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!”

Greensboro Science Center To Remain Closed Through April 30, 2020

In a continued effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, the Greensboro Science Center (GSC) will remain closed through April 30, 2020. In addition, the GSC will reduce onsite staffing and initiate an “essential staff only” operating plan effective March 24, 2020. Essential staff are primarily those responsible for the health and wellbeing of the GSC’s animals.

GSC leaders are in daily contact with Association of Zoos and Aquariums, American Alliance of Museums and Association of Science and Technology Centers officials so organizations can learn from one another and understand how our nation’s accredited zoos, aquariums, museums and science centers are also coping with COVID-19. In addition, regular communication the GSC’s Board of Directors and city partners allows the entire team to remain in the loop as we collectively work to get through this crisis together.

GSC CEO, Glenn Dobrogosz, says, “Our staff and animals are doing fine. But, to ensure the highest safety for our team and follow even stricter social distancing standards, the GSC will carefully move into a daily routine focused 100% on our animals and the dedicated curators, keepers and aquarists who care for them every single day.”

“Our world, nation, state and city are facing unprecedented challenges,” Dobrogosz continues. “But, when COVID-19 passes and we beat this invisible killer, Greensboro and our nation will spring back to life. The GSC’s staff and board are committed to the economic and marketing power of science-based tourism to help bring visitors back to our city’s streets, restaurants and cultural attractions.”

Stay-At-Home Science: DIY Play Dough

Here’s a great project that combines kitchen chemistry with art! Make your own play dough using items you already have in the pantry, then use your imagination to create a play dough masterpiece.

Are you a visual learner? Watch the process on our YouTube channel.

Play-Doh

play-doughMaterials:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • ¼ cup of salt
  • ¾ cup of boiling water
  • 3 tbs of lemon juice
  • 1 tbs of cooking oil
  • Food coloring, essential oil (optional)

Procedure:

  1. Mix flour and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Remove 3 tbsp from your ¾ cup water and discard.
  3. Add oil, lemon juice, and optional food coloring and/or essential oil to water.
  4. Pour liquid into flour and salt mixture.
  5. Stir continuously until dough forms.

Note: when you’re done playing, store your play dough in an airtight container.

Greensboro Science Center Announces Two-Week Closure and Continued COVID-19 Assessment

In light of ever-changing national, state and local conditions associated with the spread of COVID-19, the Greensboro Science Center (GSC) will be closing for a minimum of two weeks, effective as of 5:00 p.m. Friday, March 13. The GSC will be closed through at least March 27. Staff will continue to assess all aspects of this rapidly evolving situation during this two-week period.

The GSC is perpetually focused on three core values:
1. The health and welfare of our guests
2. The health and welfare of our team
3. The health and welfare of our amazing animals

With these values in mind, GSC officials have decided to be proactive and err on the side of caution.

“This is a very tough decision,” says Glenn Dobrogosz, CEO of the GSC. “Given that the GSC is already seeing record attendance and we are just now heading into our peak season, we know this is going to hurt. But, our guests, colleagues and amazing animals will always come first.”

Dobrogosz continues, “To all citizens of Greensboro, thank you for your support, understanding and patience. Please be assured that our team and animals are doing great. This too will pass and the GSC looks forward to so many amazing projects that will bring science and tourism to the forefront of our community’s bright future.”

Sensory Friendly Night Returns on March 17

Sensory Friendly Night DSC-2662On Tuesday, March 17, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., the Greensboro Science Center (GSC) will once again host an after-hours Sensory Friendly Night. This event is designed specifically for guests with sensory-related challenges, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, and their families.

Martha Regester, VP of Education, says, “We want everyone to experience science adventures at the Greensboro Science Center, and we know that sometimes the noise, lights, sounds, and smells – and crowds – can be overwhelming. We are really excited to open our doors with a more relaxed night for families with someone whose autism or anxiety makes a visit more challenging during regular operating hours.”

Sensory Friendly Night tickets are free for GSC members and $5 per person for non-members ages 3 and older. Children 2 and younger are free. Tickets can be purchased on site at the GSC’s admission window the evening of the event. Tickets include admission to the GSC’s museum and aquarium, with special quiet and activity zones, games, and sensory backpacks available for loan. The zoo will not be open.

Guests are encouraged to visit the GSC’s website to access downloadable materials that will help prepare for the evening’s activities. Downloadable resources include a map that highlights locations of exhibits and activities as well as locations with sensory extremes, such as loud noises, unusual smells, and bright or dark lighting conditions. A printable photo board denoting the activities available through the evening is also available so guests can build their own schedule prior to arrival. A social narrative is available to prepare guests about what they can expect during their visit.

Additional Sensory Friendly Nights are scheduled for September 15 and October 20. 2020 Sensory Friendly Night events have been made possible by the Lincoln Financial Foundation. Special thanks goes to the University of North Carolina TEACCH Autism Program for GSC staff training as well as the Autism Society of North Carolina and Autism Unbound for their support of this program.

Greensboro’s Earth Day Celebration

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The Greensboro Public Library, Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department and the Greensboro Science Center (GSC) are teaming up to honor Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary at Greensboro’s Earth Day Celebration. This free, community-oriented event will take place at Country Park on Saturday, April 18, 2020, from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Greensboro’s Earth Day Celebration is designed to encourage members of the community to learn about – and adopt – sustainable practices that will help care for the Earth. Guests will be invited to discover nature as they explore trails, meet live animals and learn about sustainable gardening.

Dozens of ecological organizations will be on hand with displays and hands-on activities highlighting everything from alternative vehicles to earth-friendly science spotlights. Live music, hayrides, food trucks and family-focused games and activities will enhance the celebratory atmosphere.

Martha Regester, the GSC’s VP of Education, says, “Fifty years is a milestone for Earth Day and we’re looking forward to the next 50 years of caring for this planet’s resources. Country Park’s trails and accessibility are a true Greensboro gem and we are excited to have so many area partners sharing their expertise with families.”

Guests are encouraged to enter the celebration at Jaycee Park, located at 3802 Jaycee Park Drive. Admission is free. Learn more at www.greensboro-nc.gov/earthday.