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WDC-Plan_Your_Visit

What You Can Do at the WDC
Visitors of all ages enjoy the Wildlife Discovery Center, where conservation and environmental awareness come alive. The WDC also adheres to the Next Generation Science Standards.  In addition to visiting our resident animals, you can enjoy a hike and nature observation on the adjacent Middlefork Trail, or visit the Elawa Farm Park where you and your family can enjoy a picnic in the pavilion, play soccer in the field, or have fun in the huge playground.

 “The WDC has an unbelievable animal collection, including one of the finest venomous reptile exhibits in the region. In my opinion, it’s a first-class facility and a real asset to the community.” 
-Dr. Brady Barr, National Geographic


ANIMALS AT THE WDC
WDC-Animals_at_the_WDC_flipThe WDC is home to approximately 85 species of animals. During regular visiting hours, you can talk with our animal keepers and meet some of our amazing animals. 

NOTE: We will be adding an Animal Profile page to each animal listed below so you can learn about their natural habitats, diets, behaviors, and other fun facts. Plan to visit this page often as more Animal Profiles are added. When an animal's name is listed in BLUE, it has a profile.

ANIMAL LOCATION KEY:
  NORTHERN EXHIBIT HALL
  MAIN EXHIBIT HALL
  OUTDOOR EXHIBITS
Box_Purple  CLASSROOM
  PROGRAM ANIMALS OFF EXHIBIT

AMPHIBIANS  
  Frogs
Box_Purple African Bull Frog, Pyxicephalus adspersus
  Toads
American Toad, Bufo americanus
Surinam Giant Marine Toad, Bufo marinus
  Salamanders
Box_Purple Mudpuppy, Necturus maculosus
Tiger Salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum
BIRDS  
Eastern Screech Owl, Megascops asio
Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus
Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis
MAMMALS  
Bobcat, Lynx rufus
REPTILES  
  Crocodilians
American Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis
Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman, Paleosuchus palpebrosus
Morelet's Crocodile, Crocodylus moreletii
Saltwater Crocodile, Crocodylus porosus
Siamese Crocodile, Crocodylus siamensis
Box_Purple Spectacled Caiman, Caiman crocodilus
  Lizards
Asian Water Monitor, Varanus salvator
Black Throated Monitor, Varanus albigularis ionidesi
Blue Tongued Skink, Tiliqua intermedia
Crested Gecko, Correlophus ciliatus
Giant Argentine Tegu, Tupinambis merianae
Gila Monster, Heloderma suspectum
Jackson's Chameleon, Trioceros jacksonii
Leaf-tailed Gecko, Uroplatus henkeli
Red Tegu, Tupinambis rufescens
Rhinoceros Iguana, Cyclura cornuta
  Snakes - Non-venomous
Angolan Python, Python anchietae
Box_Purple Black Rat Snake, Elaphe obsoleta
Blue Racer, Coluber constrictor foxii
Bullsnake, Pituophis catenifer sayi
Butler's Garter Snake, Thamnophis butleri
Cape Gopher SnakePituophis catenifer vertebralis
Colombian Boa Constrictor, Boa constrictor imperator
Corn Snake, Pantherophis guttatus
Dumeril’s Boa, Boa dumerili
Eastern Coachwhip, Masticophis flagellum flagellum
Eastern Indigo Snake, Drymarchon couperi
Eastern Milksnake, Lampropeltis triangulum
Emerald Tree Boa, Corallus caninus
Everglades Ratsnake, Elaphe obsoleta rossalleni
Box_Purple Great Plains Ratsnake, Pantherophis emoryi
Green Tree Python, Morelia viridis
Indian Python, Python molurus molurus
Nelson’s Milksnake, Lampropeltis triangulum nelsoni
Box_Purple Peruvian Red-tailed Boa, Boa constrictor constrictor
Red Milksnake, Lampropeltis triangulum syspila
Rhinoceros Ratsnake, Rhynchophis boulengeri
Sinaloan Milksnake, Lampropeltis triangulum sinaloae
Speckled Kingsnake, Lampropeltis getula holbrooki
Western Fox Snake, Elaphe vulpina
Western Hognose Snake, Heterodon nasicus
  Snakes - Venomous
Cottonmouth, Agkistrodon piscivorus 
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, Crotalus adamanteus 
blue_box Eastern MassasaugaSistrurus catenatus 
Mexican Black-tailed Rattlesnake, Crotalus molossus nigrescens
Mexican Pigmy Rattlesnake, Sistrurus ravus
Mojave Rattlesnake, Crotalus scutulatus
  Prairie Rattlesnake
  Southern Copperhead
Timber Rattlesnake, Crotalus horridus 
  Western Diamondback Rattlesnake 
  Tortoises
  Aldabra Tortoise
Gopher Tortoise, Gopherus polyphemus
  Pancake Tortoise
Red Footed Tortoise, Chelonoidis carbonaria
  Turtles
Alligator Snapping Turtle, Macrochelys temminckii
Blandings Turtle, Emydoidea blandingii
Eastern Box Turtle, Terrapene carolina carolina
Fly River Turtle, Carettochelys insculpta
Musk Turtle, Sternotherus odoratus
Ornate Box Turtle, Terrapene ornata ornata
Painted Turtle, Chrysemys picta
Wood Turtle, Glyptemys insculpta
 
Some of the images used on these animal profiles were supplied by Dr. Steve Barten, Carol Freeman or Darryl Klein. Our thanks to these photographers.

 

VISITOR HOURS 

Indoor Exhibits
Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
10:00 am – 4:00 pm

(Closed on major holidays)

Outdoor Exhibits

Open Daily

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

SPECIAL NOTE: The WDC indoor exhibits may be closed periodically as we accommodate visiting school groups.  Outdoor exhibits will still be open.

Saturday 10/29 - WDC Closed until 1:00pm for Elawa Farm Foundation Event.

Field Trip/Event Closure Updates:

Fridays  11/18 & 12/16 Classroom Exhibit Hall closed until 11:00am

Saturdays (all Fall):  Classroom exhibits closed occasionally for Junior Zookeeper Class

Admission to the WDC is FREE. Please NOTE, Free Admission is only for individuals and related families of 8 or less. Larger groups (schools, organizations, Scouts, tours, etc.) must set up a program prior to arrival and pay a fee that will be quoted by the WDC Curator. E-mail our Program Coordinator to set up your program. 

Visitor donations are encouraged and appreciated, and support the high-quality care we give our animals.


GETTING HERE

The WDC is located at historic Elawa Farm along the 670-acre Middlefork Savanna, a globally threatened ecosystem in Lake Forest, Illinois.

1401 Middlefork Drive
Lake Forest, IL 60045

LINK TO MAPQUEST


WILD SIDE STORE

WDC-Store-Box_Turtle_190wIf you’re looking for a special gift for your “wild one,” check out the fabulous plush animals available for purchase at the WDC, including: alligators, bobcats, crocodiles, iguanas, snakes and turtles.


CONTACT US

Rob Carmichael, Curator

Nick Hubeek, Program Coordinator
 


 CLICK to stay Connected to the Wildlife Discovery Center.

THE CITY OF LAKE FOREST
220 E. Deerpath, Lake Forest, IL 60045
(847) 234-2600
Non-Emergency Police:  (847) 234-2601

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