Posts Tagged ‘alligator’

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 been going on here

November 26th, 2012

We’ve been staffed sparsely for the past week so people could have some time off for the Thanksgiving holiday. I hope everyone had a wonderful few days with family, friends, pets, or alone. With not many keepers around, there’s been little time to sit and update you on life here. With that said, here are a few photos to share about some of the things that have been going on here:

I’ve been training Jessi to handle Phoebe, our education alligator.

Jennifer Armstrong (who helped smash up pumpkins during Pumpkin Fest 2012) checked out the trees over the fish stream and waterfall in Carolina Wildlife. We’re making a plan to clean them and add more.

 

I had a really bad splinter in my left thumb. I’m a lefty, and could not dig it out. Jennifer and Marilyn tried, but they were unsuccessful. After a few days, Annie was able to get it out for me –  it was about 4 mm long and I was relieved to have it out.

Annie gets out my splinter

I’ve been preparing for an emergency drill –  this one will focus on a bear escape/recapture. Kristen found this bear and donated it to the training cause. Big Big Bear lives at my house. ( I have another bear named Big Bear and this bear is bigger than the other, hence the name Big Big Bear)

Big Big Bear. I bring her in for drills.

And finally, a little quiz for you. Below is the picture I took when we released our new male red wolf, 1414, into the wolf exhibit. How many of the people below can you name?

 

Join the conversation:

  1. (Left to right) Aaron, Marilyn, Kent, Jessi, Sarah, Jill, and Katy. I’m just unsure about the three at the fence.

    Posted by Ranger Ro
  2. Director Comment :

    that’s ’cause the three at the fence were volunteer Max, and Vet Tech Anna and her husband. Well done Ro- thanks for playing.

    Posted by Sherry Samuels
  3. Last time I helped with bear escape training, Kent wanted to use the tranquilizer on me…best training ever..

    Posted by Mike Fink
  4. very nice post, i surely enjoy this wonderful site, persist in it

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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.

Quiz: alligator physical notes

June 1st, 2011

Below is an excerpt from the May 10th Vet Rounds with Dr. Vanderford. See if you understand what’s written. Do you know what the abbreviations stand for? (g, Kg, PE, WNL)? Do you know what “rostral” means?

**Physicals

1029g Alligator #1 3.28 kg fecal negative. PE WNL

1155g Alligator #2 2.92 kgfecal negative.  Thickened rostral mandible with missing teeth. Small sore on rostral mandible.

1310g Alligator #3 3.68 kg - fecal negative.  Small sore rostral mandible with some missing teeth. Trauma due to capture

206g Alligator #4 (ed) 1495g – fecal negative. PE WNL

Click here to see alligator enrichment in action.

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  1. Hello!
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    Posted by viagra

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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.

new baby alligator

November 25th, 2009

This is our new alligator to be used for education programs. He/she lives behind the scenes, so I thought I would give you a sneak peak. This little one hatched in September 2008.
You can see he/she fits in my hand quite easily and is not much bigger than a dollar bill.
You can see our new exhibit alligators in Carolina Wildlife. These three ‘gators were hatched in September 2007 and are much bigger than this little one.
The four of them arrived this past Monday after our last four alligators grew to big for us and were returned home to Florida this past Saturday by Larry.

Join the conversation:

  1. Do you return the alligators to the wild in Florida? If so, do they adjust to life in the wild well? Do you track them to see their progress?

    Posted by Anonymous
  2. Anonymous (and others):The alligators were on loan to us from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. It's basically a zoo.If you go to Larry's post from November 21, you can see pictures of our alligators in their new home with other 'gators at the "zoo".

    Posted by Sherry
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by , Keeper
Although a native tarheel, I came to the museum from Texas, where I taught Biology courses at a small college. In graduate school I studied the behavior and ecology of marine organisms (mostly crabs, lobsters and sea turtles).
You can find me in the Animal Department Monday-Thursday. Fridays I work for the Department of Innovation and Learning all day.

QuikPost

November 21st, 2009

Our guys just joined a big crowd of fellow gators. Ed turned out to be
an Edwina. See more pics of the St. Augustine Alligator farm.

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by , Keeper
Although a native tarheel, I came to the museum from Texas, where I taught Biology courses at a small college. In graduate school I studied the behavior and ecology of marine organisms (mostly crabs, lobsters and sea turtles).
You can find me in the Animal Department Monday-Thursday. Fridays I work for the Department of Innovation and Learning all day.

QuikPost from the road

November 21st, 2009

The gators are approaching home.

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  1. Did they get some complimentary orange juice at the visitor center?

    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.

Alligators on their way

November 21st, 2009

Larry should be on his way to Florida right now with the ‘gators. They should reach home (they were on loan to us) around 3:00 this afternoon. That’s them stacked on top of each other in four under-bed storage containers. We label each container, secure them with additional duct tape and wedge them in the van so they won’t move too much, When Kent and I were packing them up this morning, around 5:00, one of them actually “chirped”. We were both shocked, as these alligators should have grown out of this as it is something only babies do – they chirp for their mom (crocodilians are the only reptiles that exhibit what humans would call some sort of parental care. It’s really interesting, but that’s another post).

I made sure I put my camera in my pocket last night so I would have a photo to show you. Someone commented in my post “I’m home sick” that they wanted to see a photo. I can only assume that you meant of my cat throwing up hairballs (rather than me lying sick in bed) so here he is. You’ll have to wait to see a photo of my other cat- this one’s big brother (my 20 pounder).

Join the conversation:

  1. Sherry, That was me (Jill) that felt the need to ask for pictures.You know how detail oriented I am .

    Posted by Jill
  2. I've heard Ed chirp in the van on the way to a program.

    Posted by Rebecca
  3. Ed(wina) chirped during a couple times during program once while I was holding him…I mean her!

    Posted by Courtney

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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.

Alligators heading out.

November 16th, 2009

Our alligators have gotten too big for our housing and it’s time for them to go home. They are on loan to us from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm in Florida.

Larry is going to begin his Thanksgiving vacation on November 21 by driving our four alligators to Florida. (It’s always interesting to mix work and family: The last driving trip I made I stayed at my parents house while I picked up a wolf!)
It’s taken a bit of maneuvering, and lots of phone calls and emails to get the appropriate permits and schedules to get our current ‘gators back to FL and get our new gators in from SC.
I’ll be heading to SC on Monday November 23 to pick up our new alligators from Alligator Adventure. They will be smaller, and when they get too big, we’ll swap them for smaller ones.
Come say goodbye to our ‘gators and look forward to welcoming our new ones in!

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  1. We'll miss you gators! You sure have been a favorite for my kids! Best wishes, and thank you for visiting our museum!

    Posted by Sabrina

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by , Keeper
I am most famous here in the animal department for "expanding" the barred owl exhibit, clogging the wolf pool, and splitting my pants. My other less notorious work, since 2003, includes keeping, purchasing our animal supplies, coordinating our volunteers, and managing our animal enrichment program.
Find me training the lemurs or in other various animal enclosures Monday through Friday, or at the grocery store on Wednesdays, when I shop for produce!

Weighing the Gators

September 13th, 2008

The alligators needed to be weighed, and Kent and I attempted a new method—on a hanging scale. We do this every week since having a regular measurement of their weights helps us to determine that they are in good health, but recently they’ve become a bit harder to weigh. They are growing, getting bigger and stronger, and have been much harder to wrangle into the box that sets on the scale, so it was time to try something new.

Here’s Kent after he pulled the gator out of the water.

The gator gets put into a bag:

Time to hang the bag from the scale:


The gator getting released back into the exhibit:



Since our gators are still young, they haven’t lost their yellow stripey patterns yet (as they get older, the bands will widen and blend in). We use their unique markings to tell who is who. Here’s our cheat sheet so we can remember which gator is #3 and so on.

Our new method of weighing was successful! (FYI- Gator #3 weighed 2.854 kilograms– a little over six pounds)

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  1. It looks like Kent fell in with the gators based on his shirt

    Posted by Jill

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by , Keeper
I have been working at the museum since 2003, and I feel fortunate to have a job where I can start my day with amazing animals surrounding me. I enjoy camping, hiking and rock climbing in my spare time when the weather is nice.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and spend a lot of time behind the scenes, but you might find me at a public program or feeding the farmyard animals in the afternoon.

Catching some rays

June 20th, 2008
I did a post a few months ago about an outdoor playpen that we were working on for our education animals that live inside. We wanted this enclosure to be suitable for many different animals to use, and with some work we made that possible. Now this outdoor area can hold opossums, chinchillas, ferrets, rabbits, chickens, turtles, bearded dragons and alligators (not all together, of course!) We are pretty excited about having this new enrichment possibility for our animals, as well as giving them the opportunity to absorb some natural UVB light from the sun. For many animals, UVB and UVA light is essential in order to stay healthy.

Below are some pictures of “Ed”, our off-exhibit alligator that is used for educational programs, basking in the outdoor playpen. You can see in the picture to the left that he has a blue tub of water that he can get in if he wants, as well as having the option of a shady side and a sunny side inside the enclosure. Now that the days are getting hotter, we have to pay close attention to the temperature when putting the animals out. Therefore, all the animals have specific temperature ranges and time allowances in which they can be outside. During the hottest summer days, this means only being able to go outside in the morning when it’s still relatively cool.

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by , Keeper
I am most famous here in the animal department for "expanding" the barred owl exhibit, clogging the wolf pool, and splitting my pants. My other less notorious work, since 2003, includes keeping, purchasing our animal supplies, coordinating our volunteers, and managing our animal enrichment program.
Find me training the lemurs or in other various animal enclosures Monday through Friday, or at the grocery store on Wednesdays, when I shop for produce!

An outing to help wildlife

May 7th, 2008

Keeper Marilyn and I traveled to the Piedmont Wildlife Center’s Festival for Wildlife this past Saturday, and took some of our education animals with us (and some other museum educators from our Science Education Resource Center).

The festival was a fun fundraiser for PWC, who take in and rehab injured wildlife and get them back out into the wild. It’s nice to have a working relationship with a place like PWC; many of our animals here at the museum are rehabbed wildlife whose injuries have left them unable to survive in the wild. Most recently, PWC hooked us up with another rehabilitation center in Virginia, and now Beaker, the blind opossum, lives here and visits kids and classrooms! Check out the PWC website–http://www.piedmontwildlifecenter.org/ — they always have some kind of fun and/or educational thing going on.

Here are some pics from the Festival : Marilyn with our Pine Snake, Optimus Prime, and me with our American Alligator, Ed.

Thanks to photographer Jim Kramer from Efland for taking these photos for us!

Join the conversation:

  1. thanks for remembering to wear your name tags!

    Posted by Sherry
  2. Wow, Optimus Prime, that has to be thee coolest name for a snake..EVAR!!!11

    Posted by Jill
  3. I agree. Optimus Prime would be honored to be named after such a snake!

    Posted by Laura

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