Meet Our Residents

Here are some of the permanent residents at Northwoods Wildlife Center.

BB and Smaug the Painted Turtles

BB and SMAUG arrived at Northwoods Wildlife Center during the winter of 2013 – they were dropped off by the front door in the middle of the night. Lucky for BB and Smaug, a staff member was working late and found them in a box out front, bringing them inside before they froze to death! Since we knew nothing about BB and Smaug’s history we were unable to release them back into the wild, and they both became a permanent education turtle shortly after their arrival.

Since then, BB and Smaug have both been wonderful ambassador turtles, educating thousands of people each year on the amazing world of painted turtles!

Bob the American Kestrel

BOB came to the Northwoods Wildlife Center in the summer of 2016 with a swollen eye and a broken wing.   Due to the hard work of the Northwoods Wildlife Center rehabilitation staff, Bob’s wing was able to fully heal, however his swollen eye was quickly determined to be blind, making him non-releasable.  A few months later, Bob joined the ranks of NWC’s education staff.

Since becoming a permanent resident at Northwoods Wildlife Center, Bob has been slowly learning that humans are not that scary, and we hope to one day train him to be an outreach ambassador, attending schools and programs throughout the Northwoods, educating thousands of people on the amazing world of American Kestrels!

Candy the Corn Snake

CANDY first arrived at the Northwoods Wildlife Center during the summer of 2003. She was found on a plant nursery delivery truck that had traveled north from the southern United States. Since Corn Snakes are not native to Northern Wisconsin, Candy would not be used to our frigid winters so we were unable to release her back into the wild. It was then decided to keep Candy as an education ambassador snake.

Corn snakes are probably named such because of their belly markings – these markings often look very similar to the checkered pattern of maize or Indian Corn.

Gemma the Northern Goshawk

GEMMA the Northern Goshawk was first admitted to Northwoods Wildlife Center during in September 2015 from Manitowish Waters. She was found blind in one eye and had a broken wing. It was also possible that she had contracted West Nile Virus as some point in the past.

After fixing her up the best we could, it was determined Gemma’s injuries would never heal enough to be returned to the wild. She was put on NWC’s educational tour in the early summer of 2016, and has been doing wonderfully ever since!

Hank the American Kestrel

HANK came to the Northwoods Wildlife Center in the summer of 2017 with a broken wing and severely infected eye. Despite NWC rehabilitation staff working to fix his wing, he never again gained his full flight abilities back, deeming him non-releasable. Within a few weeks, Hank moved in next door to our other education kestrel, Bob, and he has been happily there ever since!

Since becoming a permanent resident at Northwoods Wildlife Center, Hank has been slowly learning that humans are not that scary, and we have begun training him to be an outreach ambassador, to attend schools and programs throughout the Northwoods, educating thousands of people on the amazing world of American Kestrels!

Hanna the Bald Eagle

HANNA was transferred to the Northwoods Wildlife Center in winter 2018 from another wildlife rehabilitation facility located in Helena, Montana. After being hit by a train and undergoing a partial wing amputation, Hanna spent many years as an ambassador animal at that facility.

Since her arrival at NWC, Hanna has been getting used to her surroundings and her handlers. Although she is not yet a part of our birds of prey tour, we hope she can eventually educate thousands of visitors a year on the amazing world of eagles!

Hook the Painted Turtle

HOOK is our only turtle that started out as a patient in our rehabilitation clinic. She came in with a fishing hook stuck through her left eye and was missing her left front foot. There was no way to remove the hook without causing damage to the eye. Since she had two handicaps it was decided to keep her permanently in July 1999.

Painted turtles oftentimes don’t hatch out until September, which could mean cold temperatures in some parts of their range. To survive they hibernate in the nest. A substance similar to anti-freeze allows them to freeze almost solid without any ill affects come spring.

Hortense the Turkey Vulture

HORTENSE came to the Northwoods Wildlife Center on October 26, 1988. She came from Milwaukee’s Wildlife Animal Rehabilitation Center, where she was used as an education bird before the center closed. Hortense is a permanent resident because she has an amputated left wing. She flew into the side of a car in Helenville, WI, which caused irreparable damage to the bones of her wing.

Although Turkey Vultures have a hooked beak, they are not birds of prey. They are more closely related to storks. They are also one of the few birds that have a sense of smell. Turkey Vultures use this sense to locate their food from up to a mile away.

Hubertus the Florida Softshell Turtle

HUBERTUS came to the Northwoods Wildlife Center in 1990 after becoming too large for her owner’s tank. Since then she has grown a little bit more, but now believed to have reached her full size.

Softshell turtles spend much of their time at the bottom of a lake covered in sand or mud. They remain there in order to camouflage themselves so their prey, such as crayfish, small fish, and snails, won’t notice them. We feed “Hubie” turtle pellets, earthworms, and occasionally live minnows and crayfish.

Mini and Aqua the Common Snapping Turtles

MINI and AQUA arrived at Northwoods Wildlife Center during the summer of 2013. They, along with over twenty other turtles, were being raised in captivity to one day be eaten! Since this is illegal in Wisconsin, Mini, Aqua, and the rest of the turtles were taken by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and found new homes at education centers throughout the state!

They have since attended numerous educational programs throughout the Northwoods, and love spending their days hiding under floating vegetation in their aquarium waiting to snap down on a minnow swimming by!

Percy the Eastern Screech-Owl

PERCY was transferred to the Northwoods Wildlife Center from another wildlife rehabilitation center located in Michigan in September 2017. He is blind in his left eye and has some difficulties in flight, which is why he is unable to be released back into the wild. A car collision was likely the cause of his injury.

Percy is still getting used to life as an education owl, but we hope to begin training him as one of our outreach birds this year. We hope to begin taking him to small programs sometime soon! One of Percy’s greatest skills is his ability to camouflage himself while in his enclosure.

Race the Red-tailed Hawk

RACE was transferred to Northwoods Wildlife Center on May 6, 2012 from another rehabilitation center located in Northern Illinois.  He has a dislocation of the left elbow however the original cause of his injury is unknown.  After his arrival at NWC, Race moved in with our other resident Red-tailed Hawk, Sierra, and they have been good roommates ever since!

Red-tailed hawks are one of the most common hawk species in North America.  They are able to adapt to many different habitats and can be found in the Rocky Mountains to Central Park in New York City.

Rory the Broad-winged Hawk

RORY the Broad-winged Hawk was rescued as a young bird by Northwoods Wildlife Center staff in August of 2011. He had likely fallen from his nest during a storm, and was found hopping around someone’s yard nearby. Upon rescuing him, NWC staff noticed the fact that Rory was missing his right eye. Since hawks need both eyes in hunting their prey, Rory’s injury immediately deemed him non-releasable.

The educators at the Center began to train him very quickly, to make sure he would be happy living in captivity for the remainder of his life. He now goes throughout the Northwoods of Wisconsin, educating the public on the amazing world of raptors!

Sancho the Gray Rat Snake

SANCHO came to the Northwoods Wildlife Center during the summer of 2014. He had been a pet whose owner no longer had time to care for and handle. Rat snakes are native to southwestern Wisconsin, however can regularly be found in the pet trade. We agreed to take Sancho in to use for educational programs throughout the Northwoods.
The rat snake is Wisconsin’s only arboreal (or “tree-dwelling”) snake. They primarily live in bluff prairies, oak woodlands and pastures. Every now and then one can be seen climbing or resting in the rafters of a barn or shed.

Sierra the Red-tailed Hawk

SIERRA was transferred to the Northwoods Wildlife Center on April 9, 2004 from Tennessee.  She had been found with a gunshot wound to one wing, leading to an improperly healed fracture.  Sierra is one of our best outreach birds at the Northwoods Wildlife Center – her main job is to help educate the public about Red-tailed Hawks and how human action can negatively affect wildlife.

Red-tailed Hawks are one of the most common hawk species in North America. They are able to adapt to many different habitats and can be found in the Rocky Mountains to Central Park in New York City.