Support Our Ambassadors

Support Our Ambassadors

Meet Our Ambassador Animals!

An animal ambassador is an individual of a species, often imprinted to people or rehabilitated, that lives permanently under the care of trained staff. Alongside Visitor Center naturalists, the role of these animals is to educate guests as a representative of their species. Ambassadors also play a role in establishing a life-long interest and memorable connection with the animal and conservation issues influencing the species, through guided up-close encounters and demonstrations.


Support Our Ambassadors

Click here to make a donation on behalf of Cincinnati Nature Center's animal ambassadors. 

Your contribution will go toward the ongoing upkeep and care of our Animal Ambassadors and the exhibit spaces that encourage a public understanding of native wildlife.

To give in person to the animal exhibits fund, please visit the Membership Desk inside Rowe Visitor Center. To give over the phone, call (513) 774-1921.

The Nature Center Welcomes Two NEW Ambassadors!

Thanks to a partnership with fellow ANCA member Glen Helen Raptor Center, both ambassador raptors (below)—who are unable to be released into the wild—now have homes at Rowe Woods where they will help us educate our guests on the importance of these vital species. 

Earlier this year, our facilities team along with a group of dedicated volunteers built a raptor mew (a structure in which raptors are housed) behind Rowe Visitor Center. Members of our staff also trained with the Glen Helen team to learn how to properly care for the raptors. Click here to learn more!

Unicorn, male eastern screech owl.


Unicorn is a gray morph eastern screech owl (Megascops asio) born in 2021. He enjoys afternoon naps, eating 2-3 mice a day, and soaking in some morning sunshine.

Zihna, male red-tailed hawk.


Zihna is a male red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) born in 2012. He loves food and is currently training with Nature Center handlers.

Bert & Ernie

Bert (left) and Ernie (right) are both male eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina). Bert was born in 2010 and Ernie was born 2012.

Bert can typically be seen attempting to climb the walls of his enclosure or quietly observing his surroundings. Ernie often pushes around his toy duck or is observed thinking about going in his rock pit but rarely ever does.

Bert and Ernie, the box turtles.
Peppermint, male amelanistic corn snake.


Peppermint is a male amelanistic corn snake (Pantherophis guttatus) born in 2004. He enjoys being held, napping, and making a grand appearance once a year.

Crush, female red-eared slider (turtle).


Crush is a female red-eared slider (Trachemy scripta elegans) born in 2000. She enjoys belly flops, swimming loudly, warming up under her lamp, and mealtime.


Levi is a snow corn snake (Pantherophis guttatus), born in 2010 and enjoys climbing, napping, and occasionally escaping from their cage.

Levi, the snow corn snake.
Rattison, male gray ratsnake
You may wonder why Rattison looks a little gray in this image. He is preparing to shed his skin. Yes, even over the eyes. Once he has completed shedding, he will be shiny and black.


Rattison is a male gray ratsnake (Patherophis spiloides) born in 2011. His favorite activities include playing peekaboo from under his rock, climbing up the cage wall, and most of all, mealtime.

Rainbow darter (fish)

Ohio Native Fish

Native fish can be difficult to observe in the riffles and pools of the pristine streams at Rowe Woods. These fish quickly dart and hide in the flowing water, eating insects and other small invertebrates. The males exhibit beautiful coloration, especially in the spring during breeding season.

The fish found in Rowe Visitor Center are rainbow darter (Etheostoma caeruleum), fantail darter (Etheostoma flabellare), and southern redbelly dace (Chrosomus erythrogaster), which are also in our streams and are indicator species, telling us the water is clean.

Meet the Caretakers

Let's introduce some of the Cincinnati Nature Center staff that work with our animal ambassadors. And don't forget to join us for Rowe Visitor Center Nature Moments—short interactive programs that are presented by a naturalist. No registration necessary for these drop-in programs. Members free; nonmembers pay daily admission at the gate.

Cincinnati Nature Center front desk naturalists - Tim, Jeanette, Noel, Anne, Tim, Jen.