Posts Tagged ‘donkey’

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: Last name of animals?

April 8th, 2014

I recently refilled Lightning’s, our donkey’s,  prescription. I forgot the donkey had a last name!

What should the last name(s) of the Museum’s animals be?

Join the conversation:

  1. I think “Samuels” works, as you are the godmother of the Museum animals!

    Posted by Wendy
  2. I like “Samuels”. Another contender could be “Murray” for the street that the Museum is located on.

    Posted by Ranger Ro
  3. Of course, you could name by species (could be an assist to any new keeper unfamiliar with the animal names, if that is ever a challenge). Lightning Donkey, Henry Woodchuck, Gus Bear, etc.

    Posted by Wendy

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

If you have an account on any of the Museum's blogs, you can sign in with the same login to contribute to the discussion.

If you don't have an account, signing up is free and easy.

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.

Early Morning Walk

March 27th, 2014

Lightning and I don’t always have enough time first thing in the morning to make the long walk out to Explore the Wild, but when we do, it’s always worth the trek.

Lightning and I walk on a service path behind the train tracks and meet the moss cattle and deer that inhabit the train pasture

Next, we walk down the paths in Explore the Wild and say, “Good Morning” to the wolves.

 

Then, we stop in at the Bear House and check on Jessi and Autumn…we might have stolen some of Jessi’s breakfast…

 

Lightning goes for a walk every day, as do most of our farmyard animals. Even the pigs and Max! So next time you’re here, if you come by the farmyard and don’t see your favorite furry (or feathered) critter it’s probably a good thing, they’re likely out enjoying the sunshine in the company of a keeper.

Join the conversation:

  1. Love it!

    Posted by Wendy
  2. This could be the start of a good children’s book–”A Donkey’s Day”…Lightning certainly gets into mischief (stealing radios, snitching food…)

    Posted by CVdB
  3. I had no idea the animals went for regular walks…thanks for sharing!

    Posted by Libby
  4. Keeper Comment :

    Absolutely, Libby!

    Walks are an important way for animals to get exercise, explore new places, sights and sounds, and to spend some time bonding with their keepers.

    Posted by Sarah Van de Berg

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

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.

Goat Coats

March 15th, 2014

Polar Vortex 2014 brought bitter cold air and lots of snow and ice to Durham. Most of our outdoor animals were snug and warm inside their holding areas or tucked into huge piles of hay to wait out the winter weather, but some of the farmyard residents were still just plain cold. We added a big heat lamp in the goat stall and would lock them inside but it still wasn’t enough to keep our two older boys toasty when it was 10 degrees out.  Even Lightning, the donkey, was shivering on the coldest of days.

How else do you keep a tiny herd of African animals warm?

GOAT COATS!!

 

and a donkey coat, too.

Join the conversation:

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

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.

Snow Pictures 2014

February 22nd, 2014

More snow pictures of the most recent storm to hit NC.

 

Join the conversation:

  1. nothing like a goat in a coat.

    Posted by sherry

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

If you have an account on any of the Museum's blogs, you can sign in with the same login to contribute to the discussion.

If you don't have an account, signing up is free and easy.

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:

 

YouTube Preview Image

 

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

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

If you have an account on any of the Museum's blogs, you can sign in with the same login to contribute to the discussion.

If you don't have an account, signing up is free and easy.

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.

Farmyard Pumpkin Fest 2012

November 8th, 2012

Only a couple days after we were given that truckload of giant pumpkins, I answered a radio call from Sherry telling me to drive the gator very carefully so I wouldn’t spill the cargo (I didn’t spill any).

more pumpkins

The pumpkin chariot

With our Quarantine stall in the Farmyard already full of pumpkins, something needed to be done to whittle down the collection.

The result: Pumpkin Fest 2012

piggy

Miss Piggy rarely climbs the fence, but pumpkins are a special occasion

ducky

Ducky likes to eat the seeds

There was even some pumpkin smashing!

pumpkin smashing

Jennifer (Exhibits Department) was in the Farmyard and volunteered to help smash some pumpkins.

goats donkey

The little goats and Lightning chow down. They had orange noses the next day.

max chum

Max and Chummix like to eat the guts of the pumpkins.

happy goat

Chummix seemed pleased.

alpacas

The alpacas haven’t gotten into the spirit just yet. Don’t worry, though, we have plenty more pumpkins.

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Love these!

    Posted by Ranger Ro

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

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.

QuickPic: Goats on Spools

October 23rd, 2012

The bears and lemurs have stumps to learn to station with and the little goats have spools!

goats

Even Lightning, the donkey, gets into station training. Teaching “station” or “place” is a great way to get an animal to give you some breathing room when you’re training multiple animals at once.

donkey

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Love this!

    Posted by kimberly
  2. This looks photo shopped to me! :)

    Posted by Jill
  3. Amazing!! More info on how you get the little goats and Lightening to do this…. please.
    Know trust in the keepers must be very important.

    Posted by dj
  4. Keeper Comment :

    Hi DJ,
    Training the donkey and goats to step up onto spools just takes a lot of patience and a really good idea of what the final behavior looks like. Goats are natural climbers, so teaching them to step up onto something doesn’t take as long to teach as some other behaviors. It started with a click and a treat when they interacted with the spools and then it progressed into a click/treat when they put a foot onto it, then 2 feet, then all 4 feet, and then finally, all 4 feet on the spool and staying up there until they’re released.

    Lightning learned to step up in pretty much the same way. He had the advantage of already having learned a behavior to put his feet on an object when asked to, so he got right on the spools in less than 5 minutes.

    Posted by Sarah Van de Berg

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

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.

Watermelons for the farm yard bunch

July 29th, 2012

Here is a video of the animals in the farm yard enjoying some watermelon. Its rare that everyone can agree on one food and watermelon seems to be it.

YouTube Preview Image

Join the conversation:

  1. Fun music! Lightning has such great table manners!

    Posted by Kimberly
  2. Keeper Comment :

    First time I saw this video I thought the sheep had been put in fast motion. But no, that was their real speed. Wow!

    Posted by Marilyn Johnson

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

If you have an account on any of the Museum's blogs, you can sign in with the same login to contribute to the discussion.

If you don't have an account, signing up is free and easy.

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.

Spotlight: Sarah Van de Berg

June 1st, 2012

This is Sarah. She’s been a keeper with us since July 2010. You’re going to learn more about her soon as she will start writing posts, although you can view her amazing writing skills by clicking here.

Sarah

Sarah is a Northerner and moved down here from Connecticut to work at the Museum. Her bachelor’s degree is from the University of Rhode Island in Wildlife Conservation Biology. She worked at science museums and sanctuaries in New England, taking care of many of the same animals she cares for here, and doing TONS of programs with kids. If you have a chance to attend a program Sarah leads please do so-she’s like a walking encyclopedia of animal facts.

She has recently began working with our manned hawk and owl. It’s no surprise that she took to it so quickly. She’s comfortable not only handling the birds but also managing the crowds and sharing a wealth of information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My favorite random tidbits about Sarah are that she coached crew (although I am sure she will correct me on my terminology) and that she’s a phenomenal cello player (I’ve seen her and former keeper Erin Brown play a couple times together).

Probably her favorite thing to do is spend time with Lightning, our donkey. Sarah is a phenomenal trainer and has worked hard with Lightning. I think her stubbornness matches Lightning’s well.

Join the conversation:

  1. Yay Sarah! She’s awesome!

    Posted by leslie
  2. I think her stubbornness matches Lightning’s well.
    AhhhhhhHaaaaa

    Posted by jillb

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

If you have an account on any of the Museum's blogs, you can sign in with the same login to contribute to the discussion.

If you don't have an account, signing up is free and easy.

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.

Trash anyone?

February 10th, 2012

From left to right: wolf exhibit, bear exhibit, farmyard exhibits, lemur exhibit.

Anyone who has been in the animal keeping profession knows that part of the job includes the unfortunate task of pulling trash out of the animal exhibits. On some level it is expected that a random object will occasionally be found in an animal’s enclosure, due to a visitor accidentally dropping something and not being able to recover it (please don’t try to retrieve the item yourself!). However, we have noticed the amount of trash in the exhibits increase significantly over the last couple of years.

By far, we find the most trash in the farmyard exhibits.

Keeper Katy focuses in the vet area of the animal department, so she is notified whenever anything is found in an exhibit so that we can put a “watch” on the animal for behavioral changes in case it ingested part of the item/food/trash. Since the keepers started finding items more frequently, Katy decided to start saving all the trash to see just how much was collected over the course of 2011.

The amount of trash in these pictures might astonish you, but what’s even more astonishing is that Katy didn’t start saving the items until the Spring of 2011.  So there’s a good four months worth of trash not included in these pictures. On top of that, there were times that the keepers forgot to keep the items for Katy, so those weren’t added to the bags either. I know there were at least three occasions where I forgot to save the trash for Katy, and I threw it away after pulling it from the enclosure.

The contents in this picture are a prime example of why we don't allow balloons on grounds. The outcome could have been very bad if one of our bears had ingested the helium balloon you see in the bag on the right.

There are times when a visitor accidentally drops something in an exhibit and they find a museum staff member to let them know. This is the best thing to do because the staff member will radio the keepers, and it allows us to remove the article from the exhibit as soon as possible.

Above: Here’s a closer look at some of the items we found in the farmyard. The mangled Mountain Dew can you see to the right came from the donkey and goat yard, and clearly it had been chewed on and ripped up by one or all of them. Worrisome for the keepers!

Here’s my personal favorite, and it was found in Lightning the donkey’s stall one morning. Unfortunately it was mixed in with some of his hay and could have been ingested fairly easily. It’s a hair attachment with feathers, and Kent saved this one and has it hanging up above his desk.

It’s nice to see that when our visitors are eating chips and drinking soda, they are trying to be healthy about it. However, these items are not healthy for our animals, even if they are “baked” or “diet”!

Katy has already started collecting exhibit trash for 2012, so watch for the blog post in early 2013 to see what we collected over the course of this year.

 

Join the conversation:

  1. It’s not just things being dropped in that are worrisome. Some of our animals will steal things from guests right off the railings or even from their hands! I rescued many applesauce coated toddler spoons from the donkey and goats last summer and the pigs have stolen plastic snack baggies right through the fencing. I like to ask guests to stand an arms’ length away from the fences if they have food or drinks, just to be safe.

    Posted by Sarah

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

If you have an account on any of the Museum's blogs, you can sign in with the same login to contribute to the discussion.

If you don't have an account, signing up is free and easy.