Archive for September, 2010

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.

QuikPost: office visitor

September 30th, 2010

It’s Thursday night, around 6:30 and I am sitting at my desk trying to get stuff done.  I hear some quiet rustling outside my office and assume it is the cleaning crew trying to be quiet. I was wrong.  Out of the corner of my eye, something dark is moving across the floor.  It’s Zoe!

Zoe is a large water turtle, of mixed lineage. (The floor tiles are 12 inches square). He is being treated for some shell issues and was drying in the exam room. His medicine needs to dry on him and I told the Keepers I would put him away this evening.  The Exam Room is about 30  feet from my office! I left Kristen a message at home to see where she had left him.

He took a long hard look at the volunteer time sheets- I wonder if he has different ideas about how he can spend his time at the Museum!

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by , Keeper
I have been working at the museum since 2003, and I feel fortunate to have a job where I can start my day with amazing animals surrounding me. I enjoy camping, hiking and rock climbing in my spare time when the weather is nice.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and spend a lot of time behind the scenes, but you might find me at a public program or feeding the farmyard animals in the afternoon.

“How interesting!”…

September 28th, 2010

… as Kristen would say. That was the phrase she used when she found out a little tidbit about our newest animal arrival this past Friday.  Apparently our new ferret was previously named Tinkerbell, but we had to change her name to LadyBelle because we already had a Tinkerbell ferret here before!

Now, we seem to just have an unsaid rule that you can’t give another animal a previous animal’s name…. at least not if the animal is the same species as the previous name holder. For instance, we once had a goat named Henry so we will not give that name to another goat. However, our new woodchuck is named Henry and that is perfectly okay!

I don’t have a picture yet of LadyBelle, but we should have one soon. And if you know anything about ferrets, the picture will be overflowing with cuteness, so check in later!

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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.

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  1. Hi Sherry,
    Happy to see Yona is doing well. I would love to travel down with the new wolf from RWPZoo. Best to Misha!
    LP

    Posted by Lauren
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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.

Yona’s surgery- it’s over and she is back

September 23rd, 2010

Yona has now been back at the Museum for about 1.5 days now and is recovering from her surgery to remove a bone fragment in her elbow.  Read an article and see better pictures than below by the News & Observer- the photos are way better than mine (see the photo gallery for all the pictures).

A few photos I took are below, as well as a couple of Yona back at the Museum. We’ll keep you posted as to when she will go back on exhibit to be with the rest of the bears.

It was dark when Kent, Katy and I went to crate Yona. You can't see, but Kent is on the right and Katy is on the left.

Yona on the surgery Table

Yona's leg was completely shaved

There’s probably about another month of really good hair growth left before winter sets in. It will be interesting to see how quickly her hair grows in!

the bone fragment had to be removed in pieces- it was too big to come out whole.

Yona has no issues crushing her tub

She is not very hesitant to use that arm!

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  1. Keeper Comment :

    Cute pictures, Sherry! She is quite adorable, even in her stubborn “I don’t wanna take my pill!” kind of way. Watching her roll around playing with toys, and splashing around in her water tub during her recovery has been amusing!

    Posted by Marilyn Johnson

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by , Keeper
I graduated from NCSU(go pack) and have worked in the animal department for about 8 years. Some of my favorites include ferrets and birds. I am also known for my weird obsession with Boba Fett.
I work Tuesday-Saturday in either the Farmyard or inside the main building behind the scenes.

QuikPost:Mikey is worm free!

September 21st, 2010

The other day Mikey,our new animal keeper, was giving a de-worming treatment to one of our wolves. In order for the wolf to ingest the medicine we have to inject it into a thawed rat. Apparently, Mikey did not inject it properly because he wound up wearing most of it.

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  1. You can only be worm free if the de-wormer gets in your mouth, a lesson I have learned from de-worming horses. Keep your mouth shut and all should be fine—LOL

    Posted by Mike Fink

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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.

Red Wolf update- 1227 is feisty and strong

September 18th, 2010

I emailed my friend and Red Wolf Contact at the NC  Zoo to see how female red wolf 1227 was doing.  I drove her there on September 8th. (I was kept company on my drive by Volunteer Annie). Below is the email I received from Chris yesterday:

She sure is feisty.  She went about 48 hours without eating but now she is eating well and appears to be gaining weight.  We did a quarantine exam on her and she was the same weight as what was written in her record but that was over a week ago now.  We where able to do an ultrasound of her repo track during her exam and everything appears good and healthy with the limited amount we can see with ultrasound.  Her blood work all came back WNL.

Did I mention that she is feisty?  She fought me the entire time I was restraining her for the exam.  We had to anesthetize her to complete the exam.  I kept trying to tell her that she is only 40 pounds and I am 230 pounds and she could not win but for some reason that logic did not work on her.

Overall she is doing great and we can’t wait to get her out of that room and into her new off exhibit pen with the 3 year old male.

So, all is well with 1227 and the bonus for me is knowing that Chris gets a little payback. About 10 years ago I picked up female red wolf 918 from the zoo. As soon as Chris locked the door on the crate he started to mischievously laugh. He then enlightened me to all the issues the wolf had at the zoo, laughed again, and said good luck.  Female 918 never gave us any trouble, and even had pups here with male 953. I hope Chris has the same good fortune with 1227!

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by , Keeper
I have been working at the museum since 2003, and I feel fortunate to have a job where I can start my day with amazing animals surrounding me. I enjoy camping, hiking and rock climbing in my spare time when the weather is nice.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and spend a lot of time behind the scenes, but you might find me at a public program or feeding the farmyard animals in the afternoon.

The walls are going up!

September 15th, 2010

Well, they may not be walls, because I know nothing about construction. But something is going up!

Sherry recently did a post on the construction that is happening outside of our department support hall as we are extending the building. Well, yesterday they started to put up some of the bricks to the new addition, which is kind of cool because it starts to paint a picture of what this new part of the building might look like. As you can tell, the construction zone is a virtual maze of hazards and holes, so the area has been cordoned off for our safety. We will keep you posted on more developments!

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  1. Director Comment :

    The steel for the walls is being delivered in the next two weeks (possibly on Monday!)

    Posted by Sherry Samuels

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by , Keeper
I have been working at the museum since 2003, and I feel fortunate to have a job where I can start my day with amazing animals surrounding me. I enjoy camping, hiking and rock climbing in my spare time when the weather is nice.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and spend a lot of time behind the scenes, but you might find me at a public program or feeding the farmyard animals in the afternoon.

Success is a beautiful thing…

September 13th, 2010

Chummix in his stall after being given the "go home" command.

Three very good days of training!

9/1/10   Training session rating (on scale of 1-5)= 5

Today was the first day I have trained Chummix in about 2 weeks, other than Julie being here last week.  He was very eager to train.  I worked on differentiating between target and station. He did much better with this today than in past days!  Still a couple of times he went to the wrong place, but overall much better! Also worked on go home, and then when he gets in the stall having him stay.  Eventually I want to be able to have him stay while I shut and lock his stall door. Also worked a little with desens with touching different spots on his body. He is doing better with stay, and will stand still longer than he used to. Overall,  he did very well today and was noticeably eager to get treats.

9/6/10 Training session rating= 5

Still working a lot with him on deciphering between target and station. He is trying very hard, but still doesn’t quite get it. However, he is noticeably getting better. Today I worked on getting him in his stall, and then shutting the door. He did well with it. The first time I tried to shut the door, he head butted it. But the second time he let me shut it all the way. I can tell a great change in Chummix’s overall behavior. He seems to be much calmer than he used to be. He also seems  to enjoy being petted more now, as well.

9/8/10 Training session rating= 5

Sarah worked with him a little on the outside of the yard today. But he gets a little  confused when both of us are giving him commands. Sarah still can’t work with him on the inside while I’m there because Chummix is not comfortable with 2 people being in the yard with him yet. So she stays on the outside and gives him simple commands from there. But a lot of the behaviors I still give the commands myself, and then click/ treat him from the inside (especially when working on target and station, or with desens, stay, and working with his halter). He is responding to Sarah well, though. Again, worked more on target and station. He was better about desens today on his body. I worked more extensively with him on the down command and then “stay” afterward. He picked it up quickly! I’m interested to see if he was staying on purpose, so the next time I train I will try again.

Thanks to my photographer friend, Ronelle Rode, for taking these great pictures! She has more pictures of our museum animals on her photography website.

Chummix getting a treat after stationing. The green and blue object hanging from the fence is the station. A successful "station" behavior means he has to touch his nose to the blue part.

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by , Keeper
I am most famous here in the animal department for "expanding" the barred owl exhibit, clogging the wolf pool, and splitting my pants. My other less notorious work, since 2003, includes keeping, purchasing our animal supplies, coordinating our volunteers, and managing our animal enrichment program.
Find me training the lemurs or in other various animal enclosures Monday through Friday, or at the grocery store on Wednesdays, when I shop for produce!

Keepers doing science

September 12th, 2010

I walk into the vet room and find 6 keepers in the dark all staring at a blue bottle with the fluorescent light from our tortoise’s tank.

Whipping out my camera to catch the action before I even know what’s going on, I realize that they are all attempting to determine whether the water sample before them is reading positive or negative.

Every month we do water testing, and our wolf pool gets tested for e. coli.  The test is definitely hard to read (you are supposed to shine a fluorescent light from the bottom of the sample and no fluorescence= negative, while blue fluorescence= positive). Keep in mind this is already a chemically enhanced water sample of bright blue liquid.

Enjoy the below video, where we decide to compare the blue fluorescence to Marilyn’s newly blue striped head …


…to determine the results. Ok, scientists we are not.

Don’t miss Kent’s voice at the very end, it’s hilarious!

YouTube Preview Image

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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.

QuikPost: Yona video

September 10th, 2010

Cassidy shared with me this video of Yona (and then Yona and Gus). It’s less than 1 minute so click on the link below.

Yona and Gus

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  1. Great video! Yona seems completely unintimidated by Gus’ size!

    Posted by Debbie

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