Thursday, December 13, 2012

Assistant Animal Keeper

One Friday morning, while I was cleaning the deer and turkey pasture, I had a little helper. The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) doe in these pictures is a doe who was raised by a wildlife rehabilitator, an individual who has gone through education and training to be able to assist wildlife with special needs because of being orphaned or injured. After she was found as an orphan and had to be hand-raised, she wasn't able to be released to the wild. Because of this, she's very comfortable around us animal keepers. This, however, is not normal behavior. Most deer prefer to stay away from humans. Because this doe is so friendly and comfortable around humans, or imprinted, she has been in captivity all of her life. Deer in the wild should not be approached or expected to be calm around humans. They are still wild animals who can be quite capable of injuring a human should they feel scared or threatened. This is especially so at this time of the year when it's the breeding season, or what's called the "rut".
hmmm......what might this be?
There must be something good in here, I'm sure of it!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

New ohhhhh-possum!

It's a lovely day out today, come on out and enjoy the sun! Today we are introducing a new opossum to the outdoor opossum exhibit. The new opossum is a young male that a rehabilitator raised because he was an orphan. He was put out on exhibit this morning for the first time and after such a busy morning, he decided it was time for a little nap.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Turkey struttin'

At the turkey pardoning a couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to experience the event from the other side of the fence. Another keeper and I tended to the turkeys before they went out to receive their pardoning from Mayor McKinley L. Price of Newport News.
The crowd gathers in anticipation.....
Turkeys await their debut....
Getting ready to put on a show......
Here we are! Ta-Da!