Philadelphia, one of the largest cities in the United States, is not typically associated with wild animals. However, the city is home to a surprising number of creatures that are not commonly found in urban areas. From red-tailed hawks to raccoons, Philadelphia has a diverse population of wild animals.
One of the most notable wild animals in Philadelphia is the red-tailed hawk. These birds of prey are often seen soaring over the city, especially in the early morning and late afternoon. They are known for their distinctive call and their keen hunting abilities. Red-tailed hawks can be found throughout the city, from the parks to the rooftops of skyscrapers.
Eastern Box Turtle
These small, terrestrial turtles are widely present in some of Philadelphia’s wooded areas and parks, such as the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum. Eastern box turtles are known for their distinctively patterned shells and their ability to retract their head and limbs into their shells for protection. Like all turtles, they are a protected species and should not be disturbed or collected.
While not typical for urban areas, white-tailed deer are present in some of Philadelphia’s larger parks, such as Wissahickon Valley Park and Pennypack Park. These majestic animals have impressive antlers and the ability to navigate through wooded areas with ease.
Eastern Gray Squirrel
Another common wild animal in Philadelphia is the Eastern gray squirrel. These small, agile animals are found throughout the city and are known for their ability to scamper up trees and buildings. While some people view squirrels as pests, others appreciate their playful antics and enjoy watching them dart around the city.
Philadelphia is also home to a population of raccoons. These nocturnal animals often rummage through garbage cans in search of food. While raccoons are not typically aggressive, they can carry diseases such as rabies, and it is important to keep a safe distance from them.
In addition to these animals, Philadelphia is also home to a variety of other creatures, including opossums, skunks, and even coyotes. While these animals are not typically present in the city center, you can see them in the outskirts and suburbs.
Where to See Them?
Once in Philly, make sure to check out these 5 locations to see amazing wild animals:
1. Fairmount Park
Fairmount Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country, covering over 2,000 acres. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, foxes, and a wide variety of birds. The park has numerous trails and paths, making it an ideal spot for hiking and birdwatching.
2. Wissahickon Valley Park
Located in the northwest part of the city, Wissahickon Valley Park is a beautiful wooded area with a creek running through it. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, red-tailed hawks, and Eastern box turtles. The park also has numerous trails and paths for hiking and exploring.
3. John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum
In southwest Philadelphia, the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum is a protected wetland area that is home to a variety of birds, including bald eagles, herons, and egrets. The refuge also has a number of walking trails and observation decks for visitors to view the wildlife.
4. Schuylkill River Trail
The Schuylkill River Trail is a multi-use trail that runs along the Schuylkill River for over 30 miles. The trail passes through several parks and green spaces. It includes Fairmount Park and is an ideal spot for birdwatching and wildlife viewing.
5. Pennypack Park
In the Northeast part of the city, Pennypack Park is a large wooded area. It has numerous trails and paths for hiking and exploring. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, foxes, and Eastern box turtles.
Conclusion: Philly is Rich in Wildlife
Philadelphia is a city with a surprising amount of wildlife. From red-tailed hawks to raccoons, these animals add a unique element to the city’s urban landscape. While they may not be as commonly seen as pigeons, they are a reminder that even in the midst of a bustling city, nature is still present.
Despite the presence of these wild animals, it is important for residents and visitors to remember that they are still wild animals. Treat them with caution and respect. Feeding or approaching wild animals can be dangerous. It is important to keep a safe distance from them at all times.