A couple of weeks ago, I set out on a mission to try and describe each of our Three-Cans individual personalities. If you missed the first post on Paco, I was inspired by the strange-to-me question I receive of, “do they have personalities?”. Each of our toucans is incredibly unique and special in their own way. I hope you have already enjoyed meeting Paco and Paz in their spotlights. Today, I would like to share with you what makes Pepe – Pepe.
Nicknames: Pepe Monster, The Pepster, The Pepmeister, Monkey Pep, Squints, Fancy Feet, Toy Monster, Mister Pepe
Likes: bathing when Paco is bathing, Red Apple Jungle pellets as treats, time with David, TOYS
Dislikes: people pronouncing his name “Peepee”, kites, fast hand motions, leaving his house
Pepe is our resident goofball. While all three toucans have their own penchant for silliness (because really, it’s simply the essence of being a toucan), Pepe is by far the goofiest of them all. Yet like Austin Power’s synonymous “Mojo”, it’s difficult to really put your finger on what makes Pepe so darn goofy. But while Pepe is definitely comical, that does not necessary mean he is hyper. Pepe is actually quite mellow and easy going, not nearly as high-energy as Paco or as timid as Paz.
Pepe loves toys. No really – he seriously LOVES toys. So much so, we often call him the Toy Monster and even did a special post on his obsessions – Pepe: Toy Collector Extraordinaire .
We also call Pepe “Squints” because he has a tendency to be easily distracted, often squinting his eyes and staring off in the distance, always on the look-out for the flock’s safety. It’s funny to see him actually squint his eyes, as neither Paz, nor Paco has ever exhibited the ability to do the same.
Another one of Pepe’s myriad of nicknames is “Fancy Feet” due to the super-speed hopping he does around his cage. It’s really quite impressive how fast he can hop from perch to perch without slipping and falling, especially since this was never something he was capable of in the beginning. Pepe always hops on the same round of perches – we call it “running the circuit”. I have tried and tried to really capture it on video, but haven’t been as successful as I had hoped. He mostly only does his Fancy Feet routine when there are a bunch of people watching him and he’s excited about all of the attention. I am usually in one of the other toucans’ aviaries at the time, hence the inability to obtain a good video. But here is my best attempt – just please understand that this doesn’t even come close to doing it justice:
Pepe is the only one of the Three-Cans that can do a complete 360° flip – crazy amazing to see yet has also proven near impossible to catch on film. I wish so desperately to be able to put this behavior on cue, but so far, it doesn’t happen very frequently and is only executed as a “save” when he almost falls off of a perch. Typically when it happens, he’ll be playing intently with a toy and nearly drop it. He then lunges his beak forward, snapping in an effort to catch the falling toy. As he almost loses his footing, he will flip forward, hang upside down on his perch, then quickly continue flipping with the forward momentum until he has righted himself upward on his perch again. It’s so fast, you can almost picture him doing it for fun, although I have yet to see him do it other than in an attempt to save himself from falling.
Unfortunately, Pepe does not currently like going outside. Pepe seems to feel he has everything he needs inside his home (delicious food, treats, visitors, toys, safety, space, etc.) that he shows no desire to explore the outdoors. I feel pretty certain that if I left Pepe’s door wide open all day, he wouldn’t even try to go anywhere. The few times we were able to bring Pepe outside, we had to entice him with a favored toy (see hair roller below) and he was mostly nervous and ready to go back inside his aviary within a few minutes. While I am so happy that Pepe is contented with his home, I would love for him to experience more time outside and give him another way to bond with us and eventually socialize him with Paz and/or Paco. We are currently building an outdoor play gym, so perhaps once he sees his buddies outside enjoying it, he may be more keen to join in the fun.
Overall, Pepe is definitely a charmer, entertaining the people who come to visit the toucans with his toy antics and fancy footwork. He is incredibly easy going when meeting new people, hopping right over for a treat whenever someone new enters his house to meet him. I frequently hear people chattering amongst themselves as they walk away from the toucan house, saying, “Pepe is my favorite”, followed by an enthusiastic, “Mine too!”.
Pepe is pure adorable and never fails to make me laugh. His favorite training cue is “kisses” – always willing to stick out his beak for a smooch. And I am always willing to reciprocate, for my little goofball is simply irresistible.