Cayuga Nature Center Welcomes Two New Animals


The Cayuga Nature Center is excited to announce the arrival of two new Animal Ambassadors. The public are invited to visit Oz the North American porcupine and Banshee the gray fox, who have now made their homes in the outside enclosures at the Nature Center.

Both new animals are seasoned educators. When they were younger, they were deemed unreleasable, meaning they were unlikely able to survive in the wild. Since then, they have lived in captivity for many years providing programs and learning opportunities for those that visited them. When their previous home was no longer able to house them, they were placed in the permanent care of the Cayuga Nature Center. They will continue to receive top quality care and are able to educate the public about their wild counterparts.

While the Cayuga Nature Center lodge remains closed to the public due to the pandemic, visitors to the trails and outdoor exhibits can see the animals in the outdoor enclosures behind the Lodge, along with the Animal Ambassador foxes, Daisy and Cinder, and the raptors. Both the gray fox and porcupine have their own enclosures, which have each undergone a makeover. New vertical elements such as platforms and tree walks have been added to encourage natural behaviors and movement throughout the enclosure. North American porcupines are also master tree-climbers! The new and improved enclosures have enhancements to make enrichment-activities easy.

The Cayuga Nature Center has two other foxes, both of which are of the red fox species. Banshee the gray fox joins the collection, bringing a great example for visitors to compare how they compare to the red fox species. By observing these animals visitors can note the different body structure and behavior. Porcupines are often overlooked as they are uncommon to see in the wild. Their unique adaptations to survive look quite sharp up close!

These new animal additions were made possible by Whitmore Fence Company who sponsored part of the new safety fence around the gray fox enclosure.

Both animals are currently on view to the public. Nature Center visitors can be introduced to the new animal additions at the Animal Ambassador Encounters program every Sunday at noon through November 21st (subject to individual animal ambassador mood).

The trails and six-story treehouse at Cayuga Nature Center are open daily and free to the public from 10-5 pm. To learn more about public programming at the Cayuga Nature Center, visit


About the Paleontological Research Institution

The Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) pursues and integrates education and research, and interprets the history and systems of the Earth and its life, to increase knowledge, educate society, and encourage wise stewardship of the Earth. PRI and its two public venues for education, the Museum of the Earth and the Cayuga Nature Center, are separate from, but formally affiliated with Cornell University, and interact closely with numerous University departments in research, teaching, and public outreach.

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