Exhibits | Carolina Wildlife
All of the animals in the Carolina Wildlife exhibit are native to North Carolina. Many of the animals are living at the Museum because they were injured, rescued, or rehabilitated, and would no longer be able to survive in the wild.
Sometimes we may find an animal, or have someone bring us an animal they found, and decide that it’s best to keep the animal here for a little while until we can safely release it into the wild. That was the case when we had a big brown bat on exhibit in the past.
Strix varia (wikipedia)
There are four barred owls in Carolina Wildlife. All four have wing injuries and three of them have eye injuries which prevent them from being able to live in the wild. You may be able to hear this type of owl in your backyard or around your neighborhood. Listen for its familiar call: "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?"
WoodchuckMarmota monax (wikipedia)
This woodchuck is the only animal we have that enters into true hibernation. Even though the temperature in the exhibit won’t change much when the seasons change, the woodchuck will still go into hibernation because his internal biological clock tells him that it’s winter.
Virginia OpossumDidelphis virginiana (wikipedia)
The opossums at the Museum have come to us from rehabilitators and are either too injured or too friendly to live in the wild. Opossums have long, hairless, prehensile tails (which means that they’re able to grasp or hold things). Opossums use their tails to grasp branches as they climb trees, and so it’s not surprising that some people believe they also use their tails to hang from branches. But it is a myth that opossums hang by their tails. A baby opossum can hang from its tail for a few seconds, but an adult is too heavy.
American AlligatorAlligator mississippiensis (wikipedia)
Male alligators typically grow to about 10-15 feet long and 1000 pounds as adults. The alligators we have in the exhibit are still very young and only weigh about 6 pounds. When they get too big to live in the exhibit, they’ll go back to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm in Florida, where we got them from, and we’ll most likely get more young alligators for the exhibit.
Of the 37 species of snakes throughout North Carolina, only six are venomous. We have two species of venomous snakes in Carolina Wildlife – a Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) and a Canebrake Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus). Find out more about the venomous snakes of NC and how we care for the venomous snakes at the Museum.