It’s all About the Snout

Top Photo: An older photo of three of our bears. Our three adult black bears can each be identified by muzzle only, though it may take a little practice. But first, how do you tell male from female in the Black Bear Exhibit? Male black bears (we have one, Gus) have longer, straighter legs, bigger heads and longer necks, and a more angular body shape. Females tend to be more rounded or rotund. Even though the photo above is tenRead more

The Weather and The Squirrels

Top Photo: Gray squirrel nest (center) high in loblolly pine. The week leading up to New Years was warm. Daytime temps reached into the 60s and 70s, heck, the lows were in the sixties towards the end of the week. During that period I saw many squirrels out and about. They all seemed to be chasing around looking for an easy meal, a pecan, a hickory nut, black oil sunflower seeds from the bird feeders. I got the distinct feelingRead more

GBH and more Fall Colors

Top Photo: Great blue heron with fluffed out neck feathers. Great blue herons (GBHs) are not as regular visitors as they once were, so it’s nice to see one in our wetlands. Things are changing rapidly. Seasonal colors peak and fall. Don’t miss it. Don’t miss a minute of it.Read more

The Little Bear Update

Top Photo: Gus Bear and Little Bear feed on food tossed out by Animal Care Team, nuts, sweet potatoes, carrots, berries… Just to remind everyone the best time to spot our newest black bear is in the morning. The secondary black bear overlook remains the best location to get a glimpse of the “Little Bear.” She’s staying out longer each day and seems to be adapting well. I’ll see you there.Read more

Bear-watching

Top Photo: Two diehard bear-watchers staring at Yona Bear but hoping for a glimpse of the “little bear.” Morning is the best time for seeing our new cub, which is why the two intrepid bear-watchers above are braving a chilly morning in Explore the Wild to search for the “little bear.” There she is, up on the stump behind Gus! Come on out and see if you can spot her.Read more

Groundhogs, a Little Bear, and a Hawk

Top Photo: Oak stump and resident groundhog. Strolling through Wander Away in Catch the Wind, I noticed a gray, furry head poking out from the side of a large oak stump on the side of the path. I immediately stopped and reached for my camera. Inching forward, I was able to get a few shots of the young groundhog whose head was posed at the entrance to its burrow, its nose twitching for scent. Groundhogs are fairly common sights hereRead more

Ducklings in the Wetlands

Top Photo: Mallard duck with two of her six ducklings. Ranger Molly informed me she saw a mallard duck and six ducklings in our wetlands over the weekend. On my next trip into the wetlands, I spotted the family in the swamp across from the Main Wetlands Overlook. A pair of mallards had been hanging around the wetlands the entire spring, had disappeared for a while early on, but had returned. Sometime later in the season they had again goneRead more

Foot

Top Photo: Can you identify the animal this skeletal foot was part of? As seen here it’s about 40mm in length. This foot was found on the path in Explore the Wild. If you look closely you can see attached fur, which makes this a mammal. It’s small, as the measurement above indicates, but there’s one other characteristic visible in the photo which is shared with much larger members of its family of animals. Look at the claws. They’re retractable.Read more

Busy Time for Squirrels

Top Photo: Eastern gray squirrel sits on boulder chomping on nuts. Squirrel activity is high at this time. There’s lots of nest building and renovating, digging up of old buried seeds and nuts, and frequent munching. The weather has turned slightly colder and the squirrels are paying attention. Here’s some shots of resident gray squirrels doing what squirrels do while prepping for and reacting to the cold of winter. So, if you notice the squirrels seeming to be busier thanRead more

Eno, Ellerbe and the Bones

Top Photo: Ellerbe left and Eno. The animal keepers occasionally place deer legs into the Red Wolf Enclosure. The wolves appreciate the additional offerings of nutrition and behavioral enrichment, though it’s not always clear what is appreciated more. To further harmony, Eno finds his own leg bone to gnaw on. Entente.Read more