Ohio Nature Education
4782 Riley Road
Johnstown, OH 43031
- About Our Animals
- Our Critter Cam
- Hiboux Deux the Great Horned Owl
- Athena the Great Horned Owl
- Twitter the Great Horned Owl
- Ruby the Red-Phased Eastern Screech Owl
- Otus the Screech Owl
- Dru the Screech Owl
- Oz the Barred Owl
- Raleigh the Barred Owl
- Ebony the Black Rat Snake
- Rusty and Ruby the Red Rat Snakes
- Echo, Radar, Luna and Tes the Big Brown Bats
- Igor the Turkey Vulture
- Ichabod the Turkey Vulture
- Aurora the Fox
- Lolo the Fox
- The rest of the foxes
- Henderson the Opossum
- Marsi & Marselle the Opossums
- Polly Pocket the Opossum
- Amelia & Houdini the Flying Squirrels
- Falco the American Kestrel
- Kiki the American Kestrel
- Yipes! Stripes the Striped Knee Tarantula
- Rose the Chilean Rose Haired Tarantula
- Charlotte the Striped Knee Tarantula
- Blue the Cobalt Blue Tarantula
- Scarlet the Red-Tailed Hawk
- Bella the Red-Tailed Hawk
- Apollo the Red-Tailed Hawk
- Oreo and Domino the Striped Skunks
- Edgar and Velcrow the American Crows
Those of you who have seen us conduct programs know that we view our education animals as valuable education tools, ambassadors for their wild cousins. They are NOT pets and we never treat them as such. However, for purposes of our Adopt-an-Animal sponsorship program, we have given each of our education animals a name. We find that children, in particular, would rather sponsor "Scarlet," for example, than "the female Red-tailed hawk." With this in mind, we'd like to introduce you to our "Cast of Characters."
On June 11, 2010, we were proud to announce the unveiling of our new "Critter Cam" -- thanks to a gracious donation of a BIPRO-S600VF12 outdoor camera by CCTV Camera Pros in Boynton Beach, Florida, we are able to provide a 24-hour live stream of our animals. You may have spotted a small version of the Critter Cam on the front page, but you can see a larger version on our uStream page. You can also see the live chat and, if you sign up (it's free!), you can participate in the chat!
Due to numerous technical difficulties we are temporarily suspending the use of the Critter Cam. We hope to revisit it sometime soon, possibly even using it at the William C. Kraner Nature Center.
Hibou Deux, which is French for Owl 2, is a small male Great Horned Owl.
Hibou Deux was infected with the West Nile virus in the summer of 2002. Even though he was fortunate to survive the virus, he suffers permanent partial paralysis of his left wing.
This is Athena, our female great horned owl. Named for the Greek myth that Athena the Goddess could transform herself into an owl. Athena lives with Hibou Deux and suffers from neurological symptoms brought on by either a head injury or West Nile virus.
Found on a golf course in Muskingum County as a young, Twitter (from the sound he makes) suffered head trauma and an eye injury most likely from falling out or being pushed out of a nest. He is quite vocal and will sometimes hoot during programs.
Ruby is a female red-phased eastern screech owl who suffered irreparable eye injuries after being hit by a car.
Otus came to us from the Back to the Wild wildlife rehabilitation facility in Castalia, Ohio after it was determined that he was non-releasable due to being struck by a car. Otus, named after his scientific name Otus Asio, is a male, grey Eastern screech owl.
Dru was in a tree with his two siblings when a tree cutter cut down the tree. Unfortunately, he suffered irreparable damage to his wing and is unable to fly. Dru comes from the word Druid meaning wisdom and oak tree. His two siblings were placed in a nest box, reunited with their parents, and eventually fledged.
Oz came to us all the way from Kansas. He is a male Barred owl who has a missing toe on one foot and a wing injury that not only prevents flight, but prevents the proper growth of some of his primary feathers. His injuries were sustained from being caught in a soccer net.
Raleigh is a male Barred owl who hails from Raleigh, NC. He suffers from wing injuries sustained when he was hit by a car.
Black rat snakes are native to Ohio. Ebony was found in Fairfield County, Ohio in somebody's bedroom, hiding in the sleeve of a leather jacket. He was rescued and given to Ohio Nature Education by Bill Huffman, a former ONE board member and an expert herpetologist.
While not native to Ohio, the red rat snake is closely related to Ohio's black rat snake and to our own Ebony. These two are larger and friendlier and will be able to give Ebony some much needed time off.
Echo and Radar are two male Big Brown Bats that were donated to us from the Bat Lab at OSU run by Dr. Mitch Masters. Radar is permanently injured and echo was orphaned at a very young age.
Luna is a female Big Brown Bat who found her way to Ohio Nature Education in the spring of 1998. Only two days old, she was discovered by a wildlife rehabilitator in Licking County, Ohio. It appeared she had fallen off of her mother. Her eyes were still closed and she was covered with peach fuzz-like fur, not to mention her umbilical cord was still attached. She was raised by one of the ONE staff who has the appropriate training and permits to raise orphaned bats.
Though Luna is able to fly, she is not releasable. Wild bats are taught by their mothers to "echolocate," or find hibernicula (places to hibernate.) Luna does not have this vital training, however she serves as an important ambassador because she teaches people that bats are amazing, highly beneficial creatures.
Tes came to us with a wing injury. We are not sure what the cause of this injury was, but she is unable to maintain flight and is, therefore, unsuitable to be released back into the wild.
Igor is a permanently injured turkey vulture. Despite the name, Igor is a female. She was found in the spring of 2001 wandering around the grounds of Denison University in Granville, Ohio. Upon further inspection it was discovered that Igor had a detached retina in her left eye and an old healed fracture in her left wing. She is currently being featured in our Birds of Prey, Animals We Love to Hate, and Wildlife as Meteorologists programs.
Ichabod is a male turkey vulture who suffered eye and head trauma from an unknown injury.
Aurora is a female fox, not native to Ohio. Her mother is a red and silver fox and her father is a Scandinavian silver fox. In appearance, Aurora resembles a mix of our native grey fox and the silver phase of the red fox. Since Aurora is not considered to be native wildlife, and is therefore not protected by wildlife laws, she was purchased at a swap meet to be a pet. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, she did not make a good pet and was given to Ohio Nature Education for our education programs. Since foxes are adept both at climbing and digging, Aurora's kennel has both a top and a bottom panel. Her name is derived from the Native American folklore belief that the fox brings the Aurora Borealis, or northern lights. Aurora passed away on April 15, 2010. She was with us for 14 years and will be missed dearly.
This is Lolo, a silver phased red fox. Lolo is another unwanted wildlife "pet" who was also raised on a fur farm. She is two years old and because she has more energy than Aurora, we sometimes close the door between their two cages to give them a "time out."
Last year when Mrs. Van closed the door between Lolo and Kit's cages during mating season, the two foxes lived up to their sly nature and a few months later, along came us! Because Lolo was raised on a fur farm and is not a pure blood native Ohio fox, we cannot be released into the wild.
Stu was in his mother's pouch when she was attacked by a dog. Stu was very slow to develop and was the "runt" of the litter, making him a poor candidate for release.
Marsi's mother was hit by a car while Marsi was in her pouch. As a result, Marsi suffered permanent damage, making her a poor candidate for release. Marselle, named similar, also suffered the same injuries as Marsi, though at a different time and place.
Polly came to us in the severe winter of 2010 near death. Her tail was so frostbitten that she lost 2/3 of it and her vision is also compromised.
Amelia is a southern flying squirrel who came to us from a wildlife rehabilitator. She was orphaned when a cat attacked her mom and litter mates. She came to us at four weeks of age when her eyes were still closed. Amelia required mammal formula feedings via syringe four to five times per day. Now she is feasting on seeds, fruits, nuts and vegetables.
Houdini, named for his great skill as an escape artist, is a male southern flying squirrel. With the purchase of a new cage, Ohio Nature Education has been able to keep Houdini under wraps. He was left on a wildlife rehabilitator's doorstep with an anonymous note asking the rehabilitator to care for their "pet." Unfortunately, as is true with all wild animals, Houdini was unsuitable to be a pet, however, because humans raised him, he is also unsuited to life in the wild.
Both Amelia and Houdini live with six other flying squirrels.
In March, 2002, Mr. and Mrs. Van traveled to the Back to the Wild rehabilitation facility in Castalia, Ohio to bring home some birds from Back to the Wild. While there, we "adopted" a permanently injured, non-releasable male American Kestrel. The kestrel was born in 2001 and, while a fledgling, was caught by a cat and suffered permanent tendon and nerve damage. We have named him Falco since he is not only a member of the falcon family, but the smallest member.
Introducing Kiki, our female American kestrel. Kiki, who joined us in the Spring of 2004, is named for the "call" that the kestrel makes. She is suffering from an irreparable wing injury, and, therefore, cannot survive in the wild.
While we attempt to keep our education animals to native Ohio species, this Striped Knee Tarantula was purchased for our Spiders program as well as our Animals We Love to Hate program.
This is Rose, our Chilean rose haired tarantula. Again, though tarantulas are not native to Ohio, they are awesome tools for teaching about the benefits of spiders.
Charlotte is a striped knee tarantula that we purchased. These spiders are native to Brazil, Trinidad, Martinique, Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname, Venezuela, and throughout the Amazon Basin. Charlotte helps us in programs such as Animals We Love To Hate.
The cobalt blue tarantula is a species native to Myanmar and Thailand. Like most Asian tarantulas, it is quite aggressive. This species is also an obligate burrower and generally very shy. They do not possess urticating hairs, so they relay more on biting for defense.
Scarlet is a female red-tailed hawk who we believe collided with a car. As a result, she suffered injuries to both of her shoulders, making her non-releasable.
Bella is a female red-tailed hawk who came to us from the Columbus Airport area with a wing injury. We received a call from Angela Miller at the Senior Times reporting that they'd been observing a downed hawk on their property for a few days. They'd made calls to several agencies but had heard nothing back until they reached us through one of our vets.
An examination of the hawk revealed no apparent fractures, but she was rather thin and was having difficulty flying. Sadly, Bella never improved her ability to fly and could not be released, so she now lives with Scarlet, and, during the summer months, with Igor the Turkey Vulture.
Apollow is a male red-tailed hawk who was injured when his nest tree was cut down. He lives with Scarlet and Bella.
Orphaned at a young age and kept too long by someone with good intentions, these skunks were too "habituated" to humans to be released back into the wild.
Edgar, for Edgar Allen Crow of course, came to us imprinted. He'd been raised illegally by someone who found him when he was young. We tried to help him regain his natural fear of humans by placing him with our own Velcrow. Unfortunately, he still greets us at the aviary door and will eat out of our hands, therefore he is non-releasable and will be incorporated into programs and keep Velcrow company.
Velcrow suffers from a permanent wing injury and has found his home with Ohio Nature Education. As a clear demonstration as to how smart the crow species is, Velcrow often loves to hide various items throughout his cage.
Copyright ©2003-12 David J. Francis