The WNC Nature Center is now open! Face masks are required. Learn more about what to expect and plan your visit here.

Open 361 Days a Year: Admissions 10:00am – 3:30pm; park closes at 4:30pm

Missy the Bobcat


Lynx rufus

Appearance: Bobcats are named for their short black-tipped tails.  They have tufted ears, long legs, and large paws. Their short, thick top fur coat can range from light brown to red and their under coat is white with dark black spots. They have ruffs of hair on the sides of their head, which appear to look like sideburns.

Range: Resourceful and versatile, bobcats are capable of adapting to a variety of habitats including forests, swamps, and deserts. Once found throughout the United States, today the bobcat’s range is limited. Aside from humans (vehicles and habitat loss due to urbanization), natural bobcat predators include wolves and cougars.

Diet: Bobcats are solitary hunters that prey mostly on small mammals like rabbits, rodents, and sometimes birds, reptiles, or young deer. Bobcats have a well-developed sense of smell and excellent night vision. They use their sharp, retractable claws to climb trees and ambush their prey.


Missy the bobcat was born in April 2001 at Zoo Boise in Idaho and has lived at the WNC Nature Center all her life. Since Missy was born and raised in a zoo, she does not fear humans and didn’t learn the necessary survival skills to live in the wild.

Missy is one of the oldest mammals at the Nature Center, but that doesn’t stop her from hunting and exercising! Bobcats can live to be 12 years old in the wild and up to 32 years in zoos. You can frequently find Missy sleeping in her hammock or climbing on her exhibit structures.

Meet our other animals

American Black Bear

American Black Bear

Generally shy and reclusive animals, black bears avoid human contact and are not normally aggressive. Two black bears, Uno and Ursa, live at the Nature Center.

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Red Wolf Karma

American Red Wolf

Red wolves are highly endangered species that has been eliminated from almost all of its natural range. Our breeding pair of red wolves, Karma and Garnet, are part of the AZA Species Survival Plan.

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Angora Goat

Angora Goat

Angoras are primarily browsing animals and thrive best where there is a good cover of brush, weeds, and grass.    Disliking the rain, Angoras are well adapted to a dry, mild climate.

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