More snow pictures of the most recent storm to hit NC.
It’s been so busy I haven’t had time to share photos with you. Some places at the Museum had as much as 3 inches of snow, and we were closed on Wednesday.
Aaron and I noticed lots of tracks in the snow in the wolf yard. Sorry, no photos as I couldn’t hold a camera, broom, pool skimmer (to break the ice and remove it from the pool), food, and bucket.
All the bears were in their usual winter spots. Yona would not get out of bed to get her treatments (Cosequin, vitamin supplements, and a de-wormer). I honestly sat their (yup, on a rock after clearing off the snow) for almost 15 minutes. Luckily for me Virginia came over huffed and stomped at Yona who got up and ran out of bed.
Sorry, no photos of the farmyard- maybe next snow.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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).
Did you know that you can be stung by caterpillars?
I was surprised when I got stung by one on the wolf cliff in Explore the Wild. I didn’t know that it was a caterpillar at first but after describing what it felt like to the other keepers, they said it had to have been a caterpillar. At that point, I was on a mission to find out what exactly stung me. I needed to have a plan to properly complete my mission so that I could educate myself, other keepers and museum visitors.
First, I needed to remember where on the wolf cliff that I got stung. Second, I needed to have a camera on me at all times to capture the creature. Not a very complex plan but it turned out to be harder than I thought. Could it have been a sting and run?
After about two weeks, I finally found the creature. On a small plant, on top of the wolf cliff I found the caterpillar.
Any ideas on what kind of caterpillar?
Seeing caterpillars is not new here at the museum. Keeper Sarah and Ranger Greg have made post on these interesting creatures. In my next post, I will show you other caterpillars I have encountered while out in Explore the Wild.
On Tuesday Aaron and I spent 16 hours together driving to Atlanta and back. We were taking the male wolf to his airplane so he could flyout non-stop to his new home in Tacoma Washington. It was a long day for sure, but things went great. Aaron and I arrived back at the Museum tired but safe sometime around midnight. The wolf arrived safe and sound and was let out of his crate around 10 PM pst (1 AM Durham time).
You can imagine, or maybe not, what went on in the van all day long. Somethings are secrets to never be shared (you know, what happens in the van stays in the van). However, I’ll share some things, in QUIZ form of course. See how many correct answers you can get on the “Aaron quiz”. (answers will be posted in a few days).
#1 Which of the following liquids did Aaron not pack for the trip?
#2 How many cups of coffee did Aaron drink on the entire trip to Atlanta and back?
#3 Which were the snacks that Aaron packed (you have a 50/50 chance to get this one right)?
#4 Who called us at 6:45 PM (on Sherry’s cell phone. I know- not about Aaron but still an interesting question)?
#5 What songs did Aaron sing during the trip
# 6 If Aaron were to win $200,000,000 in the lottery, what new profession would he undertake?
# 7 When we stopped for lunch did Aaron
# 8 Approximately what portion of the trip did Aaron drive?
#9 What TV series is Aaron currently watching with his son(s)?
#10 What did Aaron do to keep busy for the hour or so we waited around Atlanta for the flight to take off?
October is when our wolves get their annual physicals and when wolf transfers tend to occur. Before our male wolf heads off to his new home, we’ll celebrate Wolf Awareness Week (October 14th-20th). We’ll be doing programs down at the wolf exhibit daily at 2 PM, but our special event is in the evening. On October 17th you can join us for our Evening with Wolves.
Sign up now for this event. Space is limited. You can learn about the wolf transfers and get a last look at our male before he heads out to a new “zoo” the following week.
And more bad news for red wolves
I feel like such a downer, but I think you should know that a bill being proposed in the senate would have grave effects for red wolves. Head over to the red wolf coalition website for more info on bill SA 2315 of the Farm Bill. There might be wonderful parts of this Farm Bill for many different constituents, but for red wolves, not-so-much.
It’s an interesting read- take a look at this interesting yet sad – report of a wolf in Alaska who apparently died of starvation.
And don’t forget, you can still help out red wolves until 11:59 PM on May 15th:
The Red Wolf Coalition- the only not-for-profit whose only goal is to advocate for the long-term survival of the red wolf – is part of an Earth Day Fundraiser through Crowdrise. Right now through May 15th, the Coalition is part of Crowdrise’s Earth Day Challenge. Any dollar amount large or small would help. Donate in honor of the Museum’s wolves, an animal keeper, or just because. An extra $25,000 could be won to help red wolves!
The Wolves and Wild Lands in the 21st Century traveling exhibit was just unloaded off the truck. It opens this Saturday April 21st, and you can see it through July 8th.
Come and check it out.