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A weak yellow-bellied slider with overgrown claws finds respite in a tank at Charlotte Nature Museum after naturalist Nikki Panos removed a wire and soda can that had been attached to his shell. The turtle was later returned to his home in Freedom Park.

Recently, I had the unfortunate task of dealing with the repercussions of someone's intentional and harmful actions against a yellow-bellied slider (Trachemys scripta scripta) at Freedom Park.

A family of good Samaritans rushed into the Museum, worried about a turtle they said had been caught up in wire. Grabbing some wire cutters, thinking this was just a turtle who had found his way into trash, I hastily made my way down to the lake only to find something more.

This turtle had been made the object of a cruel prank.

Someone had drilled a hole into the bottom of his shell and attached a wire with a soda can to it. This way, when the animal swam, the prankster could follow his movements.

The turtle was in rough shape because he hadn't been able to move naturally. His claws wer… Keep reading.

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If the thought of those eight crawly legs makes you want to reach for a shoe, here are some reasons to squash that fear and celebrate instead:

• Spiders feast on local disease-carrying insects, safeguarding your family’s health and keeping garden pests at bay.

• Spiders also get eaten. They’re a valuable protein source for invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles. Some countries even regard spiders as a delicacy. Fried spiders are a common dish in Cambodia and are believed to offer diners good luck in parts of South America and Thailand.

• Spider venom is used in important scientific research. It may prevent permanent brain damage in stroke victims and help treat arthritis and certain heart ailments.

• The silk produced by spiders is used in many optical devices including laborat… Keep reading.

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“What a wonderful thing is mudŔ Toad belts out during the chorus of the Carolina Morning.
We spend a fair amount of time mucking about in the mud here at Charlotte Nature Museum.

With the start of the Summer Camps, budding naturalists can be found tipping logs, sifting through leaf litter and yes digging in the mud in search of a new discovery.

Mud is a wonderful medium for kids to explore the natural world. Left alone to play in the mud, kids can create masterpieces, search for critters and learn about soil and water through direct experiences.

Join us on the Paw Paw Nature Trail and experience our new exhibit officially opening tomorrow (Saturday), Fort Wild! Keep reading.

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If you have been watching the OwlCam, you’ve observed that the owlets are no longer sitting in the nest.
While not fully grown or fully feathered, the owlets are branching out.
Perched on branches near the nest, using their beaks and talons to move about, the chicks are preparing to fledge on their first flight.
Visitors were able to catch a view of the two high in the trees, from the boardwalk leading to the Pa w Paw Nature Trail.
The owlets were sitting on a branch, staring inquisitively at their admiring crowd while testing and spreading their wings.
However, don’t think for a second the owlets are alone, proud parents Nate and Rosa stay perched nearby, keeping careful watch.
Stop in and take a walk on the Pa w Paw Nature Trail , you may catch a glimpse of the two young o… Keep reading.

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For the past five years we have observed via Owl Cam a nesting pair of wild barred owls (Strix varia) in an oak tree on the Museum's Paw Paw Nature Trail.

Since barred owls nest only once a year ,we anxiously await the nesting pair’s annual arrival to monitor the female incubating her eggs followed by an exclusive glimpse of the newly hatched owlets. Rosa and Nate, as they are affectionately called by Dr. "Rob" Bierregaard, Jr. (former research professor at UNC Charlotte), began nesting on February 27. Rosa laid two eggs soon thereafter which she will now sit on, keeping them warm for approximately 30 days. Nate, her mate, will stay nearby keeping watch, hunting and bringing food to the nest.

For the first time ever, Charlotte Nature Museum is streaming the Owl Cam live- clickKeep reading.

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Starting this Friday, February 18 through Monday, February 21, Charlotte Nature Museum will be participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count. Tens of thousands of avid birders across the nation will be counting birds and submitting their data to the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and Audubon Society. We want to help Charlotte, NC regain its rank as the number one locality to submit checklists, so we are inviting you to join us!

The data collected from Charlotte Nature Museum combined with data collected around the nation provides a “real-time” snapshot of where birds are across the continent. The Great Backyard Bird Count allows scientists and bird enthusiasts to create a detailed picture of winter birds and their location. This activity is so important because ornithologists wo… Keep reading.

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