Christmas 2017

So, I’m sweating at 5:30. Last night I set out shorts and sweat pants and a sweatshirt. I know I am always hot with the heat blowing while working indoors, so I set out layers to wear today. Yay for being prepared. Here’s the but… I decided not to wear them — what the heck was I thinking!! My alarm went off at 4:52 and I drug myself off the couch (with glasses on and not lost this year), brushedRead more

Animal Department Boys

A quick shout-out to our two father’s in the animal department today. The two of them, especially together, provide quite a bit of entertainment. Some photos of Kent and Aaron are below.   We’re skewed female in the department: Seven human females to two human males.  In “zoo lingo”  animal department staff sexes would be written as  2.7 (actually, to be technical, it would be 2.7.0. the first number is males, then next is females, and the last is unknown). Our volunteer team is skewedRead more

Can Snakes Swim?

YES! All snakes can swim. It’s not just specialized snakes, like Sea Kraits, that can swim and dive. Water Snakes, Copperheads, Water Moccasins, Garter snakes, Anacondas, Ribbon snakes, Rat snakes, and many more are often found near bodies of water. Even the arboreal snakes of the world like Green Tree Pythons and Mangrove snakes are competent swimmers. The museum grounds are home to a number of resident snake species; including the only venomous snake species in Durham, the Copperhead. WhileRead more


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 completeRead more

A Keeper’s Point of View, Part 1

Each morning as an Explore the Wild Keeper, after I’ve read over yesterday’s logs, gotten my food and enrichment together for the day and grabbed any additional items I might need (i.e. snacks) I head out to begin my day. The first thing I do is check the bear fence. This also involves checking the bears. I took several photos in a row of what that looks like from my point of view.  Read more

Animal Programs

The Animal Department does several programs a week. We have a daily 2pm Explore the Wild Keeper Talk, which changes between Bears, Wolves, and Lemurs each week. At these programs we talk to visitors about our animals, wild animals, what kind of food they eat, or any other specifics you’d like to know. We also have a Farm Yard Program at 4:30pm all days but Thursday. At these programs we close the Farm Yard which includes feeding the animals andRead more