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).

 

Join the conversation:

  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!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Keeper Comment :

    Jaybird looks horrible when hes molting

    Posted by Jill Brown

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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!

Keeper Antics

June 27th, 2014

Since Keeper Jessi and I work the same schedule it means that someone has to cover ETW when we are on our weekend. Most recently, this person is Keeper Kent.  In the bear house, we have large troughs which hold the bear’s water. You can only fill these troughs up so high or else they will be WAY to heavy to empty. On several occasions, Kent has filled these troughs up to the very top. So I have to assume that he thinks Jessi and I have become lady hulks.

Bear trough filled to the top!

Bear trough filled to the top!

take 2

I had to bail the water out as if I were on a sinking ship. You never know what you are going to find when someone else is covering your area!

Join the conversation:

  1. Next time do a cannonball into the tub. I bet that would quickly clear some water out for you.

    Posted by Ranger Ro

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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.

A Look Back … Part 1

June 24th, 2014

Let’s take a look back at some of the goings on in the Animal Department. Some of these critters have moved on to further their careers and education, some of them have retired, some of them have passed away and some of them are still with us in the Animal Department, just older and wiser now! I have 10 years worth of memories and pictures of all the happenings in the Department… here are a few of my favorites! Keep your eyes peeled for many more to come!!!

Ursula

Ursula

Yona post surgery

Yona post surgery

Mikey

Mikey

Jill post surgery

Jill post surgery

Annie and Sonny

Annie and Sonny

Pig

Pig

Gizmo

Gizmo

Templeton

Templeton

Young Gus

Young Gus

1227 Red Wolf

1227 Red Wolf

Beaker

Beaker

Sonny and Cher

Sonny and Cher

Kerby in Q

Kerby in Q

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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.

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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.

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?

 

 

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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.

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

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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.

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)

 

 

 

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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!

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

 

 

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

    Posted by Kyle

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