Behind-the-Scenes Posts

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.

some PG uses for blow-up dolls

April 14th, 2014

erin and staceyYou know we do emergency drills so we are more prepared should something  happen at the Museum. I cannot really let a bear out, or throw a person into the bear pool, so I have props. Stuffed animal bears or lemurs, and even fake people, as seen on the right. If you want to read previous blog posts about our trainings click on any of the links below.

black bear escape

Leslie bear escape

lemur escape

person in distress

 

This “blow-up” guy getting a hug from Erin has a creepy reputation at the Museum. I used him most recently to play the part of a missing kid hiding in the woods somewhere. Staff had to find him and get him to his mom who was nervously awaiting his return.

So, I am watching TV last week and get super-excited! Look who I see in the background of the radio studio (TV Show “Monk”):

 

blow up man (2)

 

 

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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: Last name of animals?

April 8th, 2014

I recently refilled Lightning’s, our donkey’s,  prescription. I forgot the donkey had a last name!

What should the last name(s) of the Museum’s animals be?

Join the conversation:

  1. I think “Samuels” works, as you are the godmother of the Museum animals!

    Posted by Wendy
  2. I like “Samuels”. Another contender could be “Murray” for the street that the Museum is located on.

    Posted by Ranger Ro
  3. Of course, you could name by species (could be an assist to any new keeper unfamiliar with the animal names, if that is ever a challenge). Lightning Donkey, Henry Woodchuck, Gus Bear, etc.

    Posted by Wendy

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by , Keeper
I have been a keeper at the museum since May 2012, but I was an intern back in the spring of 2011. I am very passionate about animals and my favorites are native species with the exception of sloths. In my spare time, I am working on a Bachelor's degree with OSU online in environmental science. I have two dogs, a snake, and a cat.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and you will usually see me somewhere in Explore the Wild. I love giving keeper talks, so hope to see you at 2 pm for our meet the keeper programs in Explore the Wild.

Birthday Celebration

March 30th, 2014

Cynthia, who is our oldest Red Ruffed Lemur, turned 33 years old on March 30th.  This makes Cynthia the oldest Red Ruffed Lemur in the country.  33 years is old for any lemur considering the average lifespan in captivity is early twenties.  In the wild, lemurs tend to live longer to around mid-twenties.  Since lemurs are endemic to Madagascar, it can be difficult to replicate their dietary and habitat needs in a captive environment.  The keepers felt that 33 years of life for a lemur would be a great reason to celebrate.  On Thursday the 27th, we provided the Red Ruffed Lemurs with a variety of different enrichment items.  They received puzzle feeders, skewers, streamers, and colorful bags with dried fruit.  At the 2pm lemur program, guest sang “Happy Birthday” from Lemur viewing  and keepers talked about Cynthia as well as general information on lemurs.

If you were unable to make it to the Birthday celebration, here are some pictures of the big day….

Decorations in inside viewing at Lemurs.

Decorations in inside viewing which are the enrichment items for not just Cynthia but Jethys and Iris too.

Cynthia checking out what is in the colorful bag.

Cynthia checking out what is in the colorful bag.

 

Cynthia smelling the streamers.

Cynthia smelling the streamers.

 

Cynthia, Jethys and Iris all checking out the enrichment items.

Cynthia, Jethys and Iris all checking out the enrichment items.

 

 

Birthday Cakes

Birthday Cakes

 

Getting more enrichment items for the 2pm program.  This is fruit skewered on paper towel tubes.

Getting more enrichment items for the 2pm program. This is fruit skewered on paper towel tubes.

 

Autumn and I getting a larger paper towel tube ready with mango, kiwi and dried cherries.

Autumn and I getting a larger paper towel tube ready with mango, kiwi and dried cherries.

 

Cynthia going to a puzzle feeder that had a variety of fruit and veggies inside it.

Cynthia going to a puzzle feeder that had a variety of fruit and veggies inside it.

 

Jethys eating one of the birthday cakes.

Jethys eating one of the birthday cakes.

 

Cynthia and the skewered fruit paper towel tube.  Iris is looking in one of the puzzle feeders.

Cynthia and the skewered fruit paper towel tube. Iris is looking in one of the puzzle feeders.

 

The keepers and guest had a great time watching the Red Ruffed Lemurs explore and manipulate their enrichment items.  After it was all over, they all found their spots on the perching and rested.

Time to rest.

Time to rest.

 

 

 

 

 

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by , Keeper
I've been at the museum since 2010. I love to read and learn; it's rare that a day goes by at work when I'm not suppressing the urge to spew out something cool I just learned to my coworkers. In my spare time, I play the 'cello, snuggle my dog and reminisce about snowmen and Nor'easters.
I work Sunday through Thursday. You can find me raking the Farmyard in the morning or training the donkey and dwarf goats in the afternoon.

Early Morning Walk

March 27th, 2014

Lightning and I don’t always have enough time first thing in the morning to make the long walk out to Explore the Wild, but when we do, it’s always worth the trek.

Lightning and I walk on a service path behind the train tracks and meet the moss cattle and deer that inhabit the train pasture

Next, we walk down the paths in Explore the Wild and say, “Good Morning” to the wolves.

 

Then, we stop in at the Bear House and check on Jessi and Autumn…we might have stolen some of Jessi’s breakfast…

 

Lightning goes for a walk every day, as do most of our farmyard animals. Even the pigs and Max! So next time you’re here, if you come by the farmyard and don’t see your favorite furry (or feathered) critter it’s probably a good thing, they’re likely out enjoying the sunshine in the company of a keeper.

Join the conversation:

  1. Love it!

    Posted by Wendy
  2. This could be the start of a good children’s book–”A Donkey’s Day”…Lightning certainly gets into mischief (stealing radios, snitching food…)

    Posted by CVdB
  3. I had no idea the animals went for regular walks…thanks for sharing!

    Posted by Libby
  4. Keeper Comment :

    Absolutely, Libby!

    Walks are an important way for animals to get exercise, explore new places, sights and sounds, and to spend some time bonding with their keepers.

    Posted by Sarah Van de Berg

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by , Keeper
I have been a keeper at the museum since May 2012, but I was an intern back in the spring of 2011. I am very passionate about animals and my favorites are native species with the exception of sloths. In my spare time, I am working on a Bachelor's degree with OSU online in environmental science. I have two dogs, a snake, and a cat.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and you will usually see me somewhere in Explore the Wild. I love giving keeper talks, so hope to see you at 2 pm for our meet the keeper programs in Explore the Wild.

Upcoming Birthday Celebration!

March 23rd, 2014

Cynthia, our oldest Red Ruffed Lemur, will be turning 33 years old on March 30th.  On March 27th, the Explore the Wild team (Autumn and myself) will be providing Cynthia and the other Red Ruffed Lemurs with different types of enrichment and food items so that we can celebrate this milestone.  This will provide the Red Ruffed Lemurs with great opportunities to interact with different food items and enrichment plus give the keepers a chance to take a lot of pictures!  So, this will be very enriching to the keepers.

 

My next post will show what we did for Cynthia on her big day plus how she and the other Red Ruffed Lemurs interacted with all the items.

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Director Comment :

    We’ve already had a couple bags of fruit and other goodies dropped off. Thanks Neighbor:

    http://blogs.lifeandscience.org/keepers/2013/03/24/spotlight-my-anonymous-neighbor/

    Posted by Sherry Samuels
  2. Congratulations to Cynthia for being one of the oldest Red-ruffed lemurs in captivity in the world – You go girl!!! Get your party on!!!

    Posted by Katy
  3. Precisely what a beneficial post you will have. Thanks for this promote.Such a informative post you might have.

    Posted by Antonio Bigbee

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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.

What’s behind the closet door…

March 6th, 2014

We have a couple of closets in the animal department. One of them we refer to as our “cleaning closet” and this is where scrub brushes, mops, disinfectants, and the like are kept. The other one is called our “tool closet”.  This closet is in our office area and our work scheduling calendars are on the door. Inside, as I am sure you can imagine, we keep tools (and more: tape, extension cords, locks, tarps, bungees, cable ties… this list goes on and on).

Tool Closet

I walked into the office last week and found this. Katie is sitting in the closet eating her lunch. Evidently this is the best place to get WiFi reception!

Intern Katie in the closet eating lunch!

I have never before known someone who purchased and ate Uncrustables!

Katie’s lunch the second day I found her in the closet (along with ravioli)

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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.

Dream a little dream

February 28th, 2014

Have you ever wondered if animals dream?  There’s no doubt in my mind they do and a while ago MIT did research and found out that animals do indeed dream. Here is the article.

Often I wonder what our animals could be dreaming of. Below is a guess of mine:

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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.

Jackson Pollock

February 19th, 2014

*NOTE* This blog was scheduled for the 28th of January, but it kept getting moved!!! Pretend its January 28th.

What does this animal blog have to do with Jackson Pollock?  For starters, its his birthday today  and for those of you who have never heard of him, he is well known for “drip” style painting.

Photo

Personally, I am not much of a fan of abstract art. I tend to like the more traditional Baroque style like Rembrandt.

The Nightwatch

Photo

Then I was reminded that we have some famous artists in our midst around the department who are the more abstract art type and would appreciate Pollocks birthday.

Franklin

Box Turtle “B”

Galileo

 

I have to say I would rather have a Franklin adorn my walls at home than a Pollock.

Join the conversation:

  1. I treasure my animal art – Thank you Jill and Sarah!

    Posted by Wendy
  2. I agree with you Jill, like the traditional stuff myself.
    And, along with you, I would much rather have a Franklin, BT “B,” or Galileo than a Pollock.

    Posted by Ranger Greg

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by , Keeper
I've been at the museum for many years now. I spend most of my time behind-the-scenes in the Vet room. You might catch me out and about with one of our many veterinarians checking on the animals.
When I'm not hanging out with one of our vets I'm usually in the Vet room running a fecal looking for intestinal parasites! If I'm not up to my elbows in poo you'll find me at the computer updating the health records of our animals or preparing for Vet Rounds.
Tags: , ,

Interns Learn A Lesson

February 16th, 2014

Being an Animal Keeper requires you to carry certain items with you throughout the day. One of these is a large key ring full of keys. Every once in awhile you will stumble upon a set of keys that have lost their owner. When this happens usually the Keeper who found the keys will relocate them to make it even more difficult for the owner of the keys to find them. This is exactly what happened when a certain Keeper (who shall remain nameless) found a set of unattended intern keys.

Found Keys

Join the conversation:

  1. Great to see the dedication and awareness the keeper who found the keys used to ensure none of the Museum’s animals could be harmed by the loose keys after they were so diligently placed out of harms way.

    :)

    Posted by HRvdb
  2. Yes, exactly

    Posted by Jill

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by , Keeper
I've been at the museum since 2010. I love to read and learn; it's rare that a day goes by at work when I'm not suppressing the urge to spew out something cool I just learned to my coworkers. In my spare time, I play the 'cello, snuggle my dog and reminisce about snowmen and Nor'easters.
I work Sunday through Thursday. You can find me raking the Farmyard in the morning or training the donkey and dwarf goats in the afternoon.
Tags: , ,

Limerick –answer

February 10th, 2014

The limerick quiz is here, if you want to read it before seeing the answer below

 

 

Answer:

 

Our knives, of course!!

We keep our knives safely tucked away in pockets or our backpacks, but they come in quite handy for routine things like cutting open a bag of chow or cutting bale strings off hay.

Join the conversation:

  1. Secondary game:
    Match the keeper to their knife.

    Posted by Ranger Ro
  2. Keeper Comment :

    You first, Ro!

    Posted by Sarah Van de Berg
  3. left to right:
    Jessie
    Sarah
    Jill
    Katy

    Posted by Ranger Ro
  4. Keeper Comment :

    1 of 4 correct, Ro.

    Posted by Sarah Van de Berg
  5. Spoiler alert….mine isn’t pictured.

    Posted by Katy
  6. Jessi
    Jessi
    Jessi
    Jessi

    (oh wait… Jessi only carries 3 knives so that cannot be right)

    Posted by sherry
  7. Keeper Comment :

    From Left to Right:
    Sarah
    Sarah
    Kent
    Autumn

    I’m pretty sure most of us carry multiple knives. I know Jessi and I carry at least 3 (I wouldn’t be surprised if either of us had a 4th we forget about in our lockers), and I think Kent and Jill both have 2.

    They’re sharp and shiny, what’s not to like?

    Posted by Sarah Van de Berg

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