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

Mostly the Least Weasel

Least Weasel

Mustela nivalis

Appearance: The least weasel is the smallest living carnivore. Rarely seen, they have a long body, short tail and legs, and a flat and narrow head. Their fur ranges from ginger to dark brown on top, with a cream or white underside. During the winter, northern and eastern least weasels turn white, while southern populations maintain their brown coloring. They typcially are 6.5 to 8 inches long.

Range: The least weasel lives mostly in Alaska and northern Canada south to Wyoming and North Carolina. Weasels will live in open forests, farmlands, meadows, prairies, steppe, semi-deserts and tundra. Some will even have several temporary dens, including abandoned burrows of other small mammals, scattered throughout its two-acre hunting territory.

Diet: Least weasels will eat meadow voles, shrews, birds, eggs and insects. They can run up to six mph and are small enough to chase mice inside their burrows. To kill their prey, the weasel will pounce on it, wrap its legs around the prey and kill it with a swift bite at the base of the skull. They will hunt day or night and often stand on its hind feet to look for prey.

Mostly

Mostly the least weasel was wild born and brought in as a rehab animal in spring 2016. The little girl of the family who found her kept asking, “She’s going to be mostly okay, right?” That’s where Mostly got her name from, and she is pound for pound the most ferocious creature at the Nature Center!

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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