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Bobby the Bobcat was the first to move into a permanent enclosure at the Nature of Wildworks

Nature of Wildworks Adds Major Improvements

OARSEGOLD—When the call came to visit the Nature of Wildworks (NOWW), the date was supposed to be an interview with Rocket and Galaxy the Raccoons. They are two of the newest residents of the wildlife care facility located on ten acres in Coarsegold. That didn’t happen. Rocket and Galaxy were too busy wrestling with each other and scampering all over the enclosure built just for them. I had to “settle” for exploring the property. I got to view the changes made and animals added since my original visit in February, 2022.

What Is the Nature of Wildworks?

A question Nature of Wildworks often hears is, “Why didn’t I know about you?”

Here’s who they are:

The Nature of Wildworks, a non-profit 501(c)3 center, focuses on the rescue and lifetime care of animals native to the United States—with a couple of exceptions. When I first visited, they had been in their Coarsegold home about six months. Sierra News Online chronicled the saga of their search for a new permanent home. The journey took them from their original site in Topanga Canyon, where they’d been situated for over 25 years, to temporary residences in Sedona, AZ, and Paso Robles, CA.

The Beginnings

Mollie Hogan, NOWW founder, with Dragon the Red-Tailed Hawk

Mollie Hogan founded the Nature of Wildworks over 25 years ago and still serves as its Executive Director. Meagan Platt, Assistant Director, and Nicole Wilson, Director of Animal Care, have been with the facility since its time in Topanga Canyon and are completely dedicated to lovingly caring for their animal friends.

Who Lives Here?

Bobby the Bobcat. Peeking out behind him is NOWW Assistant Director Meaghan Platt.

All of the critters housed at the Nature of Wildworks have been either orphaned or injured in the wild, confiscated from homes where they were illegally kept or surrendered by owners who could no longer care for them. They are unable to be returned to the wild. For their safety and well-being, they must be cared for by a licensed facility. In fact, California Fish and Wildlife often contacts them when they retrieve illegally owned creatures. Mollie accepts them as often as she is able.

Animals housed at the time of my first visit ranged from a variety of foxes, ferrets, a hedgehog, prairie dogs, birds, reptiles, a mountain lion, bobcats, dogs and cats—and my personal favorite, Bobby the Bobcat. The center cared for raptors and horses, but those critters remained at the Arizona site pending transfer to their new homes. Another several months and multiple trips were necessary to accomplish their move to California, but all animals are now in Coarsegold. Their volunteer program had barely gotten underway, and the bulk of the care was the responsibility of the three NOWW employees, a huge chore undertaken with great love.

New Residents

Sam the Skunk

Since my first visit, NOWW has added, besides Rocket and Galaxy, Sam the Skunk, Gale and Sue-Nami, the hedgehogs, among others. Although NOWW primarily cares for animals native to the United States, they currently house species from farther afield. Zeke and Zac are kinkajous native to tropical areas of Central and South America. Cleo the Serval comes from Africa.

Each Animal Has a Story

It’s not enough to name names. Each animal who arrives at NOWW is an individual with a tale to tell, like Rocket and Galaxy the Raccoons. The NOWW website chronicles each one. Take a moment to read about Bobby the Bobcat and then spend some time perusing the portfolio of other animals whose lives NOWW has saved.

Losses Along the Way

Losses are inevitable when you live with animals, and NOWW is no exception. Probably the most notable would be Cliff the Mountain Lion, who lived to be about 20 years old. NOWW buried him next to where he lived, and a lovely stone marks the spot. Gone as well are Hailstorm the hedgehog, whom I met on my first visit. Soldier Bear the prairie dog is a recent loss. Peter Pan the ferret has crossed the rainbow bridge. NOWW memorializes them and others on their Wildworks Legends page.

How NOWW Has Evolved

For months after the move, the various species lived in an assortment of temporary enclosures  situated around the house’s patio and yard. From the beginning, NOWW staff had big plans to build permanent enclosures perfectly suited to the lifestyles of each of their animals. That is happening. Permanent enclosures specially designed with each species in mind have sprung up across the property thanks to the approximately 20 volunteers who have pitched in to help.

NOWW is especially blessed with a volunteer with carpentry skills who donates two days a week to helping construct the animals’ permanent pens. Other volunteers aid him and contribute their unique talents to enriching NOWW’s animals’ experience.

The animals have room to roam. Climbers have enclosures with height. Nocturnal animals have refuges where they can spend their days napping and their nights exploring. They even created larger areas designed to enclose animals one at a time where they can free range a bit.


The Nature of Wildworks features animal ambassadors who make visits to school programs and off-site parties. You can invite Dragon the Red-Tailed Hawk or Jake the Snake, and others, to pay a visit. To find out how to arrange a date with the Nature of Wildworks, visit here. Arrange a pre-booked tour to Wildworks for individuals or groups. Contact NOWW here to arrange a site visit. Of course, you can keep up with the doings at NOWW via social media, as well, via Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Jake the Snake

How You Can Help

Complete an application to become a volunteer. But if you can’t be there in person, you can make a monetary donation, sponsor an animal for a month or for a lifetime, set up plans in your estate or even purchase supplies from the NOWW wish list. It all helps support the care of the animals lucky enough to reside at Nature of Wildworks.

Contact the Nature of Wildworks

Contact Nature of Wildworks at 559-692-9980, or email them at info@natureofwildworks.org. The mailing address is PO Box 1473, Coarsegold, CA 93614.

Thanks to the Nature of Wildworks for the photos.

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Sierra News Online