North Carolina Wildlife Conservation Center
Are you the type who will love wildlife as your second home? Are you the one who is ready to offer your hands to help preserve and save some of the most endangered species, or are you the one who is very willing to learn and seek awareness on what is happening to our wildlife? North Carolina is home to three Wildlife Education Centers that provide educational programs, activities, and exhibits to the community that will keep their eyes open to wildlife conservation. The Wildlife Education Centers can be found in the Pisgah Forest, Piedmont, and Outer Banks. The center in Pisgah focuses on wildlife and habitat in the mountain region and offers indoor and outdoor exhibits that highlight wildlife and fish management, law enforcement and conservation education. The center in Piedmont is located at the Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University offering exhibits and outreach programs. The center is also an important part of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, boosting its green building that is designed to limit the environmental impact as it features daylighting and energy efficiency, environmental friendly landscaping, and an active rain garden. Last is the Outer Banks center which invites visitors to explore North Carolina’s coastal region. The center is located in Currituck Heritage Park.
Other wildlife conservation centers are niche-oriented, focusing on a specific animal or group of animals. Located at Wilmington, North Carolina is the Cape Fear Serpentarium. The center provides students and other visitors a wider perspective on reptiles such as snakes and crocodiles, by sharing them with facts and other information on the typically projected as horrifying creatures. The Serpentarium introduces its visitors to its most popular reptiles: D.T. Croc, or the downtown crocodile, Sheena, the 23-foot long and 250-pound python, Baron Samedi, the 15-feet king cobra, and Komodo, the monitor lizard. The Serpentarium has been featured on a number of different shows and media publications such as Discovery, Animal Planet and Oxford American Magazine and is well-known being the home of more than 100 species of reptiles, some of which are not exhibited anywhere else.
Not all of Cape Fear Serpentarium’s visitors are prospective herpetologists as it has attracted a number of well-known personalities such as Oscar Arias, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Costa Rican President and film stars like Fred Ward and Christopher Lloyd. Affectionate lemur lovers unite and proceed to Durham County where the Duke Lemur Center is located. The center, based in Duke University and is funded by the National Science Foundation was formed to promote research and conservation of lemurs. The center has been doing its best to help preserve one of the most endangered species on the planet – the lemurs, the majority of which can only be seen in Madagascar. Their research mainly focuses on veterinary medicine and breeding management of the lemurs. Other wildlife conservation areas in North Carolina are Carolina Raptor Center in Charlotte (for birds-of-prey), Carnivore Preservation Trust in Pittsboro (for endangered carnivores) and Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (for turtles).