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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSC chapter.

Since most students are living off campus, the wildlife on campus is thriving now more than ever! The campus is their playground as the forest paths and trees act as their jungle gym. Here’s my definitive ranking of some UCSC woodland creatures:


6. Turkeys

It’s their world, we’re simply living in it. Be prepared to tremble in fear with each mighty stomp of their talons. Each feather is filled with pure hostility as these creatures threaten those who dare to have any pep in their step. Hank the turkey, the myth, the legend, is the most odious of the flock. Attacking cars with reckless abandon and terrorizing students and faculty alike, Hank will have you watching your every move. 


5. Deer

Peaceful and serene, the deer of UCSC are simply delightful. They regularly frolick across OPERS field and congregate together in their herd. The adorable fawns constantly warm my cold, dead heart. As the natural observers on campus, their curious eyes contain wisdom beyond their years.


4. Banana Slugs

Banana slugs of course had to be included on this list! Our cherished mascot wiggles around campus and adorns our forest paths. Their bright yellow bodies are sure to add sunshine to your day!


3. Raccoons 

These adorable little bandits have my whole heart. Their chaotic energy never goes unnoticed by those who’ve had the opportunity to see them. At night, their glowing eyes pierce my soul and have me wishing I could have one as my emotional support animal. 


2. Squirrels

Fidgety and restless, squirrels are the unsung heroes of the campus. As they scamper about (head empty no thoughts) they constantly steal the show and outshine their more formidable foes. Watch out! They’ll steal your heart just like they steal food around campus.


1. Coyotes

Specifically, I’m thinking of the one coyote I saw last week. Oh beloved coyote, you made my night. You gave me a bit of a spook, but as we locked eyes, I knew you were my soul sister. Maybe we’ll meet again one day. In the meantime, keep on keeping on, pal. 


Honorable Mention: Buster the Cat

Buster is an adorable tuxedo cat who graces Chadwick Garden at Merrill College. 

As a social butterfly who welcomes all hugs and cuddles, Buster brings much-needed comfort during stressful times. Buster is a cutie who deserves the world. 


Disagree with this ranking or have your own stories about UCSC wildlife? Contact hercampusucsc on Instagram and Twitter to let them know your thoughts!



Howdy! I'm Jackie, and I'm a third-year History and Politics double major and Education minor at UCSC. I'm also the Events Director of HerCampus at UCSC. In my free time, I enjoy reading, knitting, listening to 80's music, and squirrel-watching!