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This year, the title of Queen Charlotte has passed to a new young groundhog, who will make a weather forecast from the privacy of her royal chambers and continue brushing up on her regal manners for next year's public event.

Groundhog Day is approaching and all around the United States, people eagerly await the proclamation of more wintry weather or the promise of an early spring.

Here at Charlotte Nature Museum, we recently coronated a new Queen Charlotte. As with any young royal, the process of learning what it takes to be a queen and to represent the city of Charlotte can be a daunting challenge, especially for a groundhog who is less than a year old!

So what does it take for a new groundhog to become Queen Charlotte, or for any of our animal residents to become a program animal?

For Queen Charlotte, her training has started very simply, with a goal to get her acclimated to the behaviors and manners we expect from a queen.

The first step was to get settled in her private chambers. From there, sh… Keep reading.

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Meet all of our animal friends at Petapalooza this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

We had a great time talking with Colleen and Eugene about traditional and non-traditional pets on WCNC yesterday.

Check out the video below and meet all of our animal friends at Petapalooza this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

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Charlotte Nature Museum Members enjoy exclusive access to the Museum for Spinning Spiders & Creepy Crawlers, our October Creature Feature.

From ghosts and superheroes to witches and princesses, our littlest Charlotte Nature Museum Members trick-or-treated their way into our hearts at Saturday's Boo Bash.

Boo Bash gave Members exclusive access to the Museum for Spinning Spiders & Creepy Crawlers, our October Creature Feature. They enjoyed arts and crafts, face painting, storytelling, mini golf and live animal encounters, all before the Museum opened to the public.

Check out our slideshow at right to see photos from this spook-tacular event.

Not a Member? Click here to discover the benefits.…

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Marvin Bouknight is the new director of Charlotte Nature Museum.

My name is Marvin Bouknight and I am honored to be the new director of Charlotte Nature Museum.

From an early age, I have been excited and enthusiastic about animals, wildlife and all things natural.

My mom loves to tell the story of when I was a little fellow; I had a bumblebee hover in front of my face. I ran to my mom and excitedly told her, "I saw a bumblebee! I saw a bumblebee!" When she told me it wouldn't hurt me, I exclaimed, "I'm not scared! I saw his eyes!"

I have always been into nature and when it came time to go to college, this passion guided me to Clemson University, where I received a bachelor's degree in wildlife and fisheries biology.

After a short career in commercial fisheries and analytical chemistry, I finally found my calling as the naturalist for Charle… Keep reading.

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Campers create sculpture out of recycled materials during the Leadership Development Summer Camp at Charlotte Nature Museum. The public is invited to submit their own recycled material sculptures by noon, Friday, July 18. One winner will receive a family 4-pack of tickets to Discovery Place.

Want to win a family 4-pack of tickets to Discovery Place?

Then grab some recycled materials and get creative!

Campers in this week's Leadership Development Summer Camp have organized a recycled material sculpture building contest, and everyone is invited to participate.

Sculptures can be any size, as long as they're made of recycled materials and easily transportable. To enter, bring your creation to Charlotte Nature Museum by noon on Friday, July 18. The contest is open to all ages.

Campers will select one overall winner, who will be recognized in a special presentation at 1:00 p.m. at the stage in Fort Wild.

Following the presentation, participants are invited to join the campers in a clean-up of the greenway and park behind the Museum. All volunteers should wear comforta… Keep reading.

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The votes have been counted, and Reptar is the name of our Museum's newest resident, an American alligator.

Thank you to everyone who voted on a name for our new baby alligator through our blog and Facebook.

Based on your input, Reptar is the name of our Museum's newest resident, an American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

The recently hatched Reptar is about 12 inches long and came to us from Alligator Adventure in Myrtle Beach, S.C., which allows the Museum to borrow a juvenile alligator for a few years and return it for a smaller animal once it gets too large.

You can find Reptar swimming happily the Beginnings exhibit in the Great Hall. Plan a visit to meet Reptar today!…

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