Field Conservation ~
Eastern Hellbender Conservation
The Eastern hellbender is the largest salamander in the Western Hemisphere, growing to nearly 30” in length. Fondly referred to as the snot otter due to the copious amounts of slime that coat its skin, the hellbender resides under large boulders in clean streams and rivers throughout Appalachia. Team members at the Good Zoo were the first to hatch larvae from eggs of this species in a zoo or aquarium in 2007. Since that time, the zoo team has assisted in surveys of the hellbender across the state of West Virginia and has raised and reintroduced hellbenders back to our local streams and rivers with conservation partners including the West Virginia Division of Wildlife and the Wilds.
Monarch Butterfly Conservation
Populations of the monarch butterfly have declined greatly over the past 20 years. These declines have been associated with the loss of milkweed, the host plant that monarch caterpillars feed on, across the species’ breeding range. Oglebay Good Zoo participates in Project Monarch Watch, working with citizen scientists in the West Virginia Master Naturalist Program to rear and release and tag nearly 2,000 monarch butterflies.
Migratory Bird Rehabilitation
Oglebay Good Zoo has worked with the West Virginia Division of Wildlife to rehabilitate ill or injured migratory birds for over 25 years. Each year we care for between 50 and 75 falcons, hawks, and owls that are ill or injured. The zoo team and veterinarians provide critical care, physical therapy, and reintroduction flight training to these patients to help save populations of these species in our region. If you are interested in supporting migratory bird conservation, you can assist by providing migratory bird habitats in the form of nest boxes or plantings around your home, placing deterrent stickers on picture windows, contacting local law enforcement or conservation officers if you see an ill or injured bird, or by donating to our raptor rehabilitation program.