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Meet Hannah and Thrasher

Hannah the Virginia Opossum and Thrasher the Eastern Gray Squirrel are the newest Animal Ambassadors at the Park’s Animal Discovery Den.

Hannah was kept as a pet for a year before being turned over to a wildlife rehabber. Since she was around people for so long, she doesn’t know how to be a wild opossum and needs humans to help her survive. Although baby animals can be hard to resist, it’s best they are raised by their parents. If mom and dad aren’t available, people who specialize in raising and releasing specific animals are the next best option. Let’s face it, humans can’t teach opossums how to be opossums! But don’t worry that Hannah is missing out too much. She has an important job teaching kids of all ages why opossums rock! She’ll share how they help us by eating ticks, venomous snakes and bugs that eat our gardens.

Thrasher, is our first Eastern Grey Squirrel on exhibit here in the Park, and we’re happy to have him. He was the victim of acat attack when he was approximately 5 weeks old and was taken to a wildlife rehabilitator. Although he was treated with antibiotics for the infection, the position of the bite caused irreversible neurological damage. Since Thrasher now has uncontrollable spasms and tends to run in circles when he’s nervous, he was deemed non-releasable. We all love our kitties, but outdoor cats can be a nuisance to wildlife and their bites are very harmful. If you ever recover a critter who’s endured a cat bite, they need to receive proper medical treatment quickly. We’re sad Thrasher can’t live in the wild but thrilled to have him as part of our team. He’s going to teach lots of folks why squirrels are the NC State Mammal and all the ways they help our forests stay healthy.

You can see Hannah and Thrasher on exhibit at the Animal Discovery Den or meet them during one of our Family Animal Encounters to find out more about our newest ambassadors.