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Blog At the Museum

Museum team members make cozy new animal beds

Recently the Exhibits team built some sleeping logs out of 12-inch PVC pipe for some of the residents of Carolina Wildlife. Jill Brown is now a part of our Exhibits team after being a part of the Animal Care staff for over 14 years. Using her knowledge of animal habits she designed three sleeping logs and custom-built them with teammate Ken “KJ” Johnson. Jill also enlisted the help of Brown Brothers Plumbing and Heating who generously donated several hundred dollars of PVC piping for this project.

Jill attended a workshop with the group Hose2Habitat hosted at the Greensboro Science Center where they built smaller scale exhibit pieces out of PVC pipe. Taking the skills she learned at that workshop she made a plan to take large-scale PVC pipe and fashion it into animal sleeping platforms.

PVC animal sleeping platform

Florian, our resident striped skunk, is often observed laying inside boxes and closed spaces so Jill fashioned this log so that Florian could sleep on the bottom and Animal Care staff could place enrichment or food items on to the top. This will encourage natural sleeping and foraging behaviors.

Using sandpaper, wire wheels, files, hammers, and angle grinders, Jill and KJ texturized the PVC to look like the logs from various trees. KJ went even further by heating the PVC so that it was malleable and created the look of broken twigs and harsh edges.

Tools on a cart

PVC log

Once the PVC logs were shaped and texturized the way they wanted Jill and KJ used stain and paint and coated all the logs with a water-based polyurethane which is safe should the animals lick or chew on the logs.

Stained PVC log

The finished products are beautiful.

Staff member stands next to logs

Be sure to check the logs out next time you are in Carolina Wildlife.

Florian is already a fan of his log!

Skunk looks at camera from inside log