UPDATE: The WNC Nature Center has been working diligently to prepare for a safe reopening that follows CDC, State, and local guidelines. From September 28 to October 4, there will be a members-only week for Friends of the WNC Nature Center. We will reopen to the general public on Monday, October 5. Learn more here.

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

Meatloaf the Hellbender

Hellbender

Cryptobranchus alleganiensis

In 2008, our resident eastern hellbender came to the Nature Center.  Local fisherman brought him in because he was caught on their fishing hook and they had no idea what he was!  Despite the mystery that surrounds the hellbender, he is still a gateway to discussion about conservation because of their sensitivity to pollution.  The Nature Center is home to a triage center where the NCWRC can bring an injured hellbender for stabilization.  Growing up to 2 feet long and weighing up to 2 pounds, the eastern hellbender is the world’s third largest salamander.  Hellbenders take residence under rocks and if their homes are disturbed, it is very difficult for them to establish a new territory.

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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