Topics (NAV) Posts

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!

QuickPic: Ramsey

July 27th, 2014

Ramsey, our newest bearded dragon, has quite the personality. She is very active and we tend to find her in strange positions. This is her in her outdoor sunning cage!

Ramsey in her sunning cage!

Ramsey in her sunning cage!

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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.

Cows Have Horns, too!

July 24th, 2014

Lots of guests come into the farmyard, see Max, and call him a “cow.” I assume that a few know he’s not a cow but choose to use “cow” rather than “steer” because it’s an easier word of small kids, but I’d bet more people just don’t know what the difference is. So here’s a quick run down of the various common terms used for cattle:

Cow – A female who has had a baby (or many babies).

Heifer- A female who has not had a baby.

Bull- An intact male.

Steer- A castrated male.

Ox/Oxen- adult, male or female, trained in draft work (pulling). Often males that have been castrated as adults.

Calf- A baby, male or female.

Bullock- In the UK, a castrated male. In the USA, an intact male, less than a year old.

Cattle- either gender (or both) in a group.

 

What about the horns?

Horns are common on both males and females, especially in dairy breeds. It’s not usually possible to tell if you’re looking at a bull or cow just by looking at their face. You’d need to get a look at their bellies to tell them apart for sure. Udders are only visibly present in cows. Heifers have udders but they aren’t typically distended or visibly hanging because she’s never had a calf. Intact males are bulls, castrated males are steer.

Some cattle are naturally hornless. This is called being “polled” and is a genetic trait in cattle that can be passed down to their offspring. It’s also common for cattle on farms to have their horns removed as very young babies, so they never grow, and to have the horns on adult cattle cut or blunted so they don’t hurt each other or the people working with them. Max keeps his own horns blunted by rubbing them on all sorts of stuff, like toys, stumps, and his fence.

Max

Max, napping in the sun

jersey heifer

An adorable little Jersey heifer with her horns

Here’s a handsome naturally polled, Jersey bull from MaryJanesFarm in Idaho.

 

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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!

Mimi loves Peanut Butter

July 20th, 2014

Jessi and I go into the bear yard once a week (typically on Tuesdays) to scoop poop, scoop up any uneaten food and pick up old enrichment. Once we are done with that we scatter all their food for the day and we try to add an extra treat. A few weeks ago, we took in several jars of peanut butter and smeared it all over rocks, trees and anything else we could. I decided to smear some on the top of one of the dead falls. Mimi accepted my challenge and climbed up on it to get her delicious treat!

Checking out what I put up there.

Checking out what I put up there.

Enjoying some peanut butter!

Enjoying some peanut butter!

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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.

Quick Pics

July 17th, 2014
Retro

Retro

100_5502

Mudsy

Franklin

Franklin

Auggie

Auggie

Salt

Salt

Zoe

Zoe

Gus

Gus

Canebrake

Canebrake

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

Volunteer Quiz

July 14th, 2014

Name these volunteers:

volunteer quiz 002

Yes, it is a back shot, so even the Keepers might have a hard time identifying the volunteers. I’ve only written about one of them before, so to be fair maybe you will only get one out of three correct (although I do have higher expectations for any Keepers reading this post). I took the picture initially to show of the great shirts we have for our committed department volunteers.

The front shot is below— don’t scroll down if you don’t want to see the faces of three of our wonderful volunteers just yet.

Thanks to these three and all our volunteers for helping us care for our critters especially during this hot summer weather.

 

 

 

Donald, Janine, and Amy taking a photo break

Donald, Janine, and Amy taking a photo break

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  1. Looks like Donald just came in from the farmyard!

    Posted by Larry

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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.

Too much to carry…

July 11th, 2014

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.

Elaina 1

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…

Elaina 2

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.

 

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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.

Donation for Max

July 8th, 2014

max donation 001

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

Kent teaching Max to walk on a leash.

A young Kent, teaching a young Max to walk on a leash.

 

But not anymore

2014 Mar 13 033

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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 Mantis Shrimp

July 5th, 2014

You’re probably wondering why am I writing about a shrimp. I wonder sometimes about the content of my blogs too, but this one interested me personally. I have started a saltwater tank at home and have been doing research and came across this little crustacean that I thought was very interesting.

mantis_shrimp_body_armor-7Pic by shutterstock

Not only can these critters be striking to look at, but they are some powerful beings. Many people keep them in special built tanks because they are so powerful!This creature kicks butt and takes names.

What makes them so powerful? The power of their strike not only allows them to disable their next meal or threat, but it can actually break the aquarium or even your fingers! The claw is faster than a .22 caliber bullet, it hits so fast it boils the water and produces a shock wave! These things are so awesome that scientists are studying the structure of its battle ram to improve on body armor made for people.

Here is a little info graphic I found with those facts and more.

mantisshrimp_infographic_finalClick it to enlarge

 

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Cool information, Jill! Are you going to get a special tank?

    Posted by Marilyn
  2. I dont think I could have one of these. Im sticking to lesser aggressive corals and fish

    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.

Farewell our Feathered Friend

July 2nd, 2014
Christopher resting in the vet room

Christopher resting in the vet room

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).

 

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  1. Keeper Comment :

    Last night when I was pet sitting I was outside with the dogs and a Barred Owl flew over our heads. It was very cool. I like to think that is was the spirit of Christopher letting us know all is well!!! And then I had a dream about him last night… he was acting very cute in the dream!!!

    Posted by Katy Harringer

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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.

Keepers Being Keepers!

June 30th, 2014
Helping fix the Hay truck!

Helping fix the Hay truck!

Jill training pigs!

Jill training pigs!

Sarah and Rocky doing a program!

Sarah and Rocky doing a program!

Aaron and Sherry putting watermelons away!

Aaron and Sherry putting watermelons away!

Taking care of Ladybelle when she was sick!

Taking care of Ladybelle when she was sick!

Kent opossum sitting!

Kent opossum sitting!

Jill entertaining Jaybird!

Jill entertaining Jaybird!

Kent getting some love from Aaron!

Kent getting some love from Aaron!

Keepers helping treat Max!

Keepers helping treat Max!

Jessi being Jessi! Sorry this is the only pic I have of Jessi...sorry Autumn and Elaina I have no pics of either of you....be warned I'll be chasing you down with my camera for a future blog!!!!

Jessi being Jessi! Sorry this is the only pic I have of Jessi…sorry Autumn and Elaina I have no pics of either of you….be warned I’ll be chasing you down with my camera for a future blog post!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. Keeper Comment :

    Jaybird looks horrible when hes molting

    Posted by Jill Brown

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