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Animal Descriptions

American Black Bear

In spite of its name, the American Black Bear (Ursus americanus) is found in various colors in addition to black, including brown, cinnamon, tan, beige and blonde. In its brown color phase, the black bear has been mistaken for the grizzly bear, also called brown bears, but the black bear lacks the characteristic fatty hump on the shoulder found in grizzly bears, has much shorter claws than the grizzly and is considerably smaller.

The Llama

Llamas, a South American member of Camelidae, the camel family, were domesticated for their wool and labor some 4,000 years ago in the Andes mountains of what is now modern Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. It is the largest of the four cousin species including alpacas, guanacos and the smallest, vicunas.

The Deer

Deer, a common name for hoofed mammals of the family Cervidae, are usually characterized by bony, branching antlers, which are shed and regenerated annually.

The Raccoon

The raccoon (procyon lotor) is a familiar animal to most Americans because they are found throughout North America. Their range extends from Southern Canada to Central America, with the exception of desert areas and parts of Utah, Nevada and the Rocky Mountains. Raccoons are related to ringtails, coatis and kinkajous.

Lions are King at the Waystation

The Wildlife Waystation, with its lion population now at sixty-two, is the place to be if you want to hear lions roar in “stereo”. Although “The Big Roar” is a sound generally heard in the evening, lions may be heard at any time of the day or night. One cat may start it off, but it doesn’t take long before the rest are joining in it is a memorable chorus, indeed!

The Zebra

Zebra are native to Sub-Saharan Africa. Two prominent African Zebra species are Plains Zebra (Equus burchelli) and Grevy’s Zebra (Equus grevyi). They may look similar but they show many different behavior traits.

Tigers and Ligers

The Wildlife Waystation is home to two species of tiger - the Bengal (Panthera tigris tigris) and the Siberian (Panthera tigris altaica), both of which are endangered.

Clever Canines

Head thrown back, a wolf points its nose to the sky and begins to howl.The call soars to a high note and then slides down in smooth, rippling tones. Though most howling is done as night falls and is often used to assemble the pack for a night’s hunting, wolves may howl at any time of the day or night to keep in touch. A “lonesome howl” may mean a wolf has become separated from the pack, but sometimes they just howl for pleasure.One of the most thrilling, spine-tingling sounds in the world, wolves can be induced to howl quite easily.

Mountain Lions

The mountain lion, Felis Concolor, is the largest North American member of the cat family and is the largest pure carnivore in California.

Grizzly Bear

The Grizzly is one of two subspecies of Brown Bear occurring in North America, the other being the much larger Kodiak. The Grizzly may weigh from 350 lb. for a small female, to as much as 700 lb. for a large male. This bear derives it’s name from it’s coloration: the silver-tipped hair gives the animal a “grizzled” appearance.


Once coyotes lived mainly on prairies and in the deserts of North America, but as people settled across the land, coyotes learned to survive in mountains, forests, and now, even in urban areas.


Their strength, beauty and mystique contributed to their status as the chief figure of Aztec and Incan mythology.


Hyena (family Hyaenidae) can be brown, striped or spotted, with a head and body that somewhat resembles a dog. The hyena as a species are among the most abundant large carnivores in Africa.