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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.

Spotlight: Autumn Lindey

March 9th, 2014

When I started writing this post it was November. Back then my first thought was to say ” Meet Autumn, our newest Keeper”. We’ll, it’s now many months later and besides from not being true it’s not what I think of first anymore. She’s such an entrenched member of the team it seems like she has been here a loooong time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn started with us just about a year ago when she and her husband relocated to NC.  We were thrilled to have her as a skilled and interested volunteer a couple of days each week. She even taught summer camp at the Museum. Her previous experience at the Akron Zoo, Philadelphia Zoo, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History make her a great addition to our team.

For awhile she was working weekends, but now she has moved to a Sunday-Thursday schedule. Her fellow Saturday keepers were very sad to see her leave, as she is well-respected and valued by the team. She’s  always willing and able to help with whatever the task.

Look for her out and about. Currently she spends most of her time in Explore the Wild, so the 2:00 Keeper Talk may be your best chance to chat with her.

Gordon and Autumn

 

 

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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'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.

The Interns Make Friends With Max

February 25th, 2014

Our Spring 2014 interns, Katie and Jill, got to spend some time in the farmyard with Max and the “Max Scratcher”

YouTube Preview Image

Join the conversation:

  1. what’s the “max scratcher” made of?

    Posted by sherry
  2. Keeper Comment :

    It’s an old PVC perch core that has a metal comb attached to one end.

    Posted by Sarah Van de Berg

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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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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.

Huge thanks to VSH: Veterinary Specialty Hospital.

February 7th, 2014

In addition to last week’s snow, we took four animal over to VSH in Durham. The Veterinary Specialty Hospital along with Dr. Cindy Godshalk of East Coast Veterinary Imaging donated their facility, services, and staff to ultrasound and radiograph four of our animals. AND, this isn’t the first time they’ve stepped up and helped out:

Dr. Godshalk at work

The first time was 3.5 years ago when Cassandra needed an ultrasound. Last year we brought two snakes to VSH in Cary for ultrasounds with Dr. Godshalk. And in 2102, Dr. Godshalk and her crew came on grounds to ultrasound the female wolf.

Katy packed everyone up along with our supplies. Can you guess which carrier has which animal?

Last week a pine snake (Megatron), a ferret (Dixie), a bearded dragon (Jr.) and a red ruffed lemur (Iris) all needed tests: ultrasounds and radiographs. Dr. Vanderford arranged with VSH and Dr. Godshalk to bring our critters in on Monday.

Jen, one of the Vet Techs, was helping us left and right and with this and that and everything else. We were really fortunate that she, and everyone else, was excited to have the slithery and scaly and furry exotic critters we brought with us.

Jen logs each of the animals and the procedures needed into the system.

Megatron is over 7 feet long.

 

Megatron, one of our adult male pine snakes, needed radiographs. (He is the father of the pine snakes that hatched in July 2012). He has a section of his body that doesn’t really bend, so we wanted to get “x-rays” to check things out. The pictures showed some calcification on the spine. We don’t know why this happens, but we’ve seen it before in other snakes. We’ll be really careful when handling him and let him get exercise on flat surfaces.

staff at VSH checking out Megatron’s films.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Vanderford helps Dixie pose for the shot.

Dixie, one of our four ferrets needed an ultrasound. We wanted to see if she had insulinoma. An insulinoma is a tumor on the pancreas. This is a very common ferret disease. Dixie had to be shaved for the ultrasound. We tried to hold her still but were unsuccessful so we had to use anesthesia to sedate her for the ultrasound. It doesn’t look like Dixie has an insulinoma, however we need to review the ultrasounds and determine next steps in case there are other issues to move on.

Dixie with her shaved abdomen being “gassed” down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iris, a 22-year-old red ruffed lemur was next. Katy saw some concerning cells in a urine test she had run- cells that could be indicative of cancer. Good timing that Katy found this out a few days before our visit to VSH so Iris came along  to be checked out.

Dr. Godshalk working with Iris.

 

We were thinking there might be bladder cancer, or a cancer of the reproductive organs, but that wasn’t found. That’s good news for sure. I cannot tell anything when I look at the ultrasound pictures, but we’ll be reviewing what was learned and determining what steps are next. (Dr. Godshalk is a board certified radiologist so it doesn’t matter that I cannot recognize anything- she takes care of all that!)

small print outs, about 4×4 inches of the different views.

Jen and Dr. Godshalk get photos of Jr.

Junior was the last patient. She’s a bearded dragon. A few weeks ago her beard was quite swollen and Jr. wasn’t eating well. Dr. Vanderford and Katy sedated her at the Museum and pulled about 8 cc of fluid from her beard. While she has improved, we wanted to further assess and try to determine the cause of her issues.

 

Maybe the ultrasound want felt like a message to junior?

 

Junior was possibly the easiest of the four animals to work with. She didn’t need to get shaved (no fur on reptiles). She didn’t need to get sedated- she just held still without any wiggling or struggling. She made it really easy.

 

 

 

4 DVMs consulting on Junior’s case: Vanderford, Godshalk, Eward, and Eward.

Jen get’s Junior in the perfect position to get the needed radiograph.

After Junior finished with the ultrasound, she went in for radiographs. Jen was able to get great films, and she even got Junior to hold still on her side! While the ultrasound didn’t show any smoking gun, an unrelated finding on the radiographs shows some real issues with Junior’s vertebrae.

Dr. Godshalk reviews Junior’s films

Thanks so much to VSH!!  The generosity and help of all the staff their have been wonderful. We are very fortunate to have them help us care for our animal population.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

A couple more snow photos

February 5th, 2014

Ro got some more “snow photos

The Farmyard is very pretty in the snow

 

no issues for the alpacas in the snow

 

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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.

Last week’s snow

February 4th, 2014

It’s been so busy I haven’t had time to share photos with you. Some places at the Museum had as much as 3 inches of snow, and we were closed on Wednesday.

We staged 20 shovels and 4 push brooms so as staff arrived they could get to work clearing paths and steps.

No surprise that Donald showed up as regularly scheduled

Aaron and I noticed lots of tracks in the snow in the wolf yard. Sorry, no photos as I couldn’t hold a camera, broom, pool skimmer (to break the ice and remove it from the pool), food, and bucket.

The female wolf seemed fine in the snow

Not sure what he is looking at. Right before this photo he had peed on some food.

 

All the bears were in their usual winter  spots. Yona would not get out of bed to get her treatments (Cosequin, vitamin supplements, and a de-wormer). I honestly sat their (yup, on a rock after clearing off the snow) for almost 15 minutes. Luckily for me Virginia came over huffed and stomped at Yona who got up and ran out of bed.

Virginia Chasing Yona out of bed.

 

Yona stomping back as Virginia left.

Sorry, no photos of the farmyard- maybe next snow.

 

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