The New England Wildlife Center is an informal hands-on science education organization that uses the activities of veterinary medical care and rehabilitation of wildlife like raccoons, reptiles, and birds of prey, and the veterinary care of exotic pets like snakes, lizards, and turtles as a vehicle for learning by elementary, middle school, high school and undergraduate students. The Center, located in a green, sustainable facility known as the Thomas E. Curtis Wildlife Hospital and Education Facility, is in Weymouth, Massachusetts.The Center is a community integrated non-profit that serves as the meeting place for science educators, reptile enthusiasts, animal control officers, wildlife caretakers, folk musicians, and habitat based artists.
The Center is home to the Odd Pet Vet, a commercial exotics veterinary practice that treats pets like pigeons, chickens, cockatiels, parakeets, parrots, rabbits, hamsters, hedgehogs, degus, bearded dragons, boa constrictors, pythons, corn snakes, iguanas, skinks, tortoises, turtles and other reptiles. All appointments with the Odd Pet Vet are education based so that the client and students alike can learn the science and biology of their pet.
The Jane Carlee Wildlife Hospital is the Center’s wildlife veterinary care arm that treats 225 species of native and naturalized wildlife that includes humming birds, songbirds, seabirds, raccoons, birds of prey, skunks, snapping turtles, and other wild species. On-staff veterinarians, veterinary care technicians, wildlife rehabilitators, and high school and undergraduate interns who are engaged in job training internships care for patients. Internships are a key feature of our science education programs and also of the care of wildlife. An intern’s wildlife care activities are directly linked with educational science seminars and hands-on science investigations of comparative anatomy and physiology, species biology, habitat function, and biodiversity.
The Weezie Nature Center, a subset of the informal science education projects at the Center, hosts a collection of skeletons, taxidermy specimens, and other natural objects.
The green building and nature trails of the Center serve as educational demonstrations and places of investigation of green sustainability and habitat protection. Center nature trails encompass a vernal pond habitat and connect to trails that extend onto natural areas of local conservation lands in Weymouth and Braintree, Massachusetts.
The Elisabeth Allison Raccoon Study area and the Raccoon Library specialize in artifacts, folklore, natural history, and biology of the native raccoon, Procyon lotor.
Araquon Lodge, also known as the Raccoon Lodge, serves as an in-house theater for the public to view informal science education video casts and other topics relating to the biology of life on earth.