. She has her own large room at the TWC, and it has tunnels under a thick layer of mulch and greenery. There are toys and a kennel for her above the mulch ground.

Eric has been cleaning and improving her room for months. He dumps her dirty mulch at a certain spot in the grounds — and it started sprouting!

Apparently from Hashbrown was passing the seeds in her seed-filled poop. The mulch was being dumped into a site with plenty of fertilizer, sunshine, rain, and wind protection. It started routing and growing! Recently Eric asked Lauren, another staff person, to make a sign, and together they created this adorable garden marker.

It is now growing big healthy squash!

Cuddles with Hashbrown the Groundhog

Today’s small joy: a quick cuddle with Hashbrown the groundhog.

Today is my one year anniversary working at the wildlife centre!

I would not normally take a photo of any animal at the Centre, but Hashbrown is an education animal, not a patient, and it’s an anniversary.

I am very lucky to have time with Hashbrown. She is hilarious! Silly and mischievous and playful and moody, similar to a 3 year old human.

A few of us have scheduled play time and snuggle time with her, as part of keeping her acclimated to humans and her training. She has a job teaching the public and school children about wildlife, and these sessions are part of helping her do her job well.

Vets, animal shelters, zoos, aquariums, and wildlife hospitals have been recognized as essential services (for the animals in care, closed to the public), and I am so glad to be able to go to care for the patients and get some quality snuggle time in with sweet Hashbrown!