OtusEastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio) – a small owl, ranging from 6.3 to 9.8 inches as adults, with either rusty or dark gray intricately patterned plumage and streaking on the underparts. Did You Know? The 1992 comedy My Cousin Vinny featured a scene where the owl’s screech kept the movie characters awake – however, the movie audio didn’t accurately portray the owl’s screech. 

Otus was found in May 2009 as a juvenile in Wilkes County and unable to fly.  Upon examination at the Carolina Raptor Center, it was found to have a fractured left humerus that did not heal properly.  Because of its injury, the owl cannot fly to catch its prey or escape from a predator.  The CRC staff selected Otus to be placed with Piedmont Wildlife Center because they felt his temperament would make him good education bird. He has proven to be just that!  Otus is attending events and education programs and is available for booking at your next event, school or group program.

BooRadley – Red-tailed Hawkone of the largest members of the genus Buteo in North America, typically weighing from 1.5 to 3.5 pounds and measuring 18 to 26 inches in length, with a wingspan from 43 to 57 inches.Did You Know? In Native American culture its feathers are considered sacred by some tribes and used in religious ceremonies.  

BooRadley was found in July 2009 in Gaston County with numerous injuries after it was transferred from an emergency vet clinic. The bird has a chip out of its upper beak, it has major feather damage to its right wing and tail and will not fly. The bird has no chance of survival in the wild if it will not fly to catch prey or to escape from predators.  He has made wonderful progress over the last 6 months and has molted in new wing feathers and tail feathers!  He is still unable to fly but is much more mobile in his habitat and has been working very well on the glove with our volunteer raptor group.  He is making regular public appearances at events and education programs.  Give us a call at 489-0900 if you would like to have BooRadley and/or our other animal educators visit your group or school.

Midnight – Black Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta) – a medium sized snake, in the same family as the corn snake.  There are similarities of the belly pattern and the pattern on its back, however, the rat snake’s back pattern is hard to detect and gets more evenly black as the snake matures.  It is very curious and friendly. Did You Know? Rat snakes are very useful around our homes & businesses because they help control pest populations. Their habitat is slowly being reduced due to land development and the cutting of trees.  Due to people’s lack of knowledge and fear of snakes, rat snakes continue to be the victim of human persecution.  

On July 7, 2010 Midnight was welcomed as our fourth snake. She is an adult black rat snake that was used for education programs for nine years. This snake is the LARGEST of all the snakes at the center and is very curious and friendly.

ElapheEastern Corn Snake (Elaphe guttata) – a medium sized slender snake, usually orange or brownish-yellow, with large, black-edged red blotches down the middle of the back. The name corn snake is believed to have originated from the similarity of the markings on the belly to the checkered pattern of kernels of maize or Indian corn.  They are also sometimes called the red rat snake.Did You Know? Corn snakes are often mistaken for copperheads and killed.  The best thing to do when you find a snake is to slowly back away and let the snake go on its way.  Most snakes only bite when they feel threatened – don’t water your lawn or pick up pet dishes outside at night when a snake may be seeking water that happens to be by your hose or pet water dish. Elaphe was a gift to us in 2010 from a friend in California that was breeding corn snakes.
Flora & DarlaMini Rex rabbits –Did You Know? The eastern cottontail mates between February and September. The female builds a shallow nest in a depression in the ground and lines it with soft materials and fur from her chest. The female gives birth about a month after mating. She has between one to nine babies, and feeds her young twice a day.  If you disturb a nest of baby rabbits, put the babies back in with a glove or cloth covering your hands and place sticks in a criss-cross pattern over the hole.  Mon will return in the evening to feed her young and you will find the sticks moved by morning.  If the sticks haven’t been moved, Mom may not be coming back so call a rehabilitator to find out what to do next.Darla and Flora joined our center in July of 2010.  They came from the Wake County Animal Shelter.
WalterBearded Dragon Lizard (Pogona vitticeps) –  This lizard is native to the semi-arid woodland, arid woodland, and rocky desert regions of Central Australia. They are skilled climbers, and often spend just as much time perching on tree limbs, fenceposts, and in bushes as they do on the ground.Did You Know? Walter is actually a female Bearded Dragon lizard!  She laid eggs during the summer of 2010, even though she is probably about 10-12 years old and we hadn’t seen eggs before. 

Walter came to us in 2007 from the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh when she was taken off display because of her old age.  She was found wandering around a yard in Raleigh, after she was most-likely “released” by her owner, and taken to the Museum a number of years ago.

Kellogg & JigsawEastern Corn Snake (Elaphe guttata) Both of these snakes are Eastern Corn Snakes, though their coloration is very different.  Kellogg displays a normal coloration, will Jigsaw is black and grey as a result of “captive breeding.”Did You Know? Many snake lovers breed captive snakes to obtain variations in color, especially “albino” snakes that will bring a higher sale price. Kellogg (on the left) came to us as a two-month old baby in 2007 from the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.  The Museum veterinarian had bred a number of corn snakes and donated Kellogg to us.  Jigsaw (on the right) came to us in 2008 after the high school owner went off to college and left the snake at home for Mom to care for it – she donated him to Orange County Animal Services, who contacted us.  Both are favorites of the children (and some adults) who attend our programs.
Mrs LumpyEastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) – Box Turtles are the most common terrestrial turtle in the eastern United States. They are small to medium sized turtles, attaining a maximum length of about 8 inches and having a highly domed carapace.Did You Know? Box turtles have a homing instinct that causes them to try to return to the place of their birth if they are moved. As a result, when box turtles are taken from one location and then returned to the wild in a different location, they will head straight for their natal grounds. This journey causes the turtles to encounter many dangers, such as roads, predators, and humans.  Please don’t take turtles or other wildlife from the wild – just observe from a distance and take pictures instead! 

Mrs. Lumpy was taken from the wild when she was a baby and raised in an aquarium with inadequate sunlight and not the right types of food.  Due to these deficiencies, her shell did not develop properly and she cannot always close her shell completely nor can she right herself when she rolls upside down.  She cannot protect herself from predators and will stay in captivity until she can eat on her own and protect herself from predators.  We are conducting a research project with our interns to see if Mrs. Lumpy can learn to find wild plants, protect herself from predators and hibernate in a protected habitat.

Miracle – Silky Ringneck Dove – The silky dove is one of many domesticated doves or pigeons, bred for particular characteristics.  Miracle is a white dove with “frizzled” ends on his feathers, causing the dove not to be able to gain lift and fly.  He flutters to the ground whenever he tries to fly. Did You Know? Miracle was born in a library when the librarian that took care of his parents didn’t notice a third egg laid in the cage and only removed the normal two eggs laid by the parents each spring.  Birds in the wild will lay multiple eggs and double clutches of eggs to ensure that their offspring have a better chance of survival. Miracle was donated to us in 2009 by “Birdman” Dave Gulick when he moved from the area and couldn’t take Miracle with him.  Miracle is very friendly and likes to be held by the children attending our programs.