Virginia Bear Update–Post #4, Sedation and Safety

We left off the last Virginia bear update with her being wheeled into the room to get ready for the work that was to come. The first part of getting Virginia “seen” by the team of specialists was getting her to sleep– or sedated. Our bear crate has a variety of doors and little “windows” we can use to help make this happen safely. The general plan was reviewed with the team, and then we began: I “called” Virginia toRead more

Virginia Bear Update: laser and more

Readers know Virginia has extensive osteoarthritis. She receives multiple medicines and laser treatments to help. Some photos (and video) below. We’ll be doing a series of posts in December about Virginia’s recent challenges, and her trip to the NCSU Vet School for a CT scan.      Read more

Flashback Friday: Virginia

I was texting was former Museum staffer and Animal Care Team helper Leslie last week. She is expecting her second human child the end of the year. Got me thinking about babies and bottle feeding. Virginia is one of the last babies I bottle fed. Virginia is our almost 15 year old American black bear. She arrived at the Museum at less than four months of age weighing about 15 pounds, and still on a bottle. She was pretty adorable,Read more

Keepers building enrichment!

When we aren’t busy shoveling stalls, scooping poop or making diets we occasionally get time to work on a special project or make new enrichment items. Last month, Janine, Katie and I got to build a hammock bed for our bears. It involved some wood as the frame, fire hose and lots of washers and screws.  At Janine’s past job she made plenty of these types of beds so she was showing Katie and I the ropes. Not only isRead more

Bear Pool Cleaning Next Month

We fully drain and clean the bear pools twice each year (it used to be once each year but not anymore). Next month is time again. It is typically a very tiring, fun, fulfilling, frustrating, and dirty project. (Yes, all those words go together for this project). Below are photos of Autumn and Katie during the December cleaning process. If you want to see photos from previous bear pool cleanings, click here,  here, or here. We’ll try and get someRead more

Mimi Takes a Shower

Welcome to summer in the South. It’s hot. Mimi, one of our female black bears, has taken to coming to visit whomever is cleaning the bear house in the morning to get sprayed down with the hose. She’s been especially cute as the temperatures have gotten hotter. Last Sunday, I managed to coordinate my cellphone and the hose well enough to get some of her morning shower on video! Watch below!Read more