Animal Ambassadors

The live animals at Audubon Community Nature Center are part of the talented education team. They help in educational programs, both on and offsite, that foster the connection between people and nature.


Become an Animal AdvocatePamela A. Westrom Wildlife Habitat

Meet the Animal Abassadors

Learn a little about the reptiles, amphibians, and birds that help connect people to nature
through educational programs and exhibits at ACNC.

Liberty the Bald Eagle

Liberty was found in Washington state, unable to fly, with an infected wing. After rehabilitation, her wing still wasn’t strong enough for her to survive in the wild so she joined the Animal Ambassador team at Audubon. She now represents her species and teaches the community about Bald Eagles, and their come-back story in the region.

Fun Fact: Liberty recognizes her caretakers and often calls out when they arrive to feed her. 

American Toad

American Toads are common here at Audubon. Males are smaller than females. Toads prefer to eat worms, crickets, and sowbugs. Toad “warts” are really just bumpy skin that act as camouflage.

Fun Fact: Toad really enjoys meal time. On feeding days you might find him trying to climb the walls in excitement. 

Lincoln the Box Turtle

Lincoln is a captive-bred box turtle, a hybrid of Eastern and Florida subspecies. He hatched in 1992 and came to Audubon in 2006.

Fun Fact: Lincoln is very protective of his habitat and often approaches visitors with a fiesty attitude, thinking they’re intruders to his home.

Milton the Box Turtle

Milton is a wild-caught Eastern Box Turtle. A family illegally picked him up in Kentucky or Tennessee. He has the characteristic red eye of male Eastern Box Turtles and the yellow markings on his legs and shell.

Fun Fact: Milton is very shy and often burrows in his moss pit.

Hershey the California Kingsnake

Hershey came to Audubon as a previous pet. This non-native snake is related to the local Eastern Milk Snake. It features the same blotchy band pattern and smooth scales. She eats rodents here but in the wild she would commonly eat other snakes, hence the species name, “kingsnake.”

Fun Fact: Hershey sometimes shakes her tail while eating as an attempt to keep other predators away while she is in a vulnerable position. 

Rocky the False Map Turtle

Rocky is a False Map Turtle, the western relative to the Northern Map Turtle found in the region. Map turtles are incredible swimmers. They use their large, webbed feet like flippers to push through the water with ease. 

Fun Fact: Sometimes Rocky lays eggs (they are infertile because she lives alone). You might see them on the bottom of the tank from time to time. 

Eastern Garter Snake

Garter snakes are one of the most common snakes in the region. Eastern Garter Snakes usually have a stripe down the middle of their backs. They are not venomous or dangerous and eat mostly worms.

Fun Fact: Look closely at Garter’s scales the next time you visit. She has keeled scales that are rough to the touch, while the other snakes at Audubon have smooth or semi-smooth scales. 

Gray Treefrog

Gray Treefrogs are native to this region. Their skin texture and the ability to change color makes them great at camouflaging. These frogs rarely leave the treetops and are strictly nocturnal.

Fun Fact: Sometimes in the morning during the spring, you can catch Gray Treefrog chirping his little froggy song. 

Musk Turtle

Musk Turtles are also called “Stinkpots” and get their name from the musk they release when frightened. A secretive turtle, they do occasionally bask on logs but spend more time on the muddy bottom of ponds and swamps. They prefer still-water habitats.

Fun Fact: Musk Turtle is a very good climber and sometimes climbs on top of her filter to take a nap. 

Munny the Painted Turtle

This turtle was removed from a house as an illegal pet. Painted Turtles are native to the region. She will not be released into the wild to prevent the possible spread of disease. Note the yellow and orange markings on her head, neck, and legs, identifying features of this species.

Fun Fact: Sometimes Munny basks on her float with both of her back feet stretched out behind her. This pose allows her to absorb more heat and UV rays from her lamps. (The other aquatic turtles can also be caught striking this adorable, yet practical, pose.)

Red-eared Slider

This is not a native turtle to the region. This turtle was found injured and is most likely a released pet. Sliders can live for 30-40 years and may grow up to 11 inches. Released pet turtles compete with native species for food and space and often spread diseases.

Fun Fact: Slider is very shy out of the water, but is curious while he’s in the water and often swims over to visitors to say “hello”. 

Snapping Turtle

Snapping Turtles get their name because they snap to protect themselves. Turtles do not have teeth, their sharp beaks are what can cause injury. They prefer to stay in the water, but females will often be found on land looking for a place to lay eggs.

Fun Fact: Snapper spends the warmer months outside in one of the small ponds in front of the Nature Center.

Spotted Turtles (Adults and Juvenile)

These turtles are state-endangered due to habitat loss and illegal collection for the pet trade. These turtles were rescued from owners who had them illegally. Spotted Turtles are small when fully grown and are very secretive, preferring marshy habitats.

Fun Fact: You can tell the male and female Spotted Turtles apart by the shape of their shells. The female has a more domed shell (extra space for eggs) while the males are flatter shaped.

Ebenezer the Wood Turtle

Ebenezer was rescued thanks to Operation Shellshock. Wood turtles are often found near clear, cold streams and spend a surprising amount of time in the water, as much as they do on land. They can be active all year long, and are very smart.

Fun Fact: Ebenezer is the least picky eater of all the animals that live at Audubon. He often cleans his “plate” during meal time.

Rudolph the Yellow Rat Snake

The Yellow Rat Snake is native to Florida and the southeastern coast. It is related to the Black Rat Snake, which is native to New York. In the wild, they eat small mammals, eggs, birds, lizards and frogs. This snake, because it is in captivity, eats mice.

Fun Fact: Rudolph was rescued from a warehouse as a juvenile, kept as a pet, and eventually donated to Audubon.


Audubon Community Nature Center
1600 Riverside Road
Jamestown, NY 14701

(716) 569-2345

Click here for directions

Hours and Admission

Nature Center Hours:

Monday - Saturday
10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

1:00 - 4:30 p.m.

Building Admission:

Nature Center Members - Free
Non-member Adult (ages 16+) - $6
Non-member Child (ages 3 - 15) - $2
Children ages 2 and under - Free
Maximum cost for a Family - $15

Show your SNAP/EBT card for free admission to the Nature Center.

Free admission for all non-members on Sundays.

Use of the trails and exploring the outdoor exhibits, are free year round, even on holidays, from dawn to dusk.

Grounds and Outdoor Exhibits:

Open daily, year round from dawn to dusk free of charge

Click here for holiday closings

Thank you, Community Partners

Audubon Community Partners make a significant financial contribution each year because they believe that every child deserves the opportunity to have a real and healthy connection to nature.

Curt and Susie Westrom

Bob and Kathy Frucella
Carnahan-Jackson Foundation

Chautauqua Region Community Foundation
Holmberg Foundation
Hultquist Foundation
Jessie Smith Darrah Fund

Lenna Foundation
Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation