Animal Care at the JMM

If you’ve been to the museum before, chances are you have met our amazing cast of live animals. While lizards may not need to be walked every day like a dog, they actually need a lot of specialized care. And who takes care of them? The dedicated JMM Animal Care team. This group of students works hard every day to make sure our live animals receive the best and most attentive care possible. They are in charge of everything from daily feeding, cleaning the cages, tending to the animal’s health, and teaching others about these incredible creatures. Below is a blog post written by Ky Doyle, who is part of the Animal Care team at the JMM.

Frida, our hognose snake

“Hi, my name is Ky, and I do animal care at Joseph Moore Museum, specifically reptiles. My duties include preparing food, changing water, cleaning the tanks, and making sure the animals are happy and healthy. One of the reptiles is Judi Dench, the green iguana that is around 15 years old, and she acts just like a cat. She loves being petted, having all of the attention on her, and climbing things just to be high up. When I had green hair, she would climb on to the top of my head and try to eat my hair. This iguana loves to eat and is especially passionate about anything green, so she fits in very well at the kale-loving Earlham campus.

Ky and Judi, our green iguana

Another one of the animals I take care of is Hiccup the six-year-old bearded dragon. He is pretty lethargic and likes to prop himself up on rocks so all of the world can see his glory, but when there is food involved he runs like a cheetah, except because of his fat, it is more like a fast wiggle. When I put his daily salad in his tank, it is gone in about two minutes. Lately, we’ve been playing a game where I dangle a cricket in front of him and move it around, and he’ll chase after it which forces him to exercise.

Lastly, there is Sunfire, the older bearded dragon with Metabolic Bone Disease. He is much like a guard dog where he loves his caretaker but if anyone else gives him food he does not like it. Except this Beardie is also a huge softie because he loves to cuddle up on your shoulder, I’ve had many days where I stay late just because he fell asleep on me. Overall the reptiles at the museum are big sweethearts, and I wouldn’t trade my job for the world.”

Sunfire, the bearded dragon, spending quality time with Ky!


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