Asheville – The Western North Carolina Nature Center at 75 Gashes Creek Road in Asheville has just welcomed two red foxes: Samson and Bonita to be residents of the Center. Both are less than a year old, and both were injured as a result of being caught in a leg-hold trap. They arrived on February 11 from Izzie’s Pond Sanctuary. “The Nature Center has long provided excellent care for animals that, for one reason or another, could not live in the wild,” said WNC Nature Center Director Chris Gentile. “We are so excited to be able to welcome red foxes back to our Center.”
Izzie’s Pond outside of Greenville, S.C. is an animal rescue sanctuary that provides rescue, rehabilitation and refuge for injured or orphaned waterfowl, wildlife, and farm animals. Their website online (www.izziespond.org) gives helpful information for someone who finds an injured animal and wants to do the right thing for their care.
Red foxes are found throughout much of North America. They occur throughout much of the Carolina mountains and piedmont but are rare to absent in the eastern coastal plain. The red fox is one of two fox species found in the southern mountains. The other, the gray fox, is somewhat different in appearance and frequents slightly different habitats. The red fox resembles a bushy-tailed, medium-sized dog. The usual coloration is a bright rusty-red with black feet and legs and a whitish belly. A good identifying feature is a long tail that is tipped with white. Red foxes measure in total length from about 39 to 41 inches and weigh between 10 and 15 pounds.
Hosting Virtual Events
On Saturday, February 27, The Friends of the WNC Nature Center have organized a virtual Critter Check-Up, which will undoubtedly provide never-before-seen footage of veterinary procedures. It will go live at 2:00 PM when the recently acquired red pandas, Leaf and Phoenix, will be examined. With their fluffy adorable faces, the viewers possibly holding and examining their own stuffed or even live animal, will be able to watch as they make their yearly visit to the veterinarian. Chesley, one of Leaf and Phoenix’s main keepers, loves caring for them: “Our red pandas both have amazing personalities, and it is a privilege to work with them. They are most active when they forage for fruit and vegetables that we scatter around their habitat. I really enjoy watching them climb, especially Phoenix!”
With ticket prices starting at $10 for the event link, this virtual event can be enjoyed by the whole family! To register and learn more, please visit www.wildwnc.org/virtual-critter-check-up.
A Trivia Series Virtually on Thursday Evenings
Starting on Thursday, March 4th at 7:00 PM, your critter knowledge will be put to a test with a plants- and animal-based Trivia Series. Each Thursday night will have a theme with the first one being “Scales and Slime” and on March 18th, “Feathered Friends.” Every Thursday night in March, the Friends of the WNC Nature Center will be giving away a prize to the participant with the highest score. There’s also a grand prize for the participant with the highest score over all four nights. If you register for all four trivia nights, you’ll also be entered in a raffle to win a prize package valued at $200! The raffle winner will be announced on March 4. To register and learn more, visit www.wildwnc.org/virtual-trivia.
The WNC Nature Center
The Nature Center connects people of all ages with the plants and animals of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Asheville’s wildlife park is located on 42 acres and is home to more than 60 species of animals, including red pandas, river otters, black bears, red and gray wolves, and cougars.
The WNC Nature Center is currently open 7 days a week from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM. The Park does close their doors at 4:30 PM, with indoor experiences and high touch areas temporarily closed, which includes Appalachian Station, the picnic area, Wild Winds simulator, several Nature Play areas, and the mining sluice. The farmyard will be open, but animals cannot be touched. Members have free daily admission and many discounts. Adults: $10.95 plus tax (Resident of Asheville – $7.95*);Seniors (65+): $9.95 plus tax (Resident of Asheville – $6.95*);Youth (3-15): $6.95 plus tax (Resident of Asheville – $5.95*). For more information, visit www.wildwnc.org.