Posts Tagged ‘Mimi’

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!

Having fun with Bear Enrichment

August 5th, 2014

Enriching the lives of our animals is a daily task for us keepers. When I have the time, I like to be a little more creative with my enrichment ideas. The other day I decided to put a table and four chairs into the bear side yard. I carefully picked out the tallest chair for Gus and the shortest chair for Yona. Mimi and Virginia received similar sized chairs. To entice them to actually check out my creation, I wrote all of their names in syrup and decorated the table and chairs with raisins!

Up close look at the yummy treats!

Up close look at the yummy treats!

A table with four chairs and a place setting for all the bears!

A table with four chairs and a place setting for all the bears!

When I came back in the next day, all of the chairs and the table were knocked over and all the treats consumed! I would say they had a pretty nice dinner party!

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  1. What, no tea?

    Posted by Wendy

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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!

Mimi loves Peanut Butter

July 20th, 2014

Jessi and I go into the bear yard once a week (typically on Tuesdays) to scoop poop, scoop up any uneaten food and pick up old enrichment. Once we are done with that we scatter all their food for the day and we try to add an extra treat. A few weeks ago, we took in several jars of peanut butter and smeared it all over rocks, trees and anything else we could. I decided to smear some on the top of one of the dead falls. Mimi accepted my challenge and climbed up on it to get her delicious treat!

Checking out what I put up there.

Checking out what I put up there.

Enjoying some peanut butter!

Enjoying some peanut butter!

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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.

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).

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  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.

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.

Packages for the Bears.

January 4th, 2013

I thought the bears would be thrilled to have the 15 pounds or so of nuts that my neighbor left on my doorstep last week. However, in addition to the almonds and hazelnuts that Donna left on my doorstep, the bears received their own mail at the Museum. 50 pounds of walnuts arrived at the Museum addressed to the four of them!

2 large boxes arrived, addressed to the four bears

The bears have Kelly Taylor, our Rentals Manager to thank. Kelly absolutely LOVES the bears and asked her family to get presents for the bears for Christmas.

The bears cannot read English so we’ll tell them what the note says

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  1. Hey Sherry! That is a cool Christmas story for sure!! Thanks for sharing. (and the education) I did not know bears liked nuts. Go figure!
    Happy 2013!
    Marlene

    Posted by Marlene Murray
  2. I love when we get mail for our animals.

    Posted by Jill
  3. Super sweet gift for the bears!

    Posted by Kimberly

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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.

This week in ETW

October 13th, 2012

Recently I added a hammock to the Ring Tailed Lemur indoor stalls. I have seen both Cassandra and Satyrus snuggled up together in it but when I reached for my camera they jumped up. I got lucky the other day and snapped a pic of Lycus lounging in it.

I was working for Keeper Jill this past Saturday (who was attending the AAZK conference) and wanted do some fun enrichment for the Bears and for me to watch. So I used a bunch of empty boxes and filled them with their p.m. food and some extra treats. It wasn’t very eventful but it was interesting to see how each of them accessed their boxes differently. Gus just shoved his head right in! Mimi carefully pulled back the tabs on the boxes. Virginia pushed all the tabs into the box and Yona had her box on it’s side. 

Front to back: Gus, Mimi, Yona

Virginia

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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.

Photos from Explore the Wild

September 24th, 2012

Lemurs-

Cynthia sleeping- can you believe she finds this position comfortable???

Cassandra having a bite to eat

Lycus sitting between the shift door

The beginning of station stump training

Ring Tail!

 

 Bears-  

Two bears during a keeper talk. Keeper Talks are in Explore the Wild everyday at 2pm!

Gus laid out on a hot day, Yona is curled up close by

I love seeing Mimi’s cute face each morning

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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.

It’s HOT out there.

July 15th, 2012
We all know it’s been a hot summer. We talk about it every morning before we start our day. Animals, just like people can succumb to heat related issues. However, we never want it to get that far with the Museum’s animals. We prepare every year for the temperatures to rise and how to best take care of ourselves and our animals. 

 

Mimi, in the water as she often is in the summer, with her fancy nut-ice block

We make sure that there is plenty of shade and water for our bears, wolves, and lemurs in our Explore the Wild exhibits. Any catching up of the animals is done early in the morning before temperatures rise, usually before 7 a.m. Summer enrichment includes lots of frozen fruit, fruity or nutty ice cubes, mousicles (any guesses what a mousicle is?), or even ice blocks the size of buckets or large garbage cans.

You would think that being native to Madagascar makes it a breeze for our lemurs during the summer. However, it gets much hotter in North Carolina than it would in the treetops of the Malagasy jungle, so we have air conditioning for the indoor areas- keeping the temperatures around 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

shade for the lemurs from their shelter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keepers watch the Farmyard animals closely too. Some of the exhibit areas have big shady trees, for others we add umbrellas that the animals can stand under. Shade cloth is added to the top of our hawk and owl cages. Fans go up in every window. We check water levels at least three times each day, adding “water balloon ice cubes” to keep the water cool. Rabbits, the ones most susceptible to heat issues, get frozen water bottles to lean up against.

 

Lightning, Rocky and Patches hang in the shade.

 So be safe and try to stay cool.

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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.

The Bears- June 26.

June 27th, 2012

What a lovely day yesterday was- cool and only 80 degrees- so we were worked  in the bear yard: scooping poop, weed-eating around fences, spreading food, etc. From a service road near the Butterfly House, I pruned a bunch of Russian Olive plants that had ripe berries and put them in the bear yard, along with the bear food and “fruity-ice blocks” for the bears. I happened to have a camera with me and took a bunch of photos to share. You can zoom in on each photo by clicking on it.

Yona- in full shed- licking her fruity ice block

Yona is not shedding out so elegantly, but she’s still cute. It looks like the keepers put nuts and fruit in her ice block.

 

Mimi picking through the Russian Olive for the ripe berries

 

Look closely above and you can see Yona is on top of the ice block.  A couple seconds before this photo, Mimi climbed higher to get to a different branch of berries. Then, the bottom of the Russian Olive branch lifted off the ground and whacked Yona on the side. Yona jumped up, on top of the ice block. The scene made me chuckle.

Yona joins Mimi eating the berries

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