Elaina, one of our newest keepers, has been learning the daily routine of Explore the Wild. The daily routine is summed up as checking on animals, feeding, cleaning and enriching. At the end of the day, we have stuff that needs to get put away such as the bowls for lemurs. Elaina decided that she would carry everything that we needed put away at the same time to save time.
Enthusiasm is a great trait to have as a keeper and this picture displays this well. But, if you are not careful you may get too much to carry and results may vary…
The small container, with the light blue lid, is dangerously teetering off the edge of our recycle container. This small container is filled with wolf food. Elaina tried to get everything put away at once and ALMOST dropped the wolf food. Luck was on her side. I think even she thought it was going to fall.
All of the keepers have had their share of items that we have accidentally dropped but I don’t think any of us have been this lucky.
Last month, a 2-year-old Museum member who is a huge fan of Max donated some items and money to take care of our big bovine. She and her family thought it would be great to celebrate her birthday by spreading some love to Max. A big thanks from the animal department for the recent donations. A couple of cute Max photos to share with you all below.
Max used to be little
But not anymore
Christopher, our barred owl that resides on the Farmyard, was euthanized on Monday. Keepers found him about one month ago not eating and on the ground several days in a row. We brought him inside, checked him out and then sent him to the NCSU vet school. To be honest, I assumed he would not improve, but after multiple tests, treatments, and supportive care, he took a turn for the better and starting eating and perching. Unfortunately, that turn for the better didn’t last. Sadly, the difficult decision was made this past Monday. He will be missed by so many people!
My favorite blog post about him was talking about when I took him to a classroom. There is a great drawing of him (and me, looking skinny, with my hair down, tongue out, and purple Museum dress).
Since Keeper Jessi and I work the same schedule it means that someone has to cover ETW when we are on our weekend. Most recently, this person is Keeper Kent. In the bear house, we have large troughs which hold the bear’s water. You can only fill these troughs up so high or else they will be WAY to heavy to empty. On several occasions, Kent has filled these troughs up to the very top. So I have to assume that he thinks Jessi and I have become lady hulks.
I had to bail the water out as if I were on a sinking ship. You never know what you are going to find when someone else is covering your area!
Let’s take a look back at some of the goings on in the Animal Department. Some of these critters have moved on to further their careers and education, some of them have retired, some of them have passed away and some of them are still with us in the Animal Department, just older and wiser now! I have 10 years worth of memories and pictures of all the happenings in the Department… here are a few of my favorites! Keep your eyes peeled for many more to come!!!
In the Animal Department most of the keepers share an office. It is crazy to think, but we cram 6 keepers into 1 office! Sherry has her own office, but she has a window and her office opens into the Keeper office so she is always around much activity. Aaron has his own office, but it also has a window. For me I get to spend my time in the lonely Vet room without a window and without companionship so whenever an animal is ill and has to spend time in the Vet room I get a little too excited to have the company. Usually when an animal has to spend time in the Vet room it is for a very long period of time. We had a chicken (PPAL or Princess Poops A Lot) who spent over a year in the Vet room and there was Nimbus Rabbit who spent many months in the Vet room and now it is Zoe Turtle’s turn to hang out in the Vet room and I couldn’t be happier! I never in my life thought I would get so excited to have the companionship of a turtle but the days that Zoe gets to hang out with me are the best days of the week! I know he gets bored, but I enjoy his company greatly! Zoe is a water turtle and is recovering from a shell wound so he must be out of the water for a certain period of time to give the medication time to work. I’ve been trying to give him stuff to do while he “dry docks” (stays out of the water) but my ideas don’t seem to impress him, but today I put out a hide log and this is what he did with it!
On Friday May 23, 2014 I had a very special visitor to the Vet room and I was super excited! Many people don’t know but we have a Red-tailed Hawk who lives off exhibit behind-the-scenes and on Friday we had some electrician’s working in Misha’s area so Misha got to come hang out with me in the Vet room! It was the best day, I had Zoe and Misha to keep me company!
The alpacas found themselves with quite a number of visitors in their yard one evening last week. I was in the farmyard with Jill and Kent when they called over to me to come see the frog eggs in the alpaca pool.
I rescued as many eggs as I could and moved them to a 5 gallon bucket. I say rescued only because we drain and scrub the pool daily and these eggs were soon to be “thrown out with the bathwater.” Generally, wild animals are very rarely in any need of actual rescuing and human intervention often causes more problems for the animals than it remedies.
After our newly laid egg masses were removed from the pool and settled into their new home, Jill called Ranger Greg to help us answer my “what now?” question. He assured us that there’s nothing more we can do for the eggs but wait and once they hatch, they should be just fine eating the algae in the water for at least a little while. One source I looked at said the eggs will hatch into teeny, tiny tadpoles in anywhere from 4 to 14 days.
So now we wait. I am terrible at waiting -really, I’ve checked on the bucket at least a dozen times today, just to make sure they’re okay-.
In the meantime, do you have any ideas as to what kind of frogs these will grow up to be?
In the time it took to write the first blog post, our little eggs have hatched! In 3 days, many of the eggs became tiny tadpoles, each a maximum of 1/4 inch long.
Autumn’s post about the bears and watermelon reminded me that watermelon season is upon us. (And by the way, welcome Autumn to joining our blog writing team!). We have so much fun with watermelons that we have a whole day at the Museum dedicated to celebrating watermelons- Watermelon Day 2014. Last year we had a great time and got about 40 watermelons donated on Watermelon Day. We take watermelon donations all summer- drop them off at the Admission Desk or at Gate # 1. 2011 was our best year yet as almost 200 watermelons were donated.
Of the over 1,100 posts we’ve published, some of my favorites have to do with watermelons:
and of course, Watermelon poop (take a look, it’s kind of cool… and not so gross)