Archive for March, 2012

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.

Meet Galileo Opossum

March 30th, 2012

Here is a picture of  Galileo opossum. You can see he has a keen eye for design by picking out paint swatches when he visited some museum employees.

He arrived with his brother, Einstein in September of 2011. He and his brother came to us from a rehabber that found them after their mother was killed by a car. They were too used to people and too young to be released. The two later were put into Sonny’s old exhibit in Carolina Wildlife. Sonny was then moved into our EHR and lives in a big playpen. In the beginning the brothers did well living together, but later had to be separated and one moved into the EHR because they started to quarrel too much.  Now Einstein and Galileo switch places when the exhibit is super cleaned so you never know who you may see in the exhibit.

Here we are letting Galileo investigate the 3rd floor where we have offices. He was able to get a change of pace and visit people to get used to them because he is used as a program animal.

Thus far, we are able to find out that Galileo loves to walk around the halls like our old opossum Beaker used to. He also loves to do a clicking noise and is more concerned with scenting and sliming things then he is with trying to find things to eat.

Join the conversation:

  1. How did I miss this visit? I could have given him an almond.

    Posted by leslie
  2. Im sure you were busy having a baby or something.

    Posted by Jill
  3. :-)

    Posted by leslie

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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.

Teeth Brushing

March 28th, 2012
YouTube Preview Image

Mason and Dixie are 2 of our ferrets that live at our museum. Ferrets are one of my favorite animals because their personality is like a dog AND a cat in my experience. I have owned ferrets in the past and I am glad we have some at the museum that I can see all the time.

In this clip you will see the duo getting their teeth brushed. We use pet toothpaste that comes in scrumptious flavors like poultry, beef, malt and seafood! The brush is smaller so it can fit in their small mouths. The ferrets don’t really seem to  mind getting this done because they  like the eat the toothpaste.

Here the ferrets are scruffed which means we hold them by the loose skin of their necks. This does not hurt them and it is the way a lot of animals carry their offspring around. It allows us to get a better hold of them and able to really get a close look at their teeth, clean their ears or cut their nails.

Photo

Join the conversation:

  1. That is TOO CUTE! Now I’ll have to go home and brush my dogs’ teeth!

    Posted by Wendy

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by , Keeper
I'm extremely excited to be working at the Museum since October 2010. My favorite part of this job- besides working with the animals- is listening to all of the Keeper stories, I hear a new one each day. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, belly dancing, and vegan cooking.
I work Sunday through Thursday. I can be found mostly behind the scenes or training the Ring Tail Lemurs.

Thanks to all of our readers

March 25th, 2012

Especially this dedicated reader who sent in a picture

 

Rommy the cat reading a blog post

 

Join the conversation:

  1. That is such a gorgeous cat! And soo smart!

    Posted by Denise

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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.

Bear weights…

March 23rd, 2012

Tell me what you notice when looking at the weight charts of our bears. (I find the graphs fascinating!)

 

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Very cool!

    Posted by Ashlyn
  2. Mimi and Virginia have a pattern that’s pretty stable but the youngsters are growing consistently. I’m not expert but I’d say that seems pretty healthy.

    Posted by leslie
  3. Director Comment :

    well done Leslie!

    Posted by Sherry Samuels

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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: bear station quiz

March 21st, 2012

Katy was training the bears last week and got them all to their station. YAY KATY for having your camera to document the feat. Each bear has a specific station (stump) that they are supposed to go to. Katy’s been working hard to get the bears to their specific station, and to have all four bears at their specific station at the same time is awesome!

all four bears at their station at the same time!

Can you name the bears, from left to right? (Sorry Katy, you know the answers so let others chime in first).

 

Join the conversation:

  1. That’s a hard one. You’re asking us to ID them by their rumps. I’m going to say Mimi, Virginia, Gus and Yona.

    Well done Katy!

    Posted by leslie
  2. Great Job Katy!! Awesome picture as well. I know Virginia’s stump so I won’t guess yet.

    Posted by Kimberly
  3. I think I’m going with Ginny, Mimi, Gus, and Yona.

    Posted by Sarah
  4. Virginia, Mimi, Gus and Yona?
    And that really is awesome, Katy! Its great that you managed to get the picture, but its also funny how it really is either a butt or side shot for everyone.

    Posted by Colet
  5. Nicely done, Katy! :)

    Posted by Julie
  6. Thank you everyone. I’m so proud of the bears! Especially Gus!!! This behavior has been confusing for him.

    Posted by Katy
  7. This is a great picture!! Wonderfully took!! I like it!

    Posted by Gabriella
  8. Wow good job!

    Posted by Larry

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by , Keeper
I'm extremely excited to be working at the Museum since October 2010. My favorite part of this job- besides working with the animals- is listening to all of the Keeper stories, I hear a new one each day. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, belly dancing, and vegan cooking.
I work Sunday through Thursday. I can be found mostly behind the scenes or training the Ring Tail Lemurs.

A work in progress

March 18th, 2012

If you have read any of my posts before- you know that I am a huge fan of lemurs. One of the biggest reason I have an animal crush on lemurs is because I train our Ring Tailed Lemurs here at the Museum.

"left hand" behavior

I’ve posted about training before, check it out here, but this time I want to talk about my progress. The most important behavior I am working on with the ring tails right now is ‘crate’. By crate I mean that they go into the crate- don’t come bouncing out and allow me to close the door- while remaining calm. The end goal will be to crate them for vet procedures, using one or two treats only, and move them- in the crate all the way to the main building, which of course requires a ride in one of our vehicles. This trained behavior will alleviate several unpleasant aspects of catching lemurs. First the stress on the lemurs themselves will be minimal. Once they are comfortable with me shutting the crate door and picking them up, the rest is quite easy. When our ring tails get stressed they poo and it’s not pleasant. Typically it involves poor Sherry getting a bit covered in yucky lemur stress poo thus having to change her clothes several times in one day. So… less stress for lemurs, less poo for Sherry, and a great sense of accomplishment for me.

"crate" behavior

We’re not quite there yet, but today all 3 ring tails went into their crates, I shut the doors without issues. They stayed in for 1 minute- no issues, I picked up their crates and moved them a bit, then they sat for an additional minute- no issues. When the 2 minutes were up, I opened the door and then lemurs walked- not ran- out to claim their big reward!!! and I had a huge smile on my face! I have been this successful before but then they had some regression on the behavior, so it’s taken some time for them to get comfortable again. I’m happy to have great progress once again.

"here" behavior

Join the conversation:

  1. Today all 3 Ring Tails went into their crates for 4 mins each. After 1 min- I picked up the crate and moved them to the other side of the stall. Click- Treats! After 2 mins- I picked up the crate and moved them out of the stall into the keeper space. Click-Treats! After 3 mins- I picked up the crate and moved them back to their original spot. Click-Treats! After 4 mins- I opened the door and they got a big reward! Great day!

    Posted by Kimberly
  2. That’s awesome! Good job to all four of you!

    Posted by Kristen
  3. That’s super exciting! Good for you!

    Posted by sarah
  4. Thanks Guys!

    Posted by Kimberly

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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: Song of the South – Restoring and Protecting America’s “Other Wolf”

March 16th, 2012

 If you’re a wolf lover, or interested in reading up on red wolves, take a look at an article published last fall.

 Song of the South – Restoring and Protecting America’s “Other Wolf”

 

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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.

Farmyard time

March 14th, 2012

You may have read my other post about Sonny the opossum who got to spend some time outside. Recently, we have been able to provide other opportunities for animals to go out and get some fresh air and sunshine.

When out duck goes out to his exhibit for the day time he frees up a little area in the Farmyard. We have been able to give Little Chicken, Bugsy Rabbit and Franklin Tortoise some outside time.

Below are some photos of Franklin

Join the conversation:

  1. Hey Jill, How is lightning doing? I heard that his knee was giving him problems. How long until Sonny goes out again?

    Posted by Gabriella
  2. Hey
    Lightning is doing super well.We gave him a new kind of enrichment yesterday which was a sweet potato/carrot and pear blend that was frozen in a ring of ice. Needless to say he and the goats enjoyed it and we now have a new form of enrichment when it gets really hot.
    Sonny went out again last week. This usually happens first thing in the morning when there are no visitors. Not sure when the next time will be though.

    Posted by Jill

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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: quiz and so much more.

March 12th, 2012

At the end of the day on Thursday I was discussing a leaking pipe with some keepers and drawing on the board to try to get a visual. Let’s just say my drawing skills are poor-at-best. One of the keepers then says to me can you draw us walking out the door and going home.

Below is my drawing of the three keepers heading home. Do you want to guess which three they are (in order, left to right?)  (this drawing is not edited nor touched up, as tempting as it was to re-draw or make changes, no such actions occurred).

 

Join the conversation:

  1. I’m guessing Kent, Kimberly and Aaron but I didn’t think they all lived together and I’m pretty sure none of them live in a cardboard box.

    Posted by leslie
  2. I’m going with Kent, Kimberly, and Marilyn.

    Posted by sarah
  3. I’m guessing Kent (hat), Kimberly (shortest of the three, with long flowing hair), and Marilyn (tall with a little bit of hair). Not sure if those circles around the eyes are glasses, but that qualifies them too, if those circles are indeed glasses.

    Posted by Ranger Greg
  4. I agree with Sarah and Ranger Greg

    Posted by Katy
  5. Well I know it’s not me or Jill, since we were closing that day and got to see the picture when we came back in from Explore the Wild! :)

    Posted by Mikey
  6. Director Comment :

    Yes Greg, those circles are glasses.
    Yes Leslie, the keepers live in cardboard boxes: Kent, Kimberly, and Marilyn share one!

    Posted by Sherry Samuels
  7. Why do they live in cardboard? I thought they all lived in houses!!:)

    Posted by Gabriella

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by , Keeper
Hiya! I'm Mikey. That's all you get. :)
I work Tuesday through Saturday and you can usually find me training the bears, mucking with the reptiles and saying bad words in Italian to the aquatic filter systems.

So, what’s wrong?

March 10th, 2012

Hi everybody!  Hope you guys are doing well, I am all kinds of fine and ducky, thanks for asking!  For this post, we’re going to have a bit of a game.  Now, I know you guys are all aware of my intellectual awesomeness, but now I’m going to give you a bit of a test.  Ever play those “What doesn’t belong” games when you were a kid?  Well here it is in blog form!  I’m going to write a fun little blog post.  And there will be an undetermined number of mistakes in it.  your job is to go ahead and find them!

Opossum and young

 

For instance, I may be talking about opossums.  And I say “Opossums are wonderful arboreal mammals.  They have a prehensile tail, a great sense of smell and are one of only two marsupials that live in North America naturally.”  What about that statement is wrong?  Their tail IS prehensile, they DO have a great sense of smell and they ARE arboreal.  The wrong fact is where I said they are ONE OF TWO marsupials in North America.  Actually, they are the only species of naturally occurring marsupial on this continent.  You guys got it?  Find my mistakes and catch my errors – enjoy my friends!  :)

 

 

 

 

So it’s almost spring time (sorta).  Some days it’s freezing and rainy, others it’s almost 80 degrees and sunny.  But even if the weather can’t seem to make up it’s mind, the animals already have.  Anyone who was getting a little lazy with the coming of the colder weather is definitely starting to bounce back.  Henry our Woodchuck has been eating more of his daily diet, plus is much more active.  All four of our bears are out and moving for more time during the day instead of sleeping in the cave or on the cliff and only rousing themselves at meals or training times.  Of course none of our reptiles were affected too much by the winter season.  They all live inside in a climate controlled room.  So both the native and the exotic species fared wonderfully.  From the Banded Water Snake to the Asian Bearded Dragons, our cold blooded friends didn’t miss a beat.  And everyone in our Farmyard is also doing just great.  Time for some of them to shed though!

 

 

March is also a fun Month of novelty days.  And not just for animal stuff.  Just to name a few, March 3 is “If Pets had Thumbs Day”, March 9 is “Panic Day” -All I can say is “Danger! Danger Will Robinson!”, March 12 is “Plant a Flower Day”, March 14 is “Learn about Butterflies Day”, March 19 is “Poultry Day”, March 22 is “Give a Calzone to a Zookeeper Day”, & March 28th is Something on a Stick Day (I recommend some kind of meat, preferably wrapped in bacon.  Like a corndog, but better!)

 

 

 

 

Also, with the coming of spring many of our outdoor species are beginning to pop up again.  Ranger Greg has been sighting more and more species in the wetlands and around the rest of the park.  The past few days of warm weather have started many aquatic turtles sunning on the rocks, a number of waterfowl are enjoying the Explore the Wild area, and I have been finding Bullfrogs in the bear filter baskets again each morning.  I know this is just the beginning.  Soon we’ll have all the bugs out (oh, and Aaron found the first ticks of the season in the Wolf yard the other day!  Marilyn is so thrilled!), the trees will be blooming and the we’ll be getting calls to go out and move snakes from the paths.  If they’re the usual rat snakes we usually just let them go on their way, but sometimes we have to move the poisonous copperheads to a different location so they’re out of visitor range.  You’re all welcome!  :)

Turtles do love soaking up some UV rays!

 

By the way… if you keep up with my earlier posts, it seems Katy has struck again!  Definitive proof that she is too environmentally minded and attempting to recycle our animals!

The Woodchuck got chucked!

 

A very large sewer rat has somehow gotten into our department... I feel like I'm back in the Bronx...

And while the above picture may look like Galileo is getting into the trash himself, don’t be fooled!  He’s being coerced from off camera!  His breakfast is being held hostage!  :)

Okay Guys and Dolls, it’s time for me to pack this one in.  I’m going to go and close up, tuck the animals in for the night and make sure all is right with things.  Plus, I have to feed the alligators before we start.  They’re growing well, just about up to eating whole capybaras now  :)  See how many mistakes you can find and I’ll put up the answers soon.  Until next time!

 

P.S.- The Loch Ness Monster exists! 

 

 

 

 

 

Join the conversation:

  1. This is a really cute pic!! Where did you find it?

    Posted by Gabriella
  2. Hey Gabriella,

    Depends on which picture you’re talking about- some came from us taking them at the mueum and some came from Google :)

    Posted by Mikey
  3. I love the pic when the woodchuck got chucked!! That one is funny! Any more animals in the trash yet?;)

    Posted by Gabriella

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