Posts Tagged ‘behind the scenes’

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.

Behind the Scenes Programs

May 4th, 2014

About once, sometimes twice, each month we do special behind the scenes programs. These programs are really fun to do- spending extra time with some of the animals and some of our members is a special experience for everyone involved. A couple weeks ago at the bear behind the scenes program I challenged some adults to tattoo themselves and send me the photos. Thanks to Courtney (and Ro), below, for being my first takers. We had a fun night making enrichment for the bears and watching them work through the cardboard tubes stuffed with newspapers and food.

behind the scenes bears

A few months ago on a behind the scenes tour to meet our indoor animals, learn about diet prep and veterinary care, I was in awe of this little girl who was amazed by our kitchen and what we feed our animals. She let me take her photo to share with you all.

behind the scenes kid

Sign up for a program and join us!


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  1. Had a blast! It was such an incredible experience. Thank you.

    Posted by Ranger Ro

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by , Volunteer
I like volunteering to work with the animals and the Keepers (both are quite exciting and entertaining). I speak several languages including chicken. In another life I teach physics, but mostly I just love to learn (anything!) and be outdoors. When not volunteering I like to watch the bears and photograph around Explore the Wild. Follow me on Twitter @ktraphagen

Wondering why Carolina Wildlife is closed this week?

September 15th, 2011

Are you wondering why the doors to Carolina Wildlife are locked this week? As you peek in through the glass, can you see that something looks different? These photos will give you a glimpse behind-the-scenes to see why the indoor animal exhibit is closed… but not quiet!

This is the Animal Department hallway. The floors are being replaced, so everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) had to come out of all the rooms on the hallway.

These are our Education animals. Instead of their nice roomy Education Holding Room (the EHR), they are all out in the Carolina Wildlife exhibit where visitors would normally be looking at the muskrat, the opossum, or the water turtles.

All the shelves and supplies had to move out too. These shelves have enrichment items and cleaning supplies. They are set up in front of the owl exhibit! The owls are very confused about everything that is going on.

Even all the freezers and refrigerators that we use for food preparation for the animals had to come out of the hall. These are up against the wall of the muskrat exhibit. That's our new intern Matt doing some food prep!

All the dishes had to be moved out of the kitchen too! Aaron is trying to keep everything neat and tidy.

Here's another look at some more freezers in front of Henry's exhibit (he's our woodchuck) and across from the Aviary. You can see why there's no room for visitors this week!

By the end of the week, we will need to walk all the way through the Museum and outside to come back in the other entrance to the hallway to put food in a prep fridge. We’ll also need to have some keepers climb through the cutouts that the snake exhibits use so that they can access the back of the exhibits (for owls, snakes, etc), sink and equipment which we won’t be able to use the door to access. I may have to post a picture of that! Stay tuned!

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  1. What does Henry think of his new view?

    Posted by Shawntel

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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!

Junior keepers

February 26th, 2010

I had a good time showing a group of six youth around the animal department last Sunday during our Junior Keeper program. This program is a chance for kids to come learn what it’s like to be a keeper. We had one junior keeper who returned after participating last year, and one who drove 4 hours all the way from the NC coast! They showed up at 9:00am, and we started off by raking the goat yard and brushing Rocky and Patches. Patches, who usually doesn’t like that much attention, let the kids brush him, so I was pleasantly surprised!

They fed the pigs, threw rats to the wolves, put enrichment toys and treats out for the bears, and got to see Gus bear up close (and feel him lick a raisin off the palm of their hand!)

We worked inside too, touring our dead mouse freezer (lots of “gross” and “eeew”s exclaimed), and gave the ferrets their nutritional supplements.

I think they all had a good time, and hopefully learned a little about zookeeping!
Our next junior keeper program will be on Sunday, November 21st (from 1:00-4:00), The program is available to members, and spots go fast!

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  1. Did they like Keeper Pledge at the end? Will you post it?

    Posted by Erin Brown

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