Mystery Critter with Julie Scardina

Wildlife expert Julie Scardina and friend.

Julie Scardina, wildlife expert and educator.

TGSG Note: To say I am thrilled to have Julie Scardina host this weeks’s Mystery Critter is an UNDERSTATEMENT! I have been a fan of her work for years, and am lucky enough to know Julie through our past work together on the Environmental Excellence Awards. And, lucky me, she is a big fan of the Mystery Critter here at TGSG, and was kind enough to supply the critter and clues this week. So, make sure Julie feels the love, y’all! Leave her some comments and help share the post. Maybe we can coax her back to play again. Big thanks to Julie and SeaWorld & Busch Gardens for stopping by our sandbox. See ya outside! – The Grass Stain Guru

OK my mystery detectives, it’s time to put on your thinking caps and crack this week’s case. Can the animal expert stump you, or are you the Sherlock of snapping turtles or the Winston of  wolverines? Let the games begin! And remember — no cheating!


  • I am smart, social and adaptable
  • I range all across the US and am often sighted in places that might surprise you!
  • I like fresh killed meat best but will eat insects, grass, fruit, and carrion
  • I can have large litters, but only 5 to 20% of my babies survive the first year
  • I am often misunderstood and given a bad reputation, but I’m more afraid of what you might do than the other way around.

What am I? Make your guess, and then go here for the answer and more interesting facts. Did you get it right?! If not, no worries — you’ll have another chance next week!

Whether you see (or hear!) this week’s Mystery Critter or not, observing the wildlife in your community is always a treat. Grab the kids and a pair of binoculars and get out there! You never know what you are going to discover.

Don’t forget to let folks know about what you see! Join the Wildobs community and report your wildlife observations. It’s a great way to keep track of your wild adventures and share info with others.

Guest Bio: As SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Discovery Cove animal ambassador, Julie Scardina shares her life-long love of animals and the parks’ commitment to wildlife education and conservation with audiences ranging from children in classrooms to millions of viewers on national television. Julie often hosts the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens productions of “Saving a Species,” an entertaining and educational look into how animals are faring on the planet. She is a repeat guest on NBC’s “Today,” and CNN’s “Larry King Live.” Julie appeared as a regular guest on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” for the past 11 years. Julie also serves as Director of Animal Ambassador Programs for the SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Discovery Cove Parks. In this role, Julie works hand-in-hand with trainers at each park to evaluate and train animals and people for educational and media appearances. Follow Julie on Twitter.

The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund supports wildlife and wild places in four areas –  Species research, Conservation Education, Habitat Protection and Rescue and Rehab.

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