Wildlife Habitats

Wildlife Habitats

Glimpse a cougar in its natural mountain habitat. No need to run the other way.

Take a walk on Grandfather Mountain, and you’re likely to spot squirrels, songbirds and other forest animals. But what about the more elusive wildlife? It only takes a visit to our seven environmental habitats to see cougars (which no longer live in the wild on Grandfather Mountain), white-tailed deer, black bears, bald eagles and river otters. Observing these animals up close in their native settings, it’s easy to imagine what it would be like to come face-to-face in the wild.

otter kids Wildlife HabitatsEnvironmental habitats are large enclosures that allow visitors to see animals in natural settings. Unlike the exhibits found in city zoos that bring in plants and boulders to recreate an appropriate setting, these enclosures were built around the animals’ actual native habitat.

Viewing areas give visitors an up-close perspective of the animals as they live in the wild. Separated from the animals by moats or elevated above the habitats on large retaining walls, these viewing areas allow you to stand only a few feet away from animals you probably wouldn’t see in your everyday life. A special aquarium-like viewing area allows you to enjoy watching the playful otters above or below the water.

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  • My wife and I along with our daughter, son in law and grand daughter recently visited the mountains and one of the highlights was our trip the Grandfather Mt. The reason it was great was because everything is handicap accessible.  My wife is wheelchair bound and we were able to include her in everything even the bridge. She was so happy because she was able to tell everyone the story of the first time she ever walked across the bridge and how it was made of wood. The animal park was the best and the highlight for our grand daughter. We were on vacation for a week and the trip to Grandfather was the last day and we truly saved the best for last. Thank you for all you do to make this State Treasure open to all.
    Cliff
    Chocowinity, NC
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