The Wild Center family is expanding this fall and visitors have the chance to meet the newest members over Columbus Day Weekend. An otter, porcupine, black rat snake and rare, albino wood turtle are all calling The Wild Center their new home.
There will be animal encounters with the new residents throughout the weekend, a baby-themed golden otter quest and visitors have the chance to make their own baby animal to take home. Born to be Wild! is on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, October 8–10, from 10 am until 5 pm. The Wild Center is located at 45 Museum Drive in Tupper Lake.
Scarlett, a four-month old female otter from a rehabilitation center in South Carolina, was found after being severely wounded in an attack and brought to Wild at Heart Wildlife Rehabilitation where she was nursed back to health and human-imprinted. The Wild Center had been looking to add an otter to the collection and connected with Wild at Heart. A 15-hour car journey home from the South showed her feisty nature, and our curator thought Scarlett an appropriate name. Scarlett is currently in quarantine. She joins the Center’s three other otters.
Spike’s mother was hit by a car, leaving Spike, a young porcupette, alone. Spike was brought to Kelly Martin, President of the New York State Wildlife Rehabilitation Council and has been human-imprinted. Stickley, the porcupine who lives at the Wild Center now, is 9. In the wild, porcupines live to the age of 6 and sometimes to 10. Identifying the gender in porcupines is very difficult so TWC does not know if Spike is male or female. Spike is currently in quarantine, but will be introduced to Stickley soon.
Binky, a one-year old wood turtle is a very unique addition to The Wild Center. Found by a four-year-old who named him, Binky has albinism. Reptiles or other animals with albinism usually get eaten by predators quickly because they cannot camouflage themselves.
A new black rat snake is also at the Wild Center and will be used for education programs.
The Wild Center recently began a Head Start program for Painted and Snapping Turtles. TWC has over twenty snappers and two painted turtles that they will keep until they reach a certain size, after which they will be released back into the wild. Turtles are at their most vulnerable when they are hatchlings. Giving them the opportunity to grow will give them a better chance of survival once they are larger and with a better ability to defend themselves. Painted and snapping turtles have stable populations in the wild.
Photos: Otter, and Stickley the porcupine courtesy The Wild Center.