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“This made me feel sad”

Western North Carolina Nature Center
Ranked #10 of 197 things to do in Asheville
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Visit the Western North Carolina Nature Center - home to over 60 species of animals including river otters, black bear, red wolves and cougars. The Western North Carolina Nature Center connects people with the animals and plants of the Southern Appalachian Mountain region by inspiring appreciation, nurturing understanding, and advancing conservation of the region's rich biodiversity. The Nature Center is proud to be accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting an institution dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. Less than 220 facilities in the United States have met the high accreditation standards set by AZA
Reviewed 30 April 2014

I hate to leave a bad review but this place just left me feeling so sad. The feeling began just after my husband and I parked and walked into the entrance. Upon entering we bought our tickets in the "welcome center"...the welcome center seems a bit dated and was eerily quiet. I did not see many workers around and perhaps they stay behind the scenes or maybe it was a shift change but it gave me a feeling of being abandoned. Where are the people that help take care of the animals, aren't there any workers scheduled to be around the grounds to field questions about the animals? We walked through the nature center and really did not see much of the animals as they were mostly sleeping. The animals seem quite cooped up and I guess i had expected them to be in larger enclosures. I just get the feeling that there is not enough staff here and it makes me wonder how well the animals are cared for. I really hope that my 16 dollar admission fee for me and my husband goes toward the greater good of these animals.

2  Thank Jennifer C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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All reviews
"petting zoo"
in 67 reviews
"small zoo"
in 22 reviews
"native animals"
in 20 reviews
"black bear"
in 15 reviews
"otter feeding"
in 13 reviews
"animals seem"
in 9 reviews
"great place to take the kids"
in 8 reviews
"kids and adults"
in 8 reviews
"whole family"
in 16 reviews
"north carolina"
in 22 reviews
"few hours"
in 22 reviews
"all ages"
in 21 reviews
"the barn"
in 9 reviews
"couple hours"
in 7 reviews
"great place to visit"
in 12 reviews
"on display"
in 8 reviews
"bears"
in 96 reviews
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471 - 475 of 647 reviews

Reviewed 6 April 2014

We visited on a warm sunny day. The zoo was very clean and very peaceful while walking around. There are deer, wolves, otters and even bears even though we didn't see the bears while we were there. This is fun for the whole family. There is also a couple of playground areas for the children. Loved seeing the animals at this little zoo. Great visit.

Thank Sunny0807
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2014

We had a great time at the nature center. I found that the animals had plenty of space to roam around and seemed very content. We pretty much had the whole palce to ourselves (we went on a weekday in March and got there right when it opened), and enoyed watching the courgars and wolves lay around soaking up the sun and appeared to be very happy. We were there for almost 2.5 hours, Staff was very friendly and knowledgable, and I can't wait to come back in the Spring when the bears are not hibernating.

1  Thank MelissaY858
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2014

Growing up in NC I am familiar with Appalachian animals, but the WNC Nature Center puts them all in one place so that you can learn more about them as well as observe them in the habitats the nature center has created for them. The park is easy to walk around in with access and each of the habitats are easily viewable. I think the highlight are the red wolves but you can also see other wolves, coyotes, snakes, otters, bears, deer, cougars, a bobcat, some farm animals, and of course some of the more slinky Appalachian animals like frogs and salamanders. The habitats and the interactive materials are not super fancy or anything that you would expect in a large nature center but realize where you are visiting and savor what the WNC Nature Center has to offer to educate us on our area.

Thank sydneynotaustralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 March 2014

This is fun for all ages. There wasn't a large crowd at all which was nice because you could get a good site of the animals. You could see every animal and even though most of them were sleeping, there's nothing you could do about it. They take great care of the animals and the staff was very friendly. There wasn't a great variety of animals, but they only keep animals that are permanently injured so I guess that's a good thing. They had an area where you could pet sheep and they had another area with a bunch of snakes and other small reptiles. Definitely fun for little children, but we were all teens and had a great time too.

Thank Michael F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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