1. What materials are used?
Almost all of our products are food-grade Polyethylene. However, there are minor exceptions. The Mirrors are PETG and their covers are Polycarbonate. Some items have hardware of Stainless Steel or Zinc-plated Steel. We have also recently introduced a flexible Ball made from an EVA resin that is not food-grade.
2. What are the differences in all of these materials?
Polyethylene resin is commercially available in a very wide range of specifications. Our “house” Polyethylene resins are a medium density and a high-density.
Medium Density items are slightly softer. They are easier to penetrate but will be more flexible in colder conditions.
High Density resins are more brittle. They are harder to penetrate and are easier to crack in very cold conditions.
The PETG Mirrored material is a wonderful balance between the hardness of Acrylic and the strength of Polycarbonate.
As to the EVA resin, it provides a fairly flexible wall when our customers require it. It is not Food-grade so care must be exercised with “chewers”.
3. Can I request a certain material be used?
4. Can I request customization?
Yes! While it is very project specific, we will do whatever we can to create that special item for you.
5. Are custom colors available?
You bet! We currently have (33) in-house colors including the very popular Sandstone. We also have menus on many other colors that we have played with and can replicate. If none of these will work, we can order colorant for virtually any color.
6. Why doesn’t your web site recommend specific products for specific animals?
This is highly animal dependent, even among members of the same species. Only people in close contact with an animal would have enough information to make recommendations. What our website is trying to provide in our “Shop by Species” area is a product list of what other professional facilities have used for a particular species.
7. (In reference to the larger, more aggressive animals such as Big Cats, Polar Bears, Hippos, and Rhinos) Why does one product seem to have a reasonable life expectancy while a seemingly identical one doesn’t?
As you can guess, there are many reasons; some we have control over and some we do not.
Of the ones we control, resin density, physical size, and wall thickness are the major factors. Resin densities are discussed it Section #2 (above).
Physical size is usually obvious. If you have an aggressive chewer, get the largest item necessary so they cannot get a good grip on it. With Elephants who constantly break things, we have a class-leading 48” Ball in (4) wall thicknesses up to ¾” thick (we can mold even thicker if necessary!).
The realities of managing a professional animal facility can sometimes come into play also. Things get moved around. Something bought for a docile, older big cat (say a Heavy Duty 36” Ball in Medium Density resin) might last many months but, if moved to an average Polar Bear, might only last days (probably should have been an Extra Heavy Duty 48” Ball in High Density resin).
8. You have many different wall thicknesses. How do I know which one is best?
Budgets certainly come into play here but there are some general guidelines.
For the average very large animal, get the largest physical size and the thickest wall possible. This assumes you want them to play with it but not carry it around. If you do want them to carry it, back down on the size but stay with the Extra Heavy Duty wall in High Density.
For docile or less-aggressive animals, don’t forget that we have a lot of items with very thin walls (referred to as Light Duty). Even our gigantic 48” Ball is available in a thin wall.
9. Several of the products have a welded plastic fitting with a threaded metal plug. Depending on the animal, I might prefer another option. What can you offer?
First, you must know that the molding process demands at least (1) ½” diameter hole be included in every part to serve as a vent for air exchange.
To address this hole, you have (3) Options. All at no extra charge.
1. The welded-in plastic fitting with the removable hex-head zinc-plated steel plug is the most popular. This is the standard option in most of our products unless requested otherwise. It allows interior access to insert ballast, add scented material, compensate for pressure or barometric changes, or create your own feeder. These welded fittings are always in white, no matter the part color.
2. You can also have us permanently weld a flat round piece of plastic (called a “patch”) over the vent hole. These welded fittings are always in white, no matter the part color.
3. Do nothing and leave the hole open.
10. In a marine environment, mirrors don’t seem to last as long as the rest of the toy. Why?
Like their glass cousins, Plastic Mirrors are all made using the same process of depositing a thin layer of metalized material onto the back side. Unfortunately, the state-of-the-art in mirror manufacturing means that the bond between the two dissimilar materials is fairly weak. Weak enough, in fact, to allow water over time to seep in between them and destroy the bond.
Whether you intend to use your item in water of not, you will be glad to hear that all Wildlife Toy Box Mirrors are sealed to reduce this effect. We do this to extend a mirror’s useful life because some facilities wash their toys with a hose.
Until we can find a suitable sealant (that works on plastic) to completely eliminate this issue at an affordable price point, we recommend for marine applications that you avoid total permanent immersion to increase mirror life. An alternative would be to stock several replacement mirrors in plastic or to order our Stainless Steel versions.
11. Freight is always an issue. What can I do to reduce our freight costs?
While freight is always going to be a factor in any item’s total cost, there are some general guidelines to help minimize it.
The single most effective way to reduce freight per item is to order as many items as you can. The freight on (10) individual items all bought separately is much greater than if you bought them all at the same time and put them in one box.
Our website asks our visitors who are considering ordering many items to let us provide a custom freight quote. It is usually cheaper!
Also, any shipment that needs a lift tailgate on the delivery vehicle or is shipped to a residential address will incur added charges.
12. Cutting Boards?
Yes! We have provided Food-grade Polyethylene stock-shaped (Rectangular, Circular, and Oval) as well as custom-shaped ones for years to the general marketplace but we have never specifically listed them on our WTB Website until recently.
They are available in several wall thicknesses and colors. They are even available with or without Finger Holes or Liquid Channels. We can even engrave in them. How about a green Cutting Board that is engraved “Vegetables Only” or a red one that says “Red Meat Only” or a blue one that says “Fish Only”?
As you know, Cutting Boards are much easier on knives so they don’t have to be sharpened or replaced as often. They also provide a convenient, portable, and clean surface when you are away from the normal processing areas.
Finally, don’t forget that adding one onto your order can easily be slipped into the box and may very well not raise your freight cost!
13. Food Court Items are now available, correct?
Similar situation to the Cutting Boards. We have made all kinds of Information Displays, Product Displays, and things like Sneeze Guards for years but we just didn’t include them into our WTB website. We are specialists in Acrylic and Polycarbonate fabrication.
14. What else is new?
A lot! We now have Carabiners, Quick Links, Bungees, Cleats, Eyebolts, Ropes, Sanctuaries, Custom Animal Transport Containers, Information Displays, Dry Food Dispensers and much, much more! We’re getting them onto our website as fast as we can. If you don’t see something, CALL US!