traveling companions

I was chatting with someone recently about my trip to Ohio to pick up our new red wolf, # 1414.  Afterwards,  I began thinking of what other animals I have shared my vehicle with.  Here’s a partial list of my travel companions over the years.

  • red wolves. Besides the Ohio pick up, last month Aaron and I had our road trip to Atlanta to get #1369 on his plane out to Tacoma.   WV and NY were probably the longest trips, each over 500 miles each direction. Many years ago I met keepers from Florida on  I-95 in Georgia and did a wolf exchange at a gas station.   (Click here to see a video of former keepers Kristen and Cassidy picking up a former red wolf – 1227- from the airport.
  • black bears– Gus  and Yona, to be specific. I almost didn’t make it back with Gus as the Wildlife Official transferring Gus from his crate to mine was a bit casual. Volunteer Annie was with me and almost had a heart attack. Yona was transferred to my van in the parking lot of WalMart in Johnson City, Tennessee.
  • saltwater fish (I’ve probably made 5 trips to the beach over the years for fish, and then to airports to get them. We don’t have saltwater fish on exhibit anymore, so no more beach trips).
  • snakes– I picked up a couple a few years ago from the Dan Nicholas Park Nature Center.
  • Alligators: Former Keepers Daniel and Larry did most of the Florida Alligator exchanges, but I’ve had 8 alligators share my ride to and from South Carolina.

The list goes on and on: woodchuck, opossums, owls, hawks, lemurs, bobcat, raccoon, goats… I wonder what animal will be next???


2 responses to traveling companions

  1. dj says:

    How old was Gus at that time? I wish I had a photo from the last bear feeding I attended when Gus was upright on the gate behind you. His paws and height are so impressive!!

    • Sherry Samuels says:

      DJ: We picked Gus up in July. He was about 6 months old (less than 40 pounds too). It is amazing when he stands up tall!!

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