See you on the other side of the fence!

So if you’ve seen me around Museum grounds lately, you’ll notice my profile is looking a little different these days!

stretching out my uniform!

Yep, in April, I will become  a very different kind of “animal keeper”!!

Our female wolf was just in heat, and since red wolves have a 63 day gestation period, I keep thinking how cool it would be if she got pregnant and we gave birth on the same day!  Seems unlikely though, since in all of our observations, the male hasn’t seemed very interested in her.  Anyway…

So  I’m obviously very excited, but I’m a just a little sad too, because I’ve decided to stop working, and I am really going to miss the Museum:  the animals, the people, and the work!

This will be my last blog post, but I’m sure I will see all of you around, as I join the ranks of stroller moms and dads who populate the Museum.  It’ll actually be nice to spend some time in different areas. Even though I work here,  I rarely get to watch the leaf cutter ants for more than 20 seconds or visit the Butterfly House, or build my own Contraption. And who knows,  I may even do some volunteering in the future!

I figure I have a couple of advantages going into things, thanks to my life as a keeper, over other first time moms:

ONE:  I will have no issues with diaper changing– really, what could smell worse than possum poo smeared all over an exhibit or make you gag more than sorting through the delivery of thawing dead feeder mice in 90 degree heat?

TWO:  I’ve  bottle fed a squirmy, bitey (yet very cute)  baby Virginia bear cub, and have ended up covered in Esbilac and baby cereal, so I’m up to taking on feeding challenges!

THREE:  If you’ve ever heard the red ruffed lemurs sound their alarm call, you know how loud and distressing it is. I’ve endured it for half an hour straight while enclosed with them in a cinder block building, so at least I’ve had a taste of possible all night crying sessions!

All you parents reading this are probably laughing at my naivety by now, and I realize I  can’t really know the challenges and joys of a baby until she actually gets here. What I do know, is that I have nine years worth of great stories to tell my baby about working at this wonderful place.  And that as she grows, she’ll get to meet my other family: the keepers, the volunteers, the animals, and the other Museum staff who have made my time here so great.

Thanks to all of you for reading my posts, and lastly…  my husband and I haven’t picked a name yet! If you have a good suggestion, put it in the comments section.   Here’s the hilarious list that keepers actually started years ago, and have worked on extra diligently since I told them the good news!

the list-- started years ago
more recent additions

4 responses to See you on the other side of the fence!

  1. Shawntel says:

    Kristen, You will be missed but we look forward to seeing you around! Best of luck!

  2. Wendy says:

    That entry is actually a tribute to a former post, not a reference to your profile…

  3. Libby says:

    Congratulations! I think babies are just as entertaining as animals, and I hope you find that, too. I don’t have any name suggestions, but your colleagues seem to have a lot of “juniors” in the running. 🙂

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