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.

Volunteer Spotlight: Meredith D.

Meredith D. has been volunteering at the Greensboro Science Center for over a decade! When Meredith first became a volunteer in August of 2008, she spent her time in the area of the GSC that focused on enriching the experiences of our youngest guests. Meredith says, “I started out in the Kids’ Alley playroom for 6 months. Then, at the encouragement of our former Volunteer Coordinator, I signed up to cross-train and volunteer as a Docent in the Herp Lab and Zoo.”

As time went by and the GSC continued to expand, Meredith wanted to get more involved. She says, “After the SciQuarium (now Wiseman Aquarium) opened, I was cross-trained and worked in there, the Zoo and Herp Lab on alternate weekends. Now, I just volunteer in the Wiseman Aquarium, which has worked out really great.” As one of our most inquisitive Docents, Meredith has a passion for learning about the various animals and exhibits at the GSC so she can help educate the public.

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When thinking back on what drew her to the GSC, Meredith recalls, “I have always wanted to volunteer at the GSC, and I have always loved rocks and animals and kids.” Meredith found the transition from visitor to volunteer to be a smooth one, adding, “[The GSC] is a socially inviting place to work, which for me is important because I have autism and require accommodations and understanding from co-workers, which is very difficult to obtain in many ‘traditional’ work settings.”

Meredith’s success as an Aquarium Docent is a point of pride for both Meredith and the GSC’s Volunteer Department, as she took on the responsibilities of a volunteer knowing she would have to advocate for her needs and adapt to a constantly evolving organization. In turn, our staff have taken cues from Meredith to learn her needs and support her growth. We’ve been thrilled to see her journey at the GSC.

In the 10 years she has been volunteering, Meredith has been able to witness and be part of the changes at the GSC. In reminiscing on some of those changes, Meredith says, “I miss the rock and mineral gallery and some of the staff who have left.” Although not an exhibit at this time, the GSC is currently exploring options to exhibit rocks and minerals again! And, in thinking further back, Meredith remembers one of the funniest moments she’s encountered as a Docent. “A guest once told me that she thought the fur on the golden lion tamarins looked like Donald Trump’s hair.”

Although Meredith has faced some obstacles in her life that others have not, she has always committed to doing the best possible job at the GSC. She takes every shift seriously and strives to learn from each experience. Meredith still finds volunteering as fun and as rewarding as she did ten years ago: “I enjoy the people, the kids and the exhibits. And, having autism, it gives me the ability to have a set routine to benefit other people’s lives.”

We couldn’t be more grateful for Docents like Meredith, who strive every shift to not only enrich their own lives, but the lives of our guests. Meredith is nearing the 2,000-hour milestone as a volunteer at the GSC. Our team can’t wait to give her the button she’ll wear proudly when that day comes!

 

Why We GSC: Featuring Sarah H.

Meet Sarah H., the GSC’s Curator of Aquatics. Her job is to help develop a vision for the department and ensure that the Aquatics team has the tools and knowledge they need to accomplish their jobs.

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Sarah’s story is an especially interesting one. She worked here for a short while about six years ago, then left for five years – but ultimately decided to come back. When we asked her what drew her to return, she had this to say:

I’ve been very fortunate to work at three different facilities and even luckier to find a place I can call home.

After six years in the aquarium field, I was looking for a challenge. The idea of helping the Greensboro Science Center bring a bit of the ocean to a landlocked city seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Shortly after helping to open the GSC’s aquarium back in 2013, I was offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work at a world-renowned facility – an opportunity that, had I turned it down, I would have wondered about it the rest of my life. So I made the difficult decision to leave the GSC to reach for a dream.

However, I found I missed those intangibles that made the GSC feel less like work and more like home. After five years away, I made a much easier decision to come back to the opportunities that awaited me here.

I am proud to be a member of the Greensboro Science Center family and am excited to create a new dream with Greensboro’s only public aquarium.