Lori Edwards is one of the Nature Center’s most beloved preschool teachers, but she is perhaps most famous as Mr. Wiggles’ “Mom.”

Mr. Wiggles, as most folks know, was a Virginia opossum that was orphaned as an infant and hand-raised by Lori. He grew quite a fan base as his babyhood and life were chronicled on the Center’s Facebook page. He was even a guest on the Better Connecticut television show and made fast friends with host Scot Haney. Mr. Wiggles became so comfortable with Lori and other humans that he was determined to be unreleaseable, and he lived out his life comfortably, taking hikes with Lori through the woods behind her house. He passed away in his sleep just after Thanksgiving in 2015.

Lori took a few minutes recently to answer some questions for us!

Name: Lori Edwards

Age: 46

Hometown: Gales Ferry

Where were you born and raised: Mystic

Education/degrees: American Montessori Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education

How long have you worked at DPNC: 6 years

What is your current position? Head Preschool Teacher & Animal Rehabilitator

What’s the best part about your job? The best part of my job is that every day I am able to make a difference in a child’s or animal’s life.

What’s the best part about the DPNC? The best part of DPNC is working with a group of people who are as dedicated to children, the community and the environment as I am. I’m proud to be part of this wonderful organization that is committed to all aspects of nature.

What do people ask you most often when they find out you work at a Nature Center? Most people ask about the animals that I work with and rehab. After I explain how I capture injured raptors, rehabilitate, and then release them back into the wild they want to know what our hours are at DPNC so they can come for a visit. :)

What surprises you about your job? It’s not really about my job but what surprises me the most is how many people still use rat poison to kill vermin. They don’t realize that often the poisoned animal is eaten by another species, such as owls or hawks, who also end up dying.

Favorite animal, plant, or … (and why): My favorite animal is the Virginia Opossum because they are so misunderstood, but I feel they are such special creatures. But I could be biased because I was lucky enough to have Mr.Wiggles consider me his mom.