Posts Tagged ‘red wolf’

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.

Groundbreaking update.

May 17th, 2012

Groundbreaking for the red wolf center in Columbia, NC  occurred last week. Kim Wheeler posted this video of day one of work. (And while we’re talking wolves, BIG THANKS for supporting the Crowdrise challenge: the red wolf coalition took second place and earned an additional $15,000!).

 

 

 

 

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  1. That’s awesome about 2nd place

    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.

QuikPost: Red Wolf Quarterly Report

May 3rd, 2012

Here’s the 2nd quarter report from the red wolf recovery program. Please ask if you have questions.

RedWolf_QtrReport_FY12-02

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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.

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.

 

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  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

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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: Red Wolf Quarterly Report

February 8th, 2012

I received this report yesterday- the Red Wolf Recovery Program Quarterly Report (News from October-December 2011). If you want to know more about the red wolf program take a look.

Leave a note in the comment section if you have questions.

RedWolf_1stQtrReport_FY12

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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.

Vote for Red Wolves.

November 21st, 2011

There are 27 hours left to vote in the Chase Community Giving Program through Facebook. If the Red Wolf Coalition finishes in the top 100 vote-getter’s $25,000 will be earned. Please vote!  Voting ends at noon on Tuesday November 22. Please help support this wonderful but critically endangered animal. Click here to vote.

Several photos to help encourage you to vote…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. Dear Animal Department Director -

    I was recently in email contact with my old friend Leslie and my old friend Tommy and we all wondered if the Animal Department Director has always had a dream of working with animals and fun people. Also, what is your favorite animal and do you remember having fun in college.

    Thank you for your reply.

    Kath Connolly
    Providence, RI

    Posted by Kath Connolly
  2. Director Comment :

    it is I Kath(y)
    fun people has always been on the list- I was taught well in RI!
    Sherry

    Posted by Sherry Samuels

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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.

Red Wolf SSP meeting- I’m back

July 27th, 2011

I told you a couple weeks ago I was heading out to the Red Wolf SSP meeting. I’ll cut right to the chase this year. (Last year you got to first learn about everything EXCEPT wolves).

We’ll be keeping our two red wolves and hoping they make some babies.

My main job on day two, during the “matchmaking” and “moving” stage, is to document what is going on on big paper for all to see. I write down what breeding pairs have been made and keep track of how many we make. I also keep track of wolves moving (how many “transfers” we make) and if cars/airplanes are needed to make the moves. The chart below gives you an idea of my messy writing and my poor art skills, but you get the idea (I hope). Someone else keeps track of the same thing I do and we compare notes to make sure that we got everything right.

Day two is a fun, overwhelming, exciting, tiring, and stressful  day as there is so much to consider and take in. Please ask questions- I am happy to try to answer them.

Join the conversation:

  1. What is TREK and why do they have so many wolves?

    Posted by Leslie
  2. Director Comment :

    A fine question Leslie, I’ll try to be brief. Trek is “Northwest Trek”, a zoo/animal park that is park of Metro Parks of Tacoma, WA. Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, kind of the headquarters for the captive component of the red wolf recovery program, is also part of Metro Parks Tacoma. There was a captive red wolf holding facility called “Graham” out in WA. The land became encroached upon with housing developments. A bunch of federal stimulus money came in two years ago and funded the moving of the Graham facility to behind the scenes at Northwest Trek.

    Posted by Sherry Samuels
  3. I’m excited to hear both are wolves are staying put and getting another chance to breed.

    Posted by kimberly
  4. Keeper Comment :

    oops- ‘our’ wolves

    Posted by Kimberly Lawson

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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.

Red Wolf SSP meeting 2011

July 16th, 2011

I head out next week for the annual Red Wolf SSP meeting. Every July I head to the master plan meeting for the red wolf species survival plan. This is when people from institutions that have red wolves get together and talk about “red wolf stuff”. It’s at this meeting when we typically learn what wolves we’ll have next year.

some of my red wolf SSP friends, and me.

I’ve probably spent part of my July for the last 10+ years with many of the same people who are passionate about red wolves. It’s always nice to reconnect in person with old friends who love to talk about poop quality and bizarre red wolf behavior.

Check out posts about previous year’s meetings below, and ask any questions you may have. I’ll report back from Roanoke or soon after I return.

The 2010 meeting was in Springfield, Illinois. It’s well worth reading  about last year’s meeting and my interesting trip home. In 2009 the meeting was in Tacoma Washington. We met in Chattanooga Tennessee in 2008 and talked about all sorts of interesting things.

Join the conversation:

  1. Keeper Comment :

    Where is this year’s meeting, Sherry?

    Posted by Marilyn Johnson
  2. Keeper Comment :

    Never mind, just caught it in the post!

    Posted by Marilyn Johnson

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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.

Red Wolf Quarterly Report

May 27th, 2011

Sorry for the late posting. Click on the attached link to read the 2nd quarter report (January – March, 2011) from the Red Wolf Recovery Team.

  20110428_RedWolf_QtrReport_FY11-02

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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.

No Pups…

April 28th, 2011
I wish I had better news to report, but alas, no wolf pups. There are things we know, things we assume, things we don’t know, and lots of opinions. The short story is there are no pups and the chance of pups is very low to nil at this point. No need to read on if you don’t want or need more information.
 
We know that just over 3 weeks ago, on Tuesday April 5, #1287, the female wolf, started losing hair from her belly. This fact, along with behavior changes (i.e. digging more and burying food) and confirmation by security guards that mating had been seen between the wolves, led us to believe and hope 1287 was pregnant. The timing of all this matched perfectly when 1287 started cycling and exhibiting the desire to mate (this occurred the end of January/beginning of February and there is a 63 gestation period for red wolves).
 

Wednesday April 13, we thought the female might be delivering pups: her behavior was very antsy and she spent a lot of time in the den. However, still no pups. There were no signs and there are no signs that the wolf had or has given birth.
 

 

As discussed/reported from the very beginning of the entire hubbub, the wolf could be exhibiting a pseudo pregnancy. This is a false pregnancy, where hormonally the wolf goes through all the changes she would under real pregnancy conditions. The act of mating itself can cause a pseudo pregnancy, as can regular seasonal changes. It is my opinion that pseudo pregnancy is what was/is going on.
It’s unlikely, but we still could come upon pups, and we’ll watch closely until mid/end May (May 25 is the latest date red wolves have been born).  However, we have now shifted our focus from pups to possible health issues and complications from pseudo pregnancy or other pregnancy but no delivery “issues”. As long as the female behaves and looks as she usually does we will watch and wait. If we need to catch her up and do further assessments, we will. (i.e. if scooting persist as mentioned above, of discharge is noted on her body/bottom…)
It’s very disapointing, that’s for sure.
 

 

red wolf 1287 howling

1287 in the front with some belly hair missing

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  1. Such a bummer (and I’m sure it is the most for all you keepers!)–I’ll keep fingers crossed for late pups, but maybe next year!

    Posted by Libby

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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: Waiting IS the hardest part.

April 16th, 2011

I know everyone is on edge waiting and hoping and waiting and angsting and waiting and wishing and the list goes on and on. We’re still very hopeful that red wolves 1287 and 1369 will become parents any day. Remember, however, she may not be pregnant and she may just be going through a pseudo pregnancy, which would obviously be overwhelmingly disappointing. We’ve still got a few more prime days, and we’re still hoping we’ll be pleasantly surprised.

In the meantime, take a look at a couple of cuties born at the Wolf Conservation Center in NY last year. If we’re fortunate, we’ll have our own bundle here to swoon over. Otherwise, we’ll try again next year…

red wolf pups, 2010 from Wolf Conservation Center.

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