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

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

Box Turtle

Eastern Box Turtle

Terepene carolina carolina

Appearance: They are tan to dark brown and have oblong patterns on their shell that can be yellow, orange, or olive. An interesting trait specific to box turtles is that you can guess whether they are male or female by their eye color — males have red or orange irises and females have yellow or brown irises. They have high-domed carapaces (top shell), and hinged plastrons (bottom shell) which allows them to pull their legs and head into their shell, like closing a box.  While it is possible for Eastern box turtles to live for over 100 years, the average lifespan is around 50 years.

Range: The Eastern box turtle is the designated state reptile of North Carolina and is found throughout the state.  Eastern box turtles can be found in moist forested areas, meadows, pastures and floodplains. If a box turtle’s habitat remains constant, they could spend their entire life in an area barely larger than a football field.

Diet: Their diet consists of earthworms, slugs, mushrooms, and they are particularly fond of strawberries.

Mayberry

Mayberry the Box Turtle

Date of Birth: Unknown

Mayberry was born in the wild and also came to the Nature Center in 2012. Mayberry was run over by a lawnmower and because of that she has a permanent scar on the top of her shell.

Rosa

Rosa the Eastern Box Turtle

Date of Birth: 2005-2007

Rosa came to the Nature Center in 2009 from a local turtle rehabilitator after sustaining an injury in the wild. Rosa has reddish eyes even though she is a female, which is how she got her name. Females typically have brown eyes, while males have red. 

Green Dot & Yellow Dot

Green Dot the Eastern Box Turtle  Yellow Dot the Eastern Box Turtle

Date of Birth: Yellow Dot hatched September 11, 2022 and Green Dot hatched September , 2022.

They are named Green Dot and Yellow Dot due to their identifiers (green and yellow nail polish dots on their shells), and they are intended for release when they are two years old. 

Red

Red the Box Turtle

Date of Birth: Unknown

Red was born in the wild and came to the WNC Nature Center in October 2009 to be rehabilitated after being run over by a car. He has metal sutures in the bottom of his shell as a permanent reminder of how he came to us.

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

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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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