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.


Sicilian Donkey

Equus asinus

Appearance: Slightly stockier than a horse, Sicilian donkeys have large ears and are usually light brown to gray in color.  They also have some white on their muzzle.

Behavior: Donkeys are very social and need the company of other donkeys or animals.  Contrary to popular belief, they are very clever.

History: The donkey was domesticated long before the horse.They have retained some aggression from their wild ancestors and if attacked, they will form a circle and fight the  predator with their hooves. Donkeys are highly resistant to disease.  They were used as work animals for transportation, pulling wagons, and as pack animals more in the past than today.  The donkey became popular because of their few needs, cautiousness, and bravery.  Besides being good companions to people, donkeys can be good company for other domestic animals.  They are used to protect livestock from predators and are often used in rehabilitation work with people with disabilities.  Sicilian donkeys have distinctive cross-shaped markings along their backs and are known for their sweet affectionate disposition.

Range: Domesticated donkeys can be found around the world but are native to Africa.

Diet: They mainly eat vegetation including grasses and hay.

Willy the Donkey


Date of Birth: August 17, 2001

Willy was born on a farm in North Carolina.  He was donated to the WNC Nature Center in August of 2006.

What Makes Willy Unique? Although Willy and Eeyore are almost the same age, Willy is much smaller than Eeyore and tends to follow Eeyore’s lead.  Willy hates the rain and being wet.  He avoids standing in the rain and will not walk through puddles.

Eeyore the Donkey


Date of Birth: August 03, 2001

Eeyore was born on a farm in Weaverville, North Carolina.  He was donated to the WNC Nature Center in March of 2002.

What Makes Eeyore Unique? Eeyore, like many donkeys is stubborn. He does not liked to be brushed and will take any opportunity he can to be the boss.  Eeyore and Willy love playing tug-o-war and chewing on sticks.  They use their strong teeth to pull on the rope and break apart sticks.

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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