Archive for November, 2009

by , Keeper
Although a native tarheel, I came to the museum from Texas, where I taught Biology courses at a small college. In graduate school I studied the behavior and ecology of marine organisms (mostly crabs, lobsters and sea turtles).
You can find me in the Animal Department Monday-Thursday. Fridays I work for the Department of Innovation and Learning all day.

QuikPost: Stormy weather

November 12th, 2009

I came in from the wet, cold weather to find that Mudsy was having a tropical day in his exhibit. He is basking under the heat/UV lamp at a balmy 85 degrees. I’m a little jealous.

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  1. I love your website. So does Henry Michel ! :)

    Posted by gmaxlife

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by , Keeper
I started volunteering at the museum when I was 13 (I'm 22, and they pay me now, which is nice). Favorite work activities include, but are not limited to: bathing our steer, talking about bears, playing guitar (sometimes for the animals) and riding my bike around grounds. And blogging, of course.
I work Tues-Sat and can be tweeched @ernbrn.

From the Wet Pocket of the Keeper

November 11th, 2009
Or: Rain

Or: It’s still raining

Or: It’s STILL RAINING!

Have you been outside today?!? Don’t go if you haven’t. Seriously, stay inside with some pie and coffee. You can trust me because I’ve pretty much spent the whole day in the great outdoors and the slosh of my shoe speaks for itself. I’m not completely complaining: it could be colder. And there’s something melancholy about a day like today that I kind of like. I’m also not complaining because misery loves company, and today I just have to say something about my miserable company! Wait, I said that wrong…

Sherry has talked about Donald before, and today I want to second everything she said in that post. He was the guy braving the relentless rain with me today in the farmyard, with wet shoes, a failing poncho, and a cheery outlook. It was much appreciated, and I made him take a few extra seconds in the rain to take a picture with me with my waterproof camera! Thanks Donald!

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  1. Erin also has a right to complain a little because she actually did ME a favor by going outside today!! Yep, she was scheduled to be in the dry building all day while I was supposed to be in the farmyard. However, I've been trying to fight off sickness this week (possibly what Sherry has), so Erin was nice enough to go outside for me while I got the plessure of staying high and dry. You're the best Erin!

    Posted by Marilyn
  2. Oops, I meant "pleasure". I wish I could just correct the spelling, but I would have to trash the whole comment and re-type it. This works just as well.

    Posted by Marilyn
  3. I kind of like that you said plessure. I think it was a Freudian slip because Wednesdays in the building are pretty stressful, so you were really thinking: "I had the pressure of staying in the building" so therefore you combined "pleasure" and "pressure" subconsciously to create "plessure". I'm glad you didn't delete it. I think we've all gained something.

    Posted by Erin Brown

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

I’m home sick

November 11th, 2009

I know you don’t really care that I am home sick, but I am lying in bed and I found it amusing that I am coughing up stuff you don’t want to know about, my daughter is lying next to me doing the same, and one of my cats is busy gagging from hairballs.
I have to go clean it up now.

I’m back: On the list today, once I can stand:

  • call the electrician for some work at the bear house
  • call the contractor(s) to get bids on building the new owl cage
  • flesh out the details on the alligator transfers (and tell you about it)
  • clean up whatever other hairballs my cat needs to get rid of
  • sleep

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Rough week…it’s been busy

November 10th, 2009

It’s been busy in the animal department. Keepers have been out and extra “animal things” have been popping up. As you know, good things don’t often pop up. Here’s a quick review for you:

Larry posted about euthanasia recently so death is in the air. One of our corn snakes had a tumor- it was growing so quickly you could see it change daily. Surgery was attempted to remove it, but the tumor had already spread to several organs and the snake had to be euthanized last Thursday. Then, Sunday, our milk snake (named “2%”) who had been battling illness was found dead.

Katy took our red tail hawk, Misha, in for x-rays yesterday, along with the spotted salamander. The salamander has a broken leg, and it seems like Misha is just old and arthritic (we’ll start him on some meds).

I’ve been working on our alligator transfers (I’ll write about this later), updating lots of permits, and contacting contractors for a variety of projects and repair work that needs to happen.

Things should settle down and you’ll hear again from the Keepers soon. Thanks for being patient with our lack of posting during this busy time.

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  1. Keep up the good work! We appreciate all you do for the animals (and us!)I noticed the new "green things" in the lemurs outdoor exhibit. Fun!!Karyn

    Posted by ktraphagen

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by , Keeper
Although a native tarheel, I came to the museum from Texas, where I taught Biology courses at a small college. In graduate school I studied the behavior and ecology of marine organisms (mostly crabs, lobsters and sea turtles).
You can find me in the Animal Department Monday-Thursday. Fridays I work for the Department of Innovation and Learning all day.

Big Word of the Month: Euthanasia

November 2nd, 2009

The big word of the month is a hard one to talk about. Euthanasia comes from Greek and means “good death”. I doubt any two people can agree on what exactly a good death is, yet it is a discussion we have to have in the Animal Department from time to time. When an animal is ill and our veterinarians have run out of treatment strategies we have to consider quality of life issues. Deciding when an animal is suffering too much is not a precise, scientific process. Ultimately, we all have to rely on our experiences and feelings.

One of the earliest posts we made on this blog was about our beloved steer Moo. At the time we discussed how to deal with difficult issues on the blog and whether it might be better to not include them. We all agreed that if we were to give our readers an accurate picture of our department we needed to not gloss over the hard things. Most recently, we lost our grumpy friend Squealer (we all called him “Pig”) and once again had to report some bad news.

When we shared our difficult decision to euthanize a red wolf people asked about how they could best memorialize him. Sherry wrote a followup post with some ideas. The only thing I would add to her post is that we animal keepers would be happy to hear from you in person. You can say hello if you see us working or ask at the front desk for a member of the animal department.

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