Snowshoe Hare Phenotron Open House

On November 12th the Mills’ Lab hosted an Open House at the Snowshoe Hare Phenotron, a state-of-the-art photoperiod and temperature controlled research facility at the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine. The purpose of the Open House was to thank the talented and creative NCSU community for bringing the concept of the Phenotron to reality and to recognize the dedication of the people associated with daily operations of this remarkable facility. Open House attendees toured the Phenotron, which included observing our resident snowshoe hares from Montana and Washington that are currently undergoing the fall molt. Attendees also had the opportunity to experience the temperature and photoperiod of Montana, which is quite chilly. In addition, attendees learned about our environmental enrichment program, which is an aspect of animal husbandry that focuses on enhancing the quality of captive animal care by providing “enrichment items” that facilitate natural behaviors thereby encouraging physical and psychological well-being. The Open House was a great success!

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Images: Snowshoe hare in an edible Timothy hay hare-hut with loblolly pine forage (left); Example of the variety of enrichment items provided to the snowshoe hares to encourage physical and psychological stimulation (right).