Animals & Living Collections

Many of our animals are here due to injuries, illness, human socialization, or other issues which make them unreleasable to the wild. All enclosures have been specially designed to meet the natural needs of the species as well as to accommodate any physical limitations of the individual animal. Many of our animals’ homes include quiet areas, where they are able to rest and nap (if you don’t see an animal, this may be why). All animals receive regular check-ups from their vets and daily interaction with their caretakers.

Some of our animals live on exhibit (you can find them among exhibits inside the museum as well as outdoors on our Meadow Path and Wildlife Path). Additionally, we have program animals who are not on exhibit but do come out for certain EcoTarium experiences led by our Wildlife Staff and Museum Educators who have been specially trained to work with our animals.

The EcoTarium is a popular spot for New England wildlife, with land that includes woodlands, ponds and marshland, and meadow habitats.  If you’re lucky, you might see a hawk, wild turkey, sparrow, oriole, red-winged blackbird, frog, fish, salamander, chipmunk, rabbit, squirrel or deer. Some animals you’re quite likely to see. Others are active at night when the grounds are closed or are very shy. Be a detective and look for their signs: tracks, burrows, nests or scat (that’s a fancy science word for poop). Seek out skunk tracks in the winter snow, hunt for owl pellets year round, and watch the meadow fill up with goldfinches when the flowers bloom in the summer.

Indoor Animal Residents:

  • Wood Turtles, Rats, and Western Harvester Ant colonies in the City Science: The Science You Live exhibit (middle level)
  • Red-Fronted Macaw, Corn/Milk Hybrid Snake and Eastern Box Turtle near the Minerals on the middle level
  • Guinea Pigs in the Preschool Discovery Area (lower level)
  • Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches at the entrance to the African Communities exhibit (lower level)
  • Assorted native tidal pool invertabrates and fish in the Tidal Pool (lower level)
  • Blanding’s Turtles, Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle, Spotted Turtle, Musk Turtle, Bull Frog, Tree Frogs, and an Opossum in the Freshwater exhibit (lower level)

Outdoor Animal Residents:

  • River Otters
  • Bald Eagles
  • Barred Owls
  • Red Fox