Go behind the scenes at the Game and Fish Wildlife Center, Nov. 21-22
PHOENIX – Only once a year, the Arizona Game and Fish Department opens its Wildlife Center to the public. This free, family-friendly event will happen on Saturday, Nov. 21 and Sunday, Nov. 22, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. both days.
This year, visitors can see a bald eagle, bobcat, ringtail, and many bird and reptile species. Visitors will get a glimpse into the center’s operations, see wildlife up close, view educational displays, make wildlife-related crafts, and meet wildlife experts.
Over thirty years ago, Arizona Game and Fish opened the first state-run wildlife rehabilitation and education center in the nation. Since then, the center has provided wildlife triage, treatment and rehabilitation to more than 30,000 sick or injured animals, and delivered wildlife education programs to millions of people at events and schools.
Its original focus, when founded in 1983, was on treating and rehabilitating sick and injured wildlife. While the center still continues to provide care to wild animals, it focuses heavily on educating the public about Arizona’s diverse native wildlife and managing the desert tortoise adoption program. Ultimately, the center strives to rehabilitate wildlife for return to the wild, but in instances where an animal cannot be rereleased, the center may use them as educational wildlife ambassadors.
The center is operated by the department with a small budget from the Heritage Fund, a voter-passed initiative that provides for wildlife conservation and education through Arizona lottery ticket sales. It also receives some financial and volunteer support from the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Auxiliary and depends on public support.
Donations of needed items are always very welcome at the Wildlife Center:
Plastic storage bags (quart or gallon)
Heavy-duty trash bags (30-33 gallon)
Tall kitchen trash bags (13 gallon)
Gift cards to grocery and hardware stores
Game meat (good quality, not freezer burned)
The wildlife center is located north of Pinnacle Peak Road, just west of I-17 in Phoenix, at 2800 W. Pinnacle Peak Road, on the same property as the Adobe Mountain School. Officers and volunteers will be giving directions for parking once at the facility.
Admission and parking for the open house are free. Food and merchandise will be available for purchase.
For more information about the Wildlife Center, visit www.azgfd.gov/wildlifecenter.