Posts Tagged ‘bears’

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.

Christmas 2013

December 25th, 2013

thanks for the sweet potatoes Donna

Twas the night before Christmas and left at my house, a bag of sweet potatoes for the Museum Bears.  (If I were Sarah, I am sure I could have come up with some great rhyme… in fact she probably could write my entire Christmas post to the Poem Twas the night before Christmas- check out her previous poems here and here).

The day started with me very very tired, and unable to find my glasses. I’ve got about 10-15 pillows on my bed and even removing all of them still no glasses. I gave up, found my spare glasses, made a cup of coffee, and made my way to the Museum around 5:15

Here’s the rundown for the day so far:

I move all the logbooks in one space and check out my “to do” lists, and in a room that has light not on a timer so I can see easier.

 

 

Katy has set up the supplies I need for treatments, and Jill has left a note for Donald (click on the note to enlarge it if you want to read it).

all the syringes and bowls and medicines lined up so I can work more efficiently. (Thanks Katy)

Jill’s note to Donald. The last part is my favorite as I have lived through this happening and it is not a pretty sight.

the muskrat had gathered all this food in the 5-10 minutes or so it took me to get my camera and come back

Yesterday, we solved the mystery as to why the waterfall at wolves was not running, so I was able to cross that off my list. (The wolves- I assume the male wolf – ate the electrical wires. That will have to be a separate post at a later date). Concerns about the muskrat were top priority so I donned my headlamp to go check him out. I couldn’t really see him, but did see that he had eaten overnight so I sigh of relief for now.

I fumble around- not getting into any sort of groove.  I put all the diets on the kitchen counter to help me make a plan of attack. My plan of attack is quite chaotic. I start something, realize I can’t see too well in the dark, re group, start something else…things go on like this for a while and before I know it I’ve been here 90 minutes.

Katy warned me that the ferrets would be difficult to keep in their exhibit and would rush the door upon closing. I felt confident in my plan however: I knocked on their door to wake them up (wanting them to use the litter pans before cleaning). Came back in five minutes with a CRATE and put all four inside:

Katy said to put them all in the yellow ring (below) upon leaving and that gives you enough time to close the door.  However, what really gives you enough time to close the door is spilling furotone (oil supplement) on each ferret so that everyone is licking everyone else and not even concerned about the door!

 

It’s light enough so I go make sure I can see the remaining animals. Franklin is busy eating his food and everyone else seems fine.

Franklin eating his lettuce

Donald and his granddaughter Caroline arrive a few minutes before 8AM. Caroline looks tired (I feel her pain), but Donald gets her to pose for the camera. I’ve never seen Donald not smile. It’s really amazing if you think about it. We review the plan for the Farmyard, get Caroline some gloves, and head outside.

Donald reading the note from Jill.

 

 

It takes a little effort to get our vehicles started, but we prevail. I was so hot working inside that I forgot it was just over 30 degrees outside and my drive is more than quite chilly.

I drive through the Farmyard to check on the critters, and then move on to the Explore the Wild Critters.

The alpacas seem fine on this chilly morning

male on the bottom and female towards the top of the den.

I take a bit of a skid through the icy patch at the MIST entrance in Catch the Wind. I hit wolves first. Both the wolves are waiting at the den area. No issues at all here. Everything is fine so move quickly to the bear exhibit.

Mimi, as expected, is sleeping in the house. I wake her, she huffs at me, I feel badly, she huffs at me again, I toss out food, she goes and eats. Gus is snoozing in the cave (sorry about the bad photo): he lifts his head and then puts it back down.

Gus in the den

Lemurs is the next stop. Absolutely no problems here- it’s actually a bit confusing. No one yelled at me, no one peed on me. I did not step in anything I didn’t want to. I did not dump my poop bucket. No lemur exited their stall. I think this is a first on Christmas to not have even one small problem occur. (Although as I type I realize I left the dustpan in the disinfectant can… I’ll have to remember to get that tonight.

The last stop is the bear cliff to check things out and give Yona her meds. I thought this would be a bit difficult, but Virginia has made her way down into the yard, so Yona just needs to stretch, stare at me for a minute or two, and then wander over to me at the fence.

I was even prepared: I had no yogurt cup but grabbed an extra bowl from lemurs to give Yona her meds in.

Yona was easy: “blueberry preserves” worked really well.

I head back to the Farmyard, deal with the raptors, and then head to the building. Dishes goes much better than last year (I just did not wear my glasses).

It’s possibly been one of the easiest Christmas’ I’ve worked – and I’ve worked every Christmas since 1993! I know the afternoon is still coming, but so far, so good. Merry Christmas everyone.

(Click here to read about some of my past Christmas’ at the Museum).

Join the conversation:

  1. Keeper Comment :

    ‘Twas the morning of Christmas, and left on her porch, a bag of potatoes from Donna next door!

    The bears won’t be hungry this Christmas day; not that they’ll eat them again until May.

    The day started rough with glasses amiss, pillows were tossed, the room searched forthwith!

    Resigning their fate to the bedroom elves, spare glasses were acquired and some coffee was quelled.

    The morning began a mile away in the dark and quiet of the museum’s early day.

    Logbooks were stacked to be ordered and checked as the morning went on, there’s no going back to bed!

    Treatments were finished, notes were read. “Don’t let the pigs find the pumpkins!” Jill’s note to Donald said.

    In Explore the Wild, a present was left. “A gift from the wolves” the unwanted tag read. A gasket was shredded, the pumps’ plug was chewed off. “We’re saving you energy! A gift you didn’t think of!”

    As the morning wound down, all the animals were checked. Nothing went horribly wrong this year, how ’bout that?

    So thankful we are for this day of the year, when our boss comes in so we can stay here.

    “Here” might be close or miles away, but it matters greatly to us to be home Christmas Day.

    This year went well, and with a new one in sight,
    “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

    Posted by Sarah Van de Berg
  2. Sarah for the win!

    Posted by Ranger Ro

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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.

Peanuts

December 4th, 2013

My development friends think I should join their team since I am so good at raising $$.  I recently sold a BUNCH of peanuts to raise money for programs that support the prevention of child abuse  (For the Exchange Clubs Family Center of Durham). This is a fun time for me: I ask for money to help support the prevention of child abuse (who can turn that down!) and then I mention that the Museum’s bears seem to LOVE peanuts. People hand me money for the peanuts and then hand me the peanuts to give to the bears. A WIN-WIN!

Thanks everyone for the support!

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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.

Morning Bear Yard Scooping

October 27th, 2013

Sunny, quiet mornings are always the best time, in my opinion, to call in the bears and go scoop poop in the bear yard. This past week, Volunteer Colet and Human Resources Lady, Maureen, put on their grubby sneakers and went in with me.

It only takes about an hour to finish scooping and scatter the day’s food around the exhibit. Sometimes, though, we find cool surprises!

Colet shows off a caterpillar she found while scooping

Meanwhile, in the bear house:

Gus grows inpatient

 

Yona waits by the door

 

Once we’re done scooping and let bears back onto exhibit, it’s always worth hanging around for a few minutes to see what the bears do. This time of year, it can be a bit harder to tell the bears apart if you’re not looking at them head-on. All of the bears have shed out their summer “highlights” and are packing on the pounds for the winter.

Do you know which bear this is?
Scroll down to the next picture for a hint!

 

Put your guesses in the comment section!

 

Join the conversation:

  1. IS that Yona sitting on the stump

    Posted by Hans
  2. I think it is Yona too.

    Posted by Sherry
  3. Gus? It’s hard to tell.

    Posted by Shawntel
  4. Keeper Comment :

    It’s IS Yona bear. The darkness of her face is one of the easier ID clues for her.

    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.

What not to wear

October 2nd, 2013

So you know we can get dirty: clothes stained, shoes covered in mud and poop, the list actually goes on and on. Work in the bear yard can be challenging. It’s hard to even see your feet when walking in the bear yard the grass is so tall. If you don’t step in a pile of poop you are lucky. I’ve even had to “swim” in the bear pool, so I never wear traditional business attire. Last week we had a great group of folks from Biogen Idec working hard in the bear yard (scooping, mowing, removing weeds, pruning, clearing fences…). They all came dressed in clothes ready to work.

Our development folks on the other had… Well, let’s just say I had to mow a path so they could walk into the yard.

Here’s my new rule: no pumps in the bear yard! (and let me add I never thought I would be writing about the kind of pumps you wear on your feet, just the kind that move and filter water and cause more frustration that humor!)

Alicia and Ro: dressed to avoid helping!

Join the conversation:

  1. I wish we had an emoticon to roll my eyes on this blog

    Posted by Jill
  2. But darn do we look good!!!

    Posted by Ranger Ro
  3. I wore heels to the bear yard plenty of times. It’s all about knowing how to walk in them.

    Posted by Leslie

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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.

Gus on the scale…

September 16th, 2013

Remember my drawing of Gus? Aaron’s? 

Here’s the real thing: this is what Gus looks like on the scale:

 

My Drawing:

Aaron’s Drawing:

 

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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.

QuikPic: More bear photos

September 14th, 2013

Here are some more wonderful bear photos for you- taken by volunteer Dan’s friend Annette: enjoy! (Photos, in order: Virginia, Gus, Gus, Mimi)

 

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  1. What a pinup! Gorgeous!

    Posted by Wendy

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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.

QuikPost: thanks for your watermelon donations

August 27th, 2013

We’ve had over 60 watermelons donated this summer. Here are a few photos of the bears reaping the rewards. I’ll post more photos in the future too:

 

name the bears?

 

I love Mimi’s hair style don’t you!

 

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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 Day 2013 was great fun

August 3rd, 2013

We had a lot of fun yesterday at Watermelon Day 2013!. Check out the local media for photos of the event. Can you name the two bears eating watermelons in the photos below? (I tried to make it harder this time).

 

 

A new potential uniform for Keepers for Watermelon Day is being modeled by Lily (2 years old). Would Kent and Jill look better in this, or last year’s option?

 

 

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  1. Oh I love this years keeper uniform option! I think you need to make it mandatory for next year.

    Posted by Ranger Ro

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by , Keeper
I'm extremely excited to be working at the Museum since October 2010. My favorite part of this job- besides working with the animals- is listening to all of the Keeper stories, I hear a new one each day. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, belly dancing, and vegan cooking.
I work Sunday through Thursday. I can be found mostly behind the scenes or training the Ring Tail Lemurs.

Bear Enrichment

July 8th, 2013

Here’s a few pictures of Keeper Marilyn making some fun bear enrichment.

Popcorn

and Raisins

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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 on Aaron’s leg?

June 14th, 2013

It’s been a busy week in the bear yard. Last Friday we were dealing with fence damage from the storm. On Wednesday bear pools were cleaned, the yard was scooped, mowing and weed-eating occurred, and trees were pruned from around fences.

Aaron showed me his leg first thing Thursday morning, and of course I decided to show you. Thougths?

What did Aaron walk into in the bear yard?

 

Even the Duck wants to know

 

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Chiggars. Ooo.

    Posted by Wendy
  2. Razor burn

    Posted by Jill
  3. Poison Ivy

    Posted by Sarah

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