Island Critters

by opsmuseum

Black BearOne of the questions we get frequently is, “What types of animals live on Ocracoke?” Over the years, various types of domesticated livestock have been pastured here, but as far as wild animals, the selection generally is small and they tend to hide themselves away. We have plenty of turtles of all types and a variety of rodents ranging from the rather interesting looking mink to mice, rats, and the large nutria. We also have rabbits that live primarily out on the National Park Service lands, a few snake varieties and a lot of birds. It’s been only recently that squirrels have become commonplace on the island and, raccoons and opossums have occasionally been sighted. We have even had a few deer sightings. The biggest wildlife news that circulated the village was the day the bear swam to town. That got everyone talking! Luckily for us, he didn’t stick around too long on the island. When he was here and prowling the village, it made walking the island streets at night a little nerve wracking!

*I have searched the internet for a photo of the real bear that visited Ocracoke in 2007, but apparently that was before the time when everyone carried their camera with them, and I can’t find a single picture of that momentous day. I do really believe it happened though.

Nutria raccoon snapping turtle
Our lovable nutria… Is that cat food I smell?

Photo by Gene Ballance

The prehistoric looking snapping turtle
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