UPDATE: As of Friday, May 8, until further notice, the WNC Nature Center is still temporarily closed to the public. The Nature Center is working closely with the City of Asheville to determine the safest possible date to reopen. This will most likely take place during Phase 3 of North Carolina’s Stay at Home order. 

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

Cotswold Sheep

Cotswold Sheep

Ovis aries

There are more than 200 breeds of domestic sheep in existence.  All of these were developed from the wild sheep of Europe and Asia.  Sheep were among the first animals to be domesticated by humans    approximately 8,000 years ago.  They were initially raised for their skins and meat, but as humans learned to spin and weave, they became valuable for their wool as well.  Called “Gentle Giants,” Cotswold sheep are one of the largest breeds that come from the hills of Cotswold in England.  Noted for their long, coarse fleece with naturally wavy curls, the Cotswold is a dual-use breed, providing both meat and wool.  Like many other domestic animals, they are fully dependent on humans.  The behaviors as well as the appearance of    domestic sheep have been altered by centuries of selected breeding by farmers for desirable traits.  Due to the rise in popularity of other breeds in the larger production facilities and the decrease in small family farms in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, Cotswold sheep are not as common as they once were.  The  American Livestock Breeds Conservancy was formed to help save rare breeds of livestock, and lists the  Cotswold sheep as a “threatened” breed.

 

Martin & Gibson

Date of Birth: February 26, 2014

Martin and Gibson are twins who were born on a farm in Candler, North Carolina. They were donated to the Nature Center by the owners of the farm in May of 2014. Martin is white and Gibson is black.  Even after they are sheared, both boys maintain breed-specific dreadlocks around their faces.

What Makes Martin & Gibson Unique? Both Martin and Gibson are the youngest barn animals, yet they weigh the most.  Martin and Gibson were named after two companies that make guitars.

 

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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