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

Reservations are not required, and tickets do not need to be purchased online in advance.

Eastern garter snake by SL (1)

Eastern Garter Snake

Appearance: Eastern garter snakes grow between 3 to 4 feet with females tending to be on the larger side. They are named after the pattern on their scales.

Behavior: Eastern garter snakes are ovoviviparous, meaning they give live birth, and can have anywhere between 7 to 80 live young, depending on the size of the female. Eastern garter snakes tend to be solitary creatures but during the winter months, they will hibernate in larger groups in dens called hibernacula. In the wild, they live between 2 to 4 years; in captivity, they live on average 6 to 10 years with and can live up to 20.

Range: Eastern garter snakes are found throughout eastern North America ranging from Quebec in Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Diet: Their diet mainly consists of amphibians, slugs, and worms but can include fish, birds, and small mammals. 

Gary the Garter Snake


Date of Birth: Unknown

Gary came to the WNC Nature Center on Feb. 1st, 2012 from a local certified wildlife rehabilator.

What Makes Gary Unique? Gary likes to sometimes squirm around himself. Although it looks like he’s going to twist himself into a knot, he is just going through the motions of garter snake reproduction. In the wild, male garter snakes will congregate and create a mating ball around females.

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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American Pygmy Goat

American Pygmy Goat

Similar to the Nigerian dwarf goat, the American pygmy is a small goat that only reaches 1-2 feet in height. They vary widely in coloration including white, tan, caramel, gray, and black.

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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, Oak and Gloria, are part of the AZA Species Survival Plan.

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