UPDATE:  As of July 1, 2020, until further notice, the WNC Nature Center remains temporarily closed to the public. The Nature Center is working closely with local officials to develop a plan to safely reopen. This will most likely take place during Phase 3 of North Carolina’s Stay Safe COVID-19 order. We anticipate opening during the month of September and will update the website and our social media platforms as soon as a date is confirmed.

Open 361 Days a Year: 10:00am – 5:00pm, last entry 4:30pm

Corn Snake

Corn Snake

Elaphe gutata gutata

Also known as the red rat snake, corn snakes are one of the many species of rat snakes found in the United States. The name “corn snake” can be attributed to the scale pattern on their belly, which resembles Native American corn, and their tendency to frequent corn cribs to eat visiting mice. Like other rat snakes, corn snakes are non-venomous and can subdue their prey by constriction. Corn snakes live in the southeast and as far north as New Jersey and as far west as eastern New Mexico and Colorado, usually in wooded or rocky areas, meadows, along waterways, wood lots, barnyards, and abandoned houses. Corn snakes are long, slender and brightly colored. Corn snake coloration is highly variable and can be affected by the snakes’ age, the region in which they live, and if it was bred for the pet trade; colors range from reds, grays, oranges, blacks, and yellows. Corn snakes are most active at night, but it is also likely to see them in the early even-ing. During the day they can usually be found hiding in leaf litter or under rocks or logs. When disturbed during the day, they sometimes vibrate their tail in dry leafs in an attempt to mimic the sound of a rattle snake and scare away the potential threat. They use their ability to climb trees and rafters in search of prey: mice, rats, birds, bats, and bird eggs. Under human care, the average lifespan of a corn snake is over 10 years, but in the wild, a corn snake would live a considerably shorter life.

 

Ginger

Date of Birth: July 2009

Ginger was donated to the Nature Center by a family who kept her as a pet. When the family moved, they needed to find Ginger a new home, so they brought her here in July of 2013. Ginger grew up in the pet trade and has never known life in the wild.

What Makes Ginger Unique? Ginger was donated to the Nature Center by the family of a participant in our teen volunteer program.  Her pattern has beautiful red undertones.

 

Sassafras

Date of Birth: Unknown

Sassafras was used in an education program that was discontinued at another facility, so he was donated to the Nature Center in November of 2015. He was born under human care and was estimated to be five or six years old when he came. Sassafras is now used for various education programs here.

What Makes Sassafras Unique? Sassafras has a unique and beautiful coloring with yellow undertones, and an eye condition that requires regular veterinary care.

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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