Animal Ambassadors

Ijams Nature Center is home to more than 40 non-releasable animals who are here due to injury, illness, or human intervention. They cannot survive in the wild, so they live here and share their stories to help Ijams educators teach visitors of all ages about the impact humans can have on native animal species. Visit Ijams' animal ambassadors during regular business hours - either in the outdoor raptor enclosure or in the Visitor Center exhibit hall - and make a new connection with Tennessee's local wildlife. NOTE: The exhibit hall is closed temporarily due to COVID-19. Ijams offers FREE Animal Encounters on Saturdays at 10 am and 1 pm.

The Wild Staff of Ijams

The wild staff at Ijams helps visitors and program attendees learn about the world around them. The human staff selects these team members very carefully and ensures that they receive care and enrichment (activities to keep animals engaged) while they live at the nature center. Ijams also partners with the veterinarians of The University of Tennessee-Knoxville School of Veterinary Medicine to keep these animals healthy.

While Ijams has wild educators, the staff cannot accept or treat abandoned or injured wildlife, but there are people who do. Watch the Wild Animal Protocol video or read the Wild Animal Frequently Asked Questions so you know what to do if you find an animal that might need assistance.

Meet the Animals

Barred Owl

Strix varia

American Kestrel

Falco sparverius

Red-Tailed Hawk

Buteo jamaicensis

Eastern Screech Owl

Megascops asio

Turkey Vulture

Cathartes aura

Eastern Screech Owl

Megascops asio

Corn Snake
(Red Rat Snake)

Pantherophis guttatus

Gray Rat Snake (Albino)

(Pantherophis spiloides)

Gray Rat Snake

(Pantherophis spiloides)

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