Fishing Kittens Born at the Greensboro Science Center on April 3

The Greensboro Science Center (GSC) is happy to announce that two fishing cats were born on Friday, April 3, 2020. The sex of the kittens is unknown at this time. This is the second litter of kittens born to Mako (male) and Tallulah (female) as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) fishing cat Species Survival Plan (SSP).

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Animal care staff have observed encouraging behaviors from both mom and kittens. Keeper Megan Hankins says, “Mom and kittens are doing well and eating well. Tallulah is very attentive to and protective of her babies and is taking great care of them.”

Keepers will continue to keep their distance from the new family as they settle in. Once Tallulah is comfortable being away from her babies, the GSC’s veterinary team will give the kittens a full exam.

It will be approximately three months before the kittens will be on exhibit – after they are able to easily move around, get in and out of the water, jump and climb.

Fishing cats typically stay with their mother until they reach around nine months of age. Rachael Campbell, Assistant Curator Terrestrial, says, “That is about the time that they would normally disperse on their own in the wild and you will see Tallulah actively trying to push them out at that point. They will not be introduced to Mako again. In the wild they are solitary so males play no role in raising the kittens.”

The GSC will continue to update the public on the kittens’ progress on the organization’s social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Voting Begins to Name Newest Penguins

The Greensboro Science Center is seeking the public’s help to vote for names for its two newest penguin chicks. The chicks, who are both male, hatched on January 22 and January 25, 2020 to parents Guinn and Vello. GSC volunteers submitted names and GSC staff narrowed down their selections to the top eight.

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The eight names the public is invited to choose from are:

  • Trevor
  • Jim
  • Waldorf
  • Hobbes
  • Marco
  • Mbaku
  • Nico
  • Dwight

Voting is taking place through 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 10. Vote here: https://forms.gle/1tFWNo6KrhRpwWmMA.

Since participation in the African penguin Species Survival Plan (SSP) began in 2014, a total of 21 chicks have hatched at the GSC.

Shannon Anderson, the GSC’s lead penguin keeper, says, “We are honored to be actively participating in the African penguin SSP. Through their guidance, we have doubled our colony size and by doing so, have been able to transfer penguins to other AZA facilities, which ultimately improves genetic diversity in zoos and aquariums. We are incredibly proud of all the hard work we’ve put in to successfully raising 21 chicks!”

Sumatran Tigers To Make Exhibit Debut Thursday, January 30

On Thursday, January 30, Sumatran tiger brothers Rocky and Jaggar are scheduled to make their public debut on exhibit at the Greensboro Science Center (GSC). From 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., the tigers will have access to their outdoor exhibit space as well as their indoor holding area. The animals may or may not be visible to GSC guests at any given time, as they will be able to choose where they would like to spend the day.

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The two-year-old brothers arrived at the GSC on Friday, January 10 from Florida’s Jacksonville Zoo. Since then, they have spent time getting to know their keepers and adjusting to their new surroundings. Over the last few days, they have been given opportunities to explore their exhibit space for short periods of time under close supervision of GSC staff. Animal care staff have determined that they are now ready to make their debut on exhibit for all GSC guests.

Carolyn Mikulskis, the GSC’s Lead Keeper for tigers, says, “It has been so much fun to work with the tiger brothers over the last couple of weeks. Getting to know their personalities has been amazing and I am so excited for all of our guests to get to see them! They are full of energy and are going to be an amazing addition to the Greensboro Science Center.”

Mikulskis continues, “With the boys only being two years old, we are going to get to watch them grow and mature here at the GSC. They are only about 180lbs right now and could grow up to 310lbs.”

The GSC’s tiger exhibit has gone through extensive renovations over the past two years. The original holding facility was completely rebuilt to support a breeding pair of tigers, which allows the GSC to actively participate in the Sumatran tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP) in the future. The new building features four individual rooms that can be combined as needed to form larger rooms. This allows for a future denning space – as well as a separate area for mom and cubs if a breeding recommendation is received from the SSP.

The exhibit space itself has also seen significant changes. Waterfalls, bridges, rocks, scratching posts, climbing structures, shade structures and a cave have all been recently added. In addition to providing guests with a more aesthetically pleasing view, animal care staff hope these changes will provide the animals with plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

Tigers Return to Greensboro

On Friday, January 10, 2020, two-year-old Sumatran tiger brothers, Rocky and Jaggar arrived at the Greensboro Science Center (GSC) from Florida’s Jacksonville Zoo. The pair is currently being housed behind the scenes as they acclimate to their new surroundings. An exhibit debut date has not yet been determined.

Jessica Hoffman-Balder, the GSC’s VP of Animal Care and Welfare says, “Rocky and Jaggar arrived safe and sound Friday afternoon. They did very well with transport and settled in quickly to their new home.”

VIDEO: Tigers arrive at Greensboro Science Center

The GSC’s tiger exhibit has gone through extensive renovations over the past two years. The original holding facility was completely rebuilt to support a breeding pair of tigers, which allows the GSC to actively participate in the Sumatran tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP) in the future. The new building features four individual rooms that can be combined as needed to form larger rooms. This allows for a future denning space – as well as a separate area for mom and cubs if a breeding recommendation is received from the SSP.

The exhibit space itself has also seen significant changes. Waterfalls, bridges, rocks, scratching posts, climbing structures, shade structures and a cave have all been recently added. In addition to providing guests with a more aesthetically pleasing view, animal care staff hope these changes will provide the animals with plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

Rocky and Jaggar will spend the foreseeable future adjusting to their new home and keepers. They’ll slowly be granted access to the exhibit space to explore their surroundings while the GSC is closed. Once the animal care team is confident the animals are well adjusted and ready to meet the public, an official opening date will be announced.

Preparing for Winter: Reptiles & Amphibians

The Greensboro Science Center is home to a number of reptiles and amphibians, including four awesome Aldabra tortoises! Although they live at the GSC all year long, during your winter visit, you won’t see these guys out and about in our zoo.

As cold-blooded animals, Aldabra tortoises need warm weather to stay healthy. When temperatures dip below about 60 degrees, they remain inside their blockhouses where the temperature is maintained at a toasty 80 degrees and where they have access to heat lamps and UV lamps.

You probably notice in your very own backyard that you don’t see turtles, snakes, frogs, and the like during winter. Many of these animals hibernate during the colder months. If you see one around as the temperatures begin to cool, the best thing to do is to leave it alone. If the animal is in an unsafe location, you can move it to a brushy area where it can burrow and hide. To help local reptiles and amphibians, you can create brush piles in your yard where they can stay warm and safe through winter!

Conservation Creation: Red Panda-monium, featuring DIY Seed Bombs!

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Red pandas are undeniably one of the world’s cutest animals. With bright red fur, striking facial features and a big fluffy tail, these animals have quickly become popular throughout the internet and in the hearts of our guests. However, these traits serve a larger purpose than to pull at our heartstrings! Red pandas are native to Southeast Asia, particularly in the temperate forests near the Himalayan Mountains. In these areas, temperatures remain cool and that large fluffy tail is used almost like a blanket to keep these small animals warm. In addition to providing warmth, that beautiful thick red fur helps these animals camouflage themselves within the red lichens that grow in their natural habitat.

Believe it or not, the red panda is the original panda. Red pandas were discovered around 50 years before the black and white giant pandas that we typically think of. These animals have caused quite a headache for scientists over the years as they’ve tried to figure out the relationship between red pandas and giant pandas.

Currently, red pandas are classified in their own unique family called Ailuridae. However different these animals may seem, they do share some commonality. For one, both the red panda and the giant panda love to eat bamboo! These animals are also both greatly affected by habitat loss. Here at the Greensboro Science Center we support the Red Panda Network, an organization dedicated to preserving these animals. You can also help red pandas by donating to the Red Panda Network here (https://www.redpandanetwork.org) and by continuing to visit the Greensboro Science Center and other AZA accredited zoos and aquariums!

Remember to join us during the month of September on Tuesdays and Thurdsays at 10:30am and 2:30pm at our red panda habitat to participate in our Conservation Creation activity as well as on September 14thfor Red Panda Day!

While red pandas live thousands of miles away from us, there are things we can do for animals effected by habitat loss right here in North Carolina! Some of these animals include our local pollinators such as bees and butterflies. As we move in to the cooler months of fall, we can begin planting flowers and other plants to help out these animals. To get started, we have a cool DIY activity for you to do at home that will be fun for you and beneficial to our local pollinators: Seed Bombs!

DIY Seed Bombs

What you will need: Air-dry clay, potting soil or compost, water, seeds, a large mixing bowl, a measuring cup of any size

To choose seeds that will be the most beneficial to your area, visit this website: https://www.ourstate.com/tips-bee-friendly-garden-north-carolina/

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Seed bomb ingredients

Step 1: Take 1 part clay, 1 part water, and 2 parts potting soil or compost and combine them in your mixing bowl.

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Combine 1 part clay, 1 part water, and 2 parts potting soil or compost

Step 2: Use your hands (or a large spoon) to mix the ingredients together, adding water as necessary. Your final mixture should be similar to Play-Doh in consistency.

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Mix ingredients, adding water as necessary, until the mixture has a Play-Doh-like consistency

Step 3: Add your seeds of choice to the mixture and mix thoroughly.

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Add seeds

Step 4: Form the mixture into balls or another fun shape of your choosing.

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Form the mixture into balls

Step 5: Allow 2-3 days for your seed bombs to dry and then toss them wherever you would like your seed bombs to grow! Seed bombs don’t require care or attention so they can be placed wherever you would like to see your flowers. Visit them often in the Fall and Spring to see if you have any insect visitors!

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Completed seed bombs!

Red Panda Day Celebration: September 14

red-panda-day-2019On Saturday, September 14, 2019, the Greensboro Science Center (GSC) is celebrating International Red Panda Day with a variety of crafts, games, education stations, and activities. The celebration will take place at the red panda exhibit in the GSC’s zoo from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

During the event, GSC guests will be invited to become Red Panda Rangers – individuals recognized by the Red Panda Networkas those who help spread the word about red pandas. To become a Red Panda Ranger, guests can pick up a passport and travel to stations representing countries in Asia where red pandas are found, complete activities and earn stamps. Participants who complete the passport will be given a small token of appreciation as they are deputized as official Red Panda Rangers.

Red panda paintings, created by the GSC’s red pandas, Tai and Usha, will be available for purchase. Proceeds will be donated to the Red Panda Network. Guests can also support the Red Panda Network by dropping loose change into a red panda bank.

In addition, guests will have the opportunity to symbolically adopt a red panda. Donations made through the GSC’s Adopt An Animal program provide critical support for animal care, education programs and wildlife conservation at the GSC. Adoptions can be made during the event, in the TriceraShop gift shop or online at www.greensboroscience.org/give.

International Red Panda Day activities (excluding donation opportunities) are free with general admission or GSC membership. General admission is $14.50 for adults ages 14 – 64, $13.50 for children ages 3 – 13, and $13.50 for seniors ages 65+. Children 2 and under are free.