Education Posts

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.

Godzilla

October 24th, 2013

There have been many instances where the keepers go through difficult times. Unfortunately, we experienced the loss of our education bearded dragon, Godzilla.

Godzilla was with us for a long time. When he first came, I would tend to have him resting on me when I sat in the office where he chilled and just looked around.

We noticed Godzilla not acting his usual self and his appetite declined. He was taken off program usage and allowed to get rest and the vet care he needed. Godzilla never made a recovery and the best thing to do was euthanize him.

I felt very sad, but I knew Godzilla had  great care at the museum and he was a popular program animal.

 

 

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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.

AAZK Conference for 2013

October 13th, 2013

Last year I was lucky enough to be able to attend the American Association of Zookeepers conference.

This year, a lot of us keepers were very lucky to be able to attend because it was held in North CarolinaKeeper Sarah and I were also lucky, because we were selected to present a paper this year. The topic was on enrichment and focused on inexpensive or free options. Even though I was presenting, it was said that Sarah was much more nervous then I, but all went well.

Special thanks goes out to Wendy for helping us with our professional looking power point! Luckily, Sherry signed me up for a course in this years conference that taught a lot about power point presentations and I think I finally have a good grasp of it.

 

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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.

Wolf Awareness Week, October 13th-19th of 2013

October 10th, 2013

As in years passed, the museum is gearing up for Wolf Awareness Week. At 2pm starting October 13th,there is a Keeper talk located at wolf overlook all week long.

This year, our local  chapter of the  AAZK will be at wolf overlook on Saturday and Sunday to help guests make enrichment for our own red wolves.

Those days are Sunday, the 13th of October 1pm-4pm and Saturday the 19th of October 12pm-3pm.

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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.

The Fossa

September 20th, 2013

A fossa eating a meal

 

This is a fossa, it is the main predator of lemurs. As you can see it kinda looks like a cat, but actually,  it is related to the mongoose. They live in Madagascar and can grow up to 6 feet long but only weigh about 25 lbs. The fossa isn’t just a predator to lemurs, it’s the islands largest predator and a strict carnivore, so it feeds on just about anything it can. (although lemurs are their favorite meal)  Similar to a cat they do  have retractable claws,  large teeth and hunt ambush style. They are solitary animals that spend their time on the ground and in the trees, hunting both day and night. A very agile animal that can maneuver high up in the trees with ease and can travel up to 16 miles per day. They are considered adults at 4 years of age, females give birth to 2-4 pups a year, in a den she has made. After 4 months the pups leave the den, then stay with their mother for another 8 months. After about 2 years fossa pups move off on their own.

And sadly they are endangered, primarily due to habitat loss.

 

fossa pup

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  1. “they’re always annoying us by trespassing, interrupting our parties, and ripping our limbs off”.

    -King Julien

    Awesome animal, misleading spelling of the name also as it is pronounced foo-sah

    Posted by mattS

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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.

Rabbit joy!

September 18th, 2013

The other day I was in the farmyard and observing our two rabbits, Betty and Jean.

Occasionally, I will give them access to run around inside the whole barn where they are kept so they can get some exploring time before guests arrive.

At this time, I see them hopping back and forth and sometimes they will jump in the air and twist. This behavior is associated with positivity and excitement. This behavior actually has a name and its called “binky.” Unfortunately, I dont have a video of our rabbits cutting a binky, but there are many on youtube!

YouTube Preview Image

 

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  1. I would like to see video of keepers imitating cutting a binky instead of random unknown rabbits.

    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.

What is that?

September 12th, 2013

This happens to be a shark! Its called a Wobbegong and live in fairly shallow water in Australia and Indonesia. They are bottom dwellers that feed mainly at night on small fish and squid that might swim by them. There are different kinds of Wobbegons, this one in particular is a ” tasslled.”

Other kinds of wobbegongs are  found in different regions.

Photo

I learned about this Goblin Shark last week. They are found near Japan and sometimes Australia. They have the ability to extend their jaws when they grab prey and can retract them back into their head.

If you want to know more information about other unusual sharks there is plenty of information to find online. It seems that the oddest looking animals get a lot of attention. We have all grown up hearing about the Hammerhead or Megalodon, but there are lots of animals that still to be discovered or we need to be able to collect more information about the ones we know little about as well.

 

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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.

Spider Identification

September 2nd, 2013

One of my favorite aspects of working in Explore the Wild is the wildlife, whether it be foxes, ground hogs, raccoons, snakes or spiders. I found this spider recently and was quite sure it was a crab spider so I checked with Leon from the Butterfly house, who is an expert. He said it was a Running Crab Spider, they are in the Thomisidae family. They can actually be green, orange, and yellow in color, he also mentioned that they are very quick!

 

A few days later while showing Ranger Greg some interesting growth on a tree near Lemurs, I asked him what the above spider was. It resembles my favorite spider- the Green Lynx. But this one is actually a Orchid Orb Weaver.

 

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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.

How does a rattlesnake make that sound?

August 18th, 2013

The first time I ever heard our Canebrake Rattlesnake shake its tail it sent the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I was behind the scenes working with some other snake when it went off. The other day when I was cleaning exhibits I wondered how exactly its able to make that sound with its tail.

I did a little research and this is what I came up with.

If you have ever looked closely at the end of a rattlesnake tail, you will see that is composed of segments

Western diamond-backed

The segments are hollow and are made out of keratin, the same stuff your finger nails are made of.When they are born, they have no rattles because the rattles develop after a shed. While it is true that after a shed a segment is produced, it will not tell the age of a rattlesnake (old wives tale)because the segments do come off in the day to day life of a snake.When the segments knock together as the snake shakes its tail, they knock together and that is how the sound is produced. It rattles  an average of 61 times a second!

Below is a slow motion video of a rattlesnake moving its tail. You will need to click the link inside the box and it will open up in YouTube

YouTube Preview Image

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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.

The Quick Difference Between Alpaca and Llamas

August 11th, 2013

A lot of the times when I am in the farmyard and next to our new Alpaca exhibit, I get asked whats the difference between an Alpaca and Llama.

EARS:

These are LLAMA ears

Photo

These belong to ALPACA

 

Photo

SIZE

 

A llama is about twice the size of an alpaca

Image

Even though they are in the same family Camelidae, they are used for different purposes by humans.

Alpacas are used for their fibers and Llama are used as pack animals to carry things or in meat production. Some llamas are bred genetically for different fiber qualities.

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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-The Dire Wolf

July 28th, 2013

If you have read the series of books or watched the show “Game of Thrones”, you have heard of  a Dire Wolf.

Several of us in the animal department are heavily into the books or show and wind up discussing it a lot of the time. So, the Dire Wolf  is one of the major components of the story and I knew there once were REAL Dire Wolves, but didnt know much about them.

Canis dirus translated to “fearsome dog” existed in North and South America between 300,000 and 12 ,000 years ago. I was amazed to read that about 4,000 have been found in the LaBrea tarpits alone!

If you think that this wolf was humongous because it existed long ago,sad to say it wasnt :(

They were almost 5 feet in length and only weighed at the most 170lbs. They had shorter and stubbier legs then the modern gray wolf and weighed 25% more. Their teeth were slightly larger too.

Even though they hunted in packs like other wolves, it is believed they went extinct because larger pray started to become scarce and they were not able to out compete the other species of wolves they coincided with.

Photo

 

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  1. Hi, I am a photo editor for Scholastic Inc. We are working on a book called “Prehistoric Predators”. I would like to know where you found your image of the Dire Wolf and Gray wolf skull comparison. My editor is interested in using it. Is the photo yours? Please email me if you have any information. Thanks! Emily

    Posted by Emily
  2. I will email you the details

    Posted by Jill

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