Western North Carolina Nature Center

Location: Asheville, North Carolina

Webpage: Zoo

General Description: The WNC Nature Center is administered by Asheville Parks and Recreation for the benefits of citizens and visitors to “learn about and develop an understanding of their responsibility for this area’s native wildlife and habitats.”  It is the home of over 60 species of wild and domestic animals from the Southern Appalachians.  Animal exhibits include snakes and reptiles, owls, goats, sheep, hawks, vulture, deer, brown bear, wolves, cougar, coyote, fox, racoon, otters, and bobcats.


1) The WNC Nature Center has done a good job of providing a natural habitat for most of the animals with space large enough for the larger animals to roam.  There are numerous pathways that takes visitors around the various enclosures to view most of the animals from multiple sides.  In addition to a large petting area with domestic animals, there are areas with hand-on displays for young kids to explore.

2) If you time it right you can watch one of the live exhibits throughout the day.  We were able to watch them feed the river otters which got them moving on a cool winter day.