Videos Posts

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.

It’s Closer to Winter than Spring!

September 1st, 2014

North Carolina might stay comfortably warm well into October, but I start thinking about blizzards and snowpeople by September. So in honor of “it’s almost winter, and Sarah wants to wear her comfy sweatshirts again” Day, a video of Elaina, Rocky and Patches, all wearing their winter finest:

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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.

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.

 

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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”

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  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.

Super Bowl XLVIII

February 1st, 2014

The Super Bowl is coming up and happens to be on Ground Hog Day. We’ve done several posts on Ground Hog day because of  Henry. Previously, we did Super Bowl predictions a few times. Henry managed to make his choice again for 2014, when the Denver Broncos will be playing Seattle Seahawks.

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If Henry happens to guess wrong, I know a few people who will be VERY disappointed!

 

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  1. Henry has been wrong for 3 or 4 years in a row so for all you gamblers out there I recommend for next year you pick the opposite of what Henry picks!!!

    Posted by Katy

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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.
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Signs of the Season: Year 2

December 10th, 2013

Last year, it was Misha calling in the cooler weather. This year, it’s been the two big guys in the farmyard acting silly that let’s us know the crisp fall air is here to stay. Both Max and Lightning really seem to like playing with keepers much more once September and October roll in. You’ve seen Lightning play fetch with his Jolly Ball before, but did you know that Max will play Tag?

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  1. very intersting

    Posted by Gor Isaverdyan

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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.

A Little Farmyard Fun

October 15th, 2013

When I first started working here at the museum, I was told a very useful piece of advice from Kristen: “if you ever fall into the muskrat pool, toss your radio somewhere dry as you fall…radios are really expensive.” The last person I know of that fell into the pool was Larry and I have no idea if he saved his radio; it was before my time. While I’m sure you’d all love to laugh at me for falling into our muskrat pool, you’ll have to wait for another day. This adventure was strictly for my radio:

 

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Lightning loves to grab tools and toys from keepers and play games with them. His antics caused of death of my first radio, so I’ve made a huge effort to keep my communication devices away from his prehensile lips ever since. This time, my radio made it through without even a tooth mark on the antenna. Needless to say, I was quite thankful.

Join the conversation:

  1. haha- I’m glad Lightning was gentle! more good pool advice: if your sprayer falls in the wolf pool, don’t let it go down the drain. Blocking up the Explore the Wild sewers–also expensive…

    Posted by Kristen
  2. I’m sad to report that my radio did not survive. Also a small guest was heard to remark “why is that man scaring the muskrats.” Finally, don’t expect Jill to help in that kind of situation, she will just pass out laughing.

    Posted by Larry

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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!

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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.
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Alpaca Pool

July 26th, 2013

Recently, we added a pool to our alpacas yard. We had a good feeling that they would use it because we kept finding a lot of dirt in their water buckets and evidence of water being splashed around. It took a while to be able to capture it on film, but we finally did.

 

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  1. Too cute!! Do the Alpaca’s also like watermelon and will they get some watermelon treats during the upcoming Museum’s Water Melon Day August 2nd?

    Posted by dj
  2. It has been my experience that the alpaca are not too keen on watermelon like our sheep were.
    They more or less are starting to get picky and want Lightnings special treats only.
    They used to be easy because they liked a variety of things.

    Posted by Jill

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by , Behavior Consultant
I've been working with the museum since 2009 as a Behavior Management Consultant. I work with keepers and staff to gain the voluntary cooperation of the animals in their own care through operant conditioning.
You can find me teaching at Davidson County Community College, or through my business website Animalworksconsulting.com.

Let’s all get weighed!

July 20th, 2013

Keepers are enjoying the new scale in the farmyard, and so are the critters.  Here’s some video of Max and the alpacas getting weighed.

Max’s training focused on keeping him calm as he walked from his enclosure to the scale – he tends to get excited when he goes for a walk.  And 1600 pounds of excited steer can be difficult to manage.  But look how calm he is!

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The alpaca training is more focused on helping them tolerate the brief separation from the rest of the alpacas as they walk to the scale.  Its helpful for them to learn to be separated for short periods of time so they can more easily tolerate vet visits and shearings in the future.  Lots of good clicking and treating going on in the farmyard by keepers Kent, Sarah and Jill!

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  1. Good to see our Animal Department is steering in the right direction!

    Posted by Wendy

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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.

Our newest additions: Kerby and Styx

July 18th, 2013

Two road closures, one tree down, and a two-car smash-up that closed most lanes on I-85. All while inhaling the delightful smell of animal poop, wafting from the rear of the van. It was worth it.

Meet Kerby and Styx, our newest acquisitions to the museum family of animals. Both came to us (after 6+ hours of  road tripping) from the Carolina Raptor Center (CRC) just outside Charlotte.

CRC is very successful in returning injured raptors to the wild after they are treated for their injuries and rehabilitated. There are always some, however, that just can’t be released.

Kerby, a Barred Owl (Strix varia), was brought to CRC as an orphan who learned to associate humans with food. If Kerby was released, it’s likely that the owl would seek out humans for food, rather than learning to hunt properly. Animals that beg food from humans have a very high chance of being injured or killed in collisions with cars or other human activity. Here’s a video of Kerby “food begging”:

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Styx is a 1 year old red-phase Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio) with major feather damage and missing a talon. Styx was deemed non-releasable because of the amount of noise the bird’s wings make while flying. After a year with CRC, the reason for the noise was never discovered, but since owls need to be nearly silent in flight in order to catch their prey, Styx would not be able to be returned to the wild.

Styx, our new Screech Owl

Kerby and Styx will make their public debuts once they are cleared from quarantine.

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