Posts Tagged ‘wolves’

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

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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

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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.

Last week’s snow

February 4th, 2014

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.

We staged 20 shovels and 4 push brooms so as staff arrived they could get to work clearing paths and steps.

No surprise that Donald showed up as regularly scheduled

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.

The female wolf seemed fine in the snow

Not sure what he is looking at. Right before this photo he had peed on some food.

 

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.

Virginia Chasing Yona out of bed.

 

Yona stomping back as Virginia left.

Sorry, no photos of the farmyard- maybe next snow.

 

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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).

Join the conversation:

  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 , Keeper
I have been a keeper at the museum since May 2012, but I was an intern back in the spring of 2011. I am very passionate about animals and my favorites are native species with the exception of sloths. In my spare time, I am working on a Bachelor's degree with OSU online in environmental science. I have two dogs, a snake, and a cat.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and you will usually see me somewhere in Explore the Wild. I love giving keeper talks, so hope to see you at 2 pm for our meet the keeper programs in Explore the Wild.

Caterpillars

November 8th, 2013

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.

 

 

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Think it may be a Saddleback Caterpillar.

    Posted by Hans
  2. Yes, that is definitely a Saddleback. I’ve been stung more times than I can remember. Unfortunately, it’s not picky about its food plant and can be found almost anywhere. It turns into a small brown moth.

    Posted by Richard
  3. Keeper Comment :

    Richard, thanks for the information. I was very curious on what exactly stung me.

    Posted by Jessi Culbertson

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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.

My Day with Aaron

October 25th, 2012

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?

  1. Mountain Dew
  2. Water
  3. 5-hour energy drink
  4. Creamer

 #2 How many cups of coffee did Aaron drink on the entire trip to Atlanta and back?

  1. one
  2. two
  3. three
  4. the total of the three choices above (six cups)

#3  Which were the snacks that Aaron packed (you have a 50/50 chance to get this one right)?

  1. pretzels, chocolates (snickers, m& ms, twix), other candy (skittles, starbursts)
  2. carrots, celery, apple, protein bars

#4 Who called us at 6:45 PM (on Sherry’s cell phone. I know- not about Aaron but still an interesting question)?

  1. Museum Security guard (could only find one wolf in the exhibit)
  2. Dr. Vanderford  (how’s the wolf)
  3. Debbie May, Museum CFO (how’s the trip)
  4. Delta Air Cargo “PetFirst” department (wolf is on board and flight has taken off)

#5  What songs did Aaron sing during the trip

  1. Hall & Oates’, Maneater
  2. Billy Joel’s Piano Man
  3. Happy Birthday
  4. All of the above
  5. None of the above

 # 6  If Aaron were to win $200,000,000 in the lottery, what new profession would he undertake?

  1. Disc Jokey
  2. Chef and restaurateur
  3. Race car driver
  4. Would not work if he won that sum of money

 # 7  When we stopped for lunch did Aaron

  1. Say no thanks, too busy to eat
  2. Order lunch but not eat it
  3. Ate it and had the exact same meal 7 hours later for dinner

 # 8  Approximately what portion of the trip did Aaron drive?

  1. 0 %
  2. 25%
  3. 50%
  4. 75%

#9 What TV series is Aaron currently watching with his son(s)?

  1. The Big Bang Theory
  2. The Mentalist
  3. NCIS
  4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

#10  What did Aaron do to keep busy for the hour or so we waited around Atlanta for the flight to take off?

  1. Slept in the van
  2. Went for a 5K run/jog
  3. bought the week’s produce for the animals
  4. Sang to Sherry while she was trying to sleep

Join the conversation:

  1. What are we playing for?

    1. 5-hour energy drink
    2. six
    3. Hmm, I’m gonna go with #2
    4. security guard
    5. all of the above
    6. I haven’t the foggiest. #4?
    7. #3
    8. 0%
    9. I hope it’s #4
    10. #3 (at PUBLIX!!!!!!!)

    Posted by Leslie
  2. 1. Water
    2. three
    3. definitely the first choice!
    4. Delta
    5. none
    6. chef
    7. #3
    8. 50%
    9. #1
    10. #3

    Posted by Marilyn
  3. 1- mt dew
    2- 6 cups
    3- junk food! I overheard this at lunch today
    4- Debbie May
    5- none of the above, although you’d think differently if you ever heard him on the hall
    6- chef
    7- ate the same meal twice
    8- 25%
    9- Buffy wouldn’t be surprising
    10- bought produce

    Posted by kimberly
  4. 1-1
    2-1
    3-1
    4-1
    5-I seriously hope not 1
    6-4
    7-3
    8-3
    9-4
    10-2

    Posted by Julie
  5. 1. Water
    2. One
    3. The tasty ones, not the healthy ones
    4. Security Guard
    5. I hope all of the above
    6. DJ
    7. Ate the same meal twice
    8. 25%
    9. Buffy
    10. Sing Sherry to sleep

    Posted by Kelly
  6. 1. Water
    2. Six
    3. Chocolate
    4. PetFirst
    5. Piano Man
    6. Would not work
    7. Ate the same meal in 7 hours
    8. 25%
    9. Big Bang Theory
    10. Went for a run/jog

    Posted by Janell
  7. 1. Creamer
    2. six cups
    3. carrots, celery, etc.
    4. Debbie May
    5. None of the above
    6. Chef and restauranteur
    7. Ate it and had the same meal later
    8. 50%
    9. NCIS
    10.Went for a run

    Posted by Shawntel
  8. #1-Mountain Dew
    #2-Six cups
    #3-”Healthy” snacks
    #4-Security guard
    #5-All of the above!
    #6-DJ
    #7-Ate the same thing 2x
    #8-0%
    #9-hm.. Buffy?
    #10-Went for a run, but imagining #4 made me laugh.. especially if it was in the middle of the airport, and Aaron’s volume level was the same as in the dept. Haha

    Posted by Colet

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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.

October is here- an evening with the wolves is upon us

October 1st, 2012

October brings all sorts of nice things. Halloween, cooler weather, a new fiscal year, Pumpkin Patch Express, and a bunch of wolf stuff. 

 

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.

 

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Wolf Howl is a super fun night!

    Posted by kimberly
  2. Wonderful…..

    Posted by islandladybug

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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.

Senate’s Amendment to Farm Bill Threatens Red Wolves

June 23rd, 2012

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.

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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.

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: Interesting wolf article

May 12th, 2012

It’s an interesting read- take a look at this interesting yet sad –  report of a wolf in Alaska who apparently died of starvation.

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/why-lone-alaska-wolf-traveled-thousands-miles-only-die-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!

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