Skip to main content

Meet the Wildlife at Carleton

Goats, toads, and an albino squirrel, oh my!

Goats, toads, and an albino squirrel, oh my!


The wildlife at Carleton is, dare I say it, magical.

*Though I don’t usually condone ranking animals (as they’re all far too superior for that) for the purpose of this post, I’ll move through levels 1-5 (from not-that-unusual to knock-your-socks-off-wild).

Level One: Goats!

Over the summer, and for a while in fall term, there are pastures full of goats at Carleton—they’re our natural landscapers. They do a superb job, and are payed by LOTS of attention from students.

goats
Meet Yedda, my first friend at Carleton. She’s very talkative (and likes to nibble fingers…)!
goats2
In addition to trimming the grass, some goats here also have to double-duty at times to make sure the tree branches aren’t poisonous.

Yedda and the Tree-Eater (I sadly don’t remember her name) were both stationed right across from Goodhue Hall, though there were also goats on the hill behind Watson.

Level Two: Creatures of the Arb

I’ve seen deer, bunnies, toads, snakes, and many more animals while traveling in the arb. Seeing deer was my favorite: I was out for an evening walk, and my friend and I saw them silhouetted as the sun was setting. I also have to say that I love any type of amphibian, so seeing toads also makes my day! Snakes, not so much, but they have a home here, too.

arb toad
Meet Mr. Toad

Level Three: Beavers

I’m sorry to report that I haven’t personally seen beavers on the Lyman Lakes in person yet, but I always have my fingers crossed! I’ve never seen a beaver in person before—for some reason, I tend to think of them as some sort of mythical creature so it’s crazy to think that they’re here on campus, too.

arb beavers2
Two bros chillin 6 feet apart…

Level 4: The Illusive Albino Squirrel

Yes, you read the correctly… Carleton is honored to be the home to an albino squirrel! I have seen him once while walking into Northfield last fall, and I gotta say, I feel pretty special. Chubby squirrels hang around Carleton in abundance, but this little guy is quite the rarity.

albino squirrel
Where did he come from? Where does he go?

Lastly, Level 5: Northfield Kids!

Carleton is very connected to its home in Northfield, and it’s a common occurrence to see neighborhood and faculty kids sledding down hills in the arb, building snowmen, or biking around the Bald Spot. I absolutely love seeing them around campus—they have to be my favorite critters here.


Erin grew up catching salamanders, recklessly climbing trees, and running around barefoot in the Appalachian Mountains in a small town in North Carolina. This is her first year at Carleton, and she’s looking forward to meeting new people, exploring campus (especially the arb!), and experiencing her first Minnesota winter. She is currently interested in studying psychology and gender, women’s, and sexuality studiesMeet the other bloggers!