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.

Skunk

Striped Skunk

Mephitis mephitis

Appearance: Striped skunks are about the size of a domestic cat, weighing from 2.5 to 10 pounds. Typically, striped skunks have a dark black body with a bright white stripe which begins on the head and splits into two parallel stripes down the back and onto the tail. Their long nails are adapted for digging, particularly on their front feet.

Behavior: To protect themselves from predators, they have glands near the base of their tails that can spray a highly noxious musk at predators. They can spray this musk as far as 10-15 feet and can spray up to six times in quick succession. Before they spray, they will first try to run away and if that doesn’t work, it will then arch it back, hiss, stomp its feet, or even charge the predator– they will only spray as a last resort.

Range: ​​Striped skunks are found across most of continental North America from Southern Canada to Northern Mexico.

Diet: They are omnivores and eat many things including small insects, worms, mice, eggs, berries, vegetables, and small chicks.

Elvis

Elvis the Skunk

Date of Birth: Unknown

Elvis came to the WNC Nature Center from the Knoxville Zoo in September 2017.

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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