Davis’ most intriguing animal friends!

ARIEL ROBBINS / AGGIE
ARIEL ROBBINS / AGGIE

A closer look into the interesting animals that make up UC Davis

Though you may not know it, UC Davis is home to many interesting and unique species of animals. You might see them every day on your way to class or might have never heard of them before, but these animals are a huge part of campus.

Rhesus Monkeys

Located on campus, the California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) houses over 5,000 monkeys, a majority of which are rhesus monkeys. Researchers focus on behavior and neuroscience, infectious diseases and immunology, reproductive and regenerative medicine and respiratory biology and disease with this species. They serve as an invaluable research species, as they share about 93 percent of their genes with humans.  

Various species of butterflies, ants, fish, turtles, frogs and even river otters!

Aside from being a place to relax or study, the UC Davis Arboretum is home to “[seven] species of fish, [three] species of amphibians, 19 species of reptiles, 45 species of butterflies, 18 species of ants and hundreds of other insects and invertebrates,” according to its website. Take a walk alongside Lake Spafford and keep an eye out for all these animals, including the Davis’ North American River Otters.

Golden Eagles

Eagles are characterized as “raptors,” or birds of prey. Though technically not located on campus, the California Raptor Center (CRC), in affiliation with the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, takes in roughly 300 sick and injured raptors each year and nurses them back to health. According to its website, the CRC currently has three golden eagles named Aquila, Fuzzy and Sullivan.

Titi Monkeys

About 100 South American tree-dwellers referred to as “Titi monkeys” are located in the CNPRC. They are primarily used to study social bonds, since — much like humans — they live in monogamous family groups.

Alpine Goats

The Dairy Goat Research Facility, located on Shields Avenue, houses about 200 goats, with the base herd made up of of Alpine goats. Researchers study various aspects of the herd, including their genetics, reproduction and behavior. The goats can also be seen in several UC Davis classes, such as Introductory Animal Science.

Barn Owls

Also categorized as raptors, Davis’ barn owls live in the CRC alongside many other bird species. Athena, one of the barn owls currently living at the center, suffered a right wing injury before transferring to the CRC. Since she has imprinted on people and now considers herself more of a human than a barn owl, Athena cannot be released back into the wild. Citrine, another barn owl, was transferred to the CRC for eye injuries and is being kept there for rehabilitation.

Wild Turkeys

Wild turkeys pop up in urban and uncultivated areas in the city of Davis, and can be seen often on or around the UC Davis campus. Keep an eye out for a line of them crossing the road while driving or biking!

Written by: Fatima Siddiqui – features@theaggie.org