This is a reposting of my post at the Animal Keepers blog on the NC Museum of Life and Science website.
Every now and then the Museum offers special opportunities for Members to experience some behind-the-scenes aspects of life at the museum. This past Sunday, Animal Department Director Sherry Samuels led an enthusiastic group of parents and children down to the bear exhibit to help feed the bears (I tagged along and took some photos). Normally, visitors are never allowed to feed any of the animals! Each animal has a special diet which must be followed for their health and wellness. So this was a very special opportunity to not only observe and learn about the 5 bears who live here, but to also help feed them by tossing in the fruit, nuts, and vegetables that Sherry gave the participants. The bears gave quite a show and demonstrated many of the behaviors that the keepers regularly observe, but which members may not have seen before. Check out this schedule and then register to join us for a future Bear Feeding! The next one is a morning feeding on Sunday, April 17th.
The group walked down to the Bear Overlook after the museum closed.
The kids loved tossing in nuts, apples, sweet potatoes, and a few other goodies for the bears to eat.
The adults got their chance to show their food pitching skills.
Yona, Gus, and Mimi were the first to arrive and enjoy the dinner that had been tossed in.
Sherry talked the entire time (this was a good thing). She gave lots of information about the bears and answered many questions. She also told some funny stories (ask her about Ursula and donuts).
One young member enjoyed looking through the exhibit book that identifies each of the bears.
Another young member must be an Animal Keeper in training. She took detailed notes and even illustrated her observations. Click on the photo to see a larger image so you can see the detail of what she wrote and drew.
After we were done feeding and observing the bears, Sherry handed out some goodies to remember the day.
Oh boy! I got my own little bear!!!