Topics (NAV) Posts

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.

Zoe Keeps Katy Company

June 21st, 2014

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!

2014 May 19 008

Zoe using Enrichment!

8-9-11 050

Nimbus and Silkie Chicken hanging out in the Vet Room.

kt

Princess Poops A Lot and Katy in the Vet Room!

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!

2014 May 27 001

Misha hanging out!

2014 May 27 002

Misha on his perch.

Join the conversation:

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

If you have an account on any of the Museum's blogs, you can sign in with the same login to contribute to the discussion.

If you don't have an account, signing up is free and easy.

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.

Frog Eggs

June 18th, 2014

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.

The substitute “vernal pool”

The neighbors

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.

Look closely. See all those tiny black dots clumped together? Those are the eggs!

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?

 

Quick Edit:

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.

There are four tadpoles in this photo, can you spot them all?

 

 

Join the conversation:

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

If you have an account on any of the Museum's blogs, you can sign in with the same login to contribute to the discussion.

If you don't have an account, signing up is free and easy.

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.

Animal Department Boys

June 15th, 2014

A quick shout-out to our two father’s in the animal department today. The two of them, especially together, provide quite a bit of entertainment. Some photos of Kent and Aaron are below.

one of my favorite photos of the “human boys”

modeling sun hats.

modeling sun hats.

 

4 males: Kent with Misha and Aaron with Christopher

4 males: Kent with Misha and Aaron with Christopher

We’re skewed female in the department: Seven human females to two human males.  In “zoo lingo”  animal department staff sexes would be written as  2.7 (actually, to be technical, it would be 2.7.0. the first number is males, then next is females, and the last is unknown). Our volunteer team is skewed even more so: 5.19.0. The critters in the Farmyard and Explore the Wild are also skewed female. 9 of the 14 animals in the Farmyard are females and 8 of the 11 animals in Explore the Wild are females.

I’ll run the numbers for the indoor animals too: any guesses as to which way we skew there?

 

Join the conversation:

  1. 5.10.15

    Posted by Ranger Ro
  2. oh wait I forgot about the fish….so maybe add another 7 to the unknown category. I feel like unknown is a high number in Carolina Wildlife. oh and the Education animals too. hmmm. Maybe my answer should be too many (for a non animal keeper) to count.

    Posted by Ranger Ro
  3. Keeper Comment :

    I’m at 21.14.45 for the indoors, but I put a lot of animals that I use specific gender pronouns with under “unknown”. If only they were all sexually dimorphic.

    Posted by Sarah Van de Berg

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

If you have an account on any of the Museum's blogs, you can sign in with the same login to contribute to the discussion.

If you don't have an account, signing up is free and easy.

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.

Watermelon Season is here

June 12th, 2014

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:

Watermelons for our Farmyard Friends

Watermelon Storage

 Watermelon Day 2011 ( I like this one since it has a photo of Ursula eating watermelon)

Watermelons in the bear pool.

and of course, Watermelon poop  (take a look, it’s kind of cool… and not so gross)

 

 

 

Join the conversation:

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

If you have an account on any of the Museum's blogs, you can sign in with the same login to contribute to the discussion.

If you don't have an account, signing up is free and easy.

by , Keeper
I started out as a volunteer in February 2013 and became a full fledged keeper in October 2013. I love birds, mainly raptors. When I'm not working I like to read and play tennis. I have two dogs and two cats.
I work Tuesday through Saturday mostly out in Explore the Wild. You might be able to see me at the Meet the Keeper program at 2:00pm or training the Lemurs!

Watermelons!

June 9th, 2014

For Memorial Day, six watermelons were donated for our bears to celebrate the holiday. Below are a few pictures of them enjoying their tasty treat!

photo 2

photo 3

photo 4

 

 

Join the conversation:

  1. What a riviting post! Thank you for giving this behind the scenes look at the holiday festivities!

    Posted by Kyle

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

If you have an account on any of the Museum's blogs, you can sign in with the same login to contribute to the discussion.

If you don't have an account, signing up is free and easy.

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.

Hay Stacks

June 6th, 2014

The biggest barn in the Farmyard is used to house our tools, bedding and hay. Loading hay into the Hay Barn generally takes a few people, mostly because we get a little competitive and stack as quickly as possible (7 minutes and change was our best time to load 70 bales into the barn!). This needs to happen every 6 to 8 weeks depending on how many bales we order (or how many our local farm has to offer us), the speed we go through them, and the size and quality of the bales.

Hay bales change size and weight throughout the year depending on how the grass is growing. Early to mid Spring can be a bit of a challenge for us since the bales tend to be at their smallest and Max is eating a whole bale on his own. The smaller, Spring bales don’t fit in our stacking system quite as easily as the larger bales we have during the rest of the year. The last hay delivery was not attended by Kent or myself. Apparently, when the people who typically help load the barn are on their weekend breaks, those who get involved in loading the hay barn decide to get a little bit creative with their stacking.

IMG_20140511_141256_868

This is how I found the hay on Sunday when I came in. To an untrained eye, this might look like well-ordered hay; however, note how all of the hay bales are facing the same direction and the slight lean of the bales toward the left side of the photo.

IMG_20140511_141453_640

This is how I found the hay barn later that day. In total, 17 bales fell and several of them slipped out of their strings, leaving hay pretty much everywhere.

IMG_20140512_105418_254

A volunteer and I unstacked every one of the bales and restacked them in a more traditional pattern.

IMG_20140512_105428_741

Look how nicely organized they are!! Bales stacked in alternating directions use gravity to keep the bales on the row below them from falling, plus, they look pretty.

 

Join the conversation:

  1. I had no dealings with this debacle

    Posted by Jill
  2. Director Comment :

    I was involved in this stacking. It was amusing to say the least, as there were disagreements among the stackers as to the method the bales should be stacked.

    Of course, our main goal was to provide information for a blog post, so we succeeded.

    Posted by Sherry Samuels

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

If you have an account on any of the Museum's blogs, you can sign in with the same login to contribute to the discussion.

If you don't have an account, signing up is free and easy.

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.

Amazon wishlist

June 3rd, 2014

wishlistPhoto

Sometimes the animal department gets a lot of items donated to us and sometimes people will usually ask us if there is anything we are in need of. Keeping track of these things can get difficult, so I decided to make an Amazon wish list for the department. This way, everything is on the list with prices (big and small), quantities needed and our information is all filled out for us to receive it.

http://amzn.com/w/17NDP1V85KVKR

Below are some pics I quickly found of our animals using some enrichment items that have been purchased in the past.

2014 May 19 008xmas ferret ring

Lightning and his Jolly Ball.

Lightning and his Jolly Ball.

'pos in ball

 

Join the conversation:

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

If you have an account on any of the Museum's blogs, you can sign in with the same login to contribute to the discussion.

If you don't have an account, signing up is free and easy.

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.

Lounging Around

May 31st, 2014

Look who is enjoying a nice sunny day…

Iris and RR sunning

The Red Ruffed Lemurs like to spend time in their side cages when the weather is nice.  Iris has found a great spot to kick back and relax.

Join the conversation:

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

If you have an account on any of the Museum's blogs, you can sign in with the same login to contribute to the discussion.

If you don't have an account, signing up is free and easy.

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.

Can Snakes Swim?

May 28th, 2014

YES!

All snakes can swim. It’s not just specialized snakes, like Sea Kraits, that can swim and dive. Water Snakes, Copperheads, Water Moccasins, Garter snakes, Anacondas, Ribbon snakes, Rat snakes, and many more are often found near bodies of water. Even the arboreal snakes of the world like Green Tree Pythons and Mangrove snakes are competent swimmers.

The museum grounds are home to a number of resident snake species; including the only venomous snake species in Durham, the Copperhead. While I didn’t see a copperhead on this occasion, I did see the Northern Water Snake below who  just happened to be swimming by when I was on the boardwalk.

 

Join the conversation:

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

If you have an account on any of the Museum's blogs, you can sign in with the same login to contribute to the discussion.

If you don't have an account, signing up is free and easy.

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.

What is in the traffic cone?

May 25th, 2014

Gus and traffic cone

What do you think is in the traffic cone that Gus is playing with in the bear side yard?  He really liked it and did not want to leave the bear house until he was finished.

 

Join the conversation:

  1. peanut butter or syrup?

    Posted by Ranger Ro
  2. Keeper Comment :

    Its peanut butter! We went into the bear yard yesterday and spread tons of peanut butter around the exhibit. Pictures coming soon!

    Posted by Jessi Culbertson

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

If you have an account on any of the Museum's blogs, you can sign in with the same login to contribute to the discussion.

If you don't have an account, signing up is free and easy.