Saturday, May 30, 2015

Field Trip: Wildlife Learning Center

The Wildlife Learning Center, an animal sanctuary, is in Sylmar, California, about 45 minutes from us.
 
My dear friend Anita gave my daughter this experience as her birthday present. It was a super-secret-surprise-adventure!
 The WLC's office is home to Zeus the screech owl. (Can you see him up there behind the WLC staff member?) Zeus is blind, and he has a condition that makes his eyes look like a starry night sky.
Just outside the office is a sensory table...
Some of the things people can touch: casts of animal tracks, snakeskin, and fox fur.
There is a bobcat, two lynxes, and some servals. A serval is an African cat, and if you google serval, you will find websites selling them as pets! I'm pretty sure that's how these servals ended up at the WLC. Servals live on the savanna and are nocturnal hunters; they can grow up to 26 inches tall (shoulder height) and weigh up to 40 pounds.
 Porcupines have such sweet faces.
Have you ever been this close to a bald eagle?! We got to see the larger one fly from where it was perched at the back of the enclosure, to the branch it is perched on in this picture!
This is a fennec fox, an African animal from the Sahara. Again, if you google fennec fox, you will find sites like this about keeping fennecs as pets. Fortunately, that site does not make owning a fennec sound like a good idea. It explains how they are much more work than a dog, high energy, loud at night, and are never fully litterbox trained. But they sure are cute.
 This alligator (the real one, the one in the cage) was kept as a pet in a bathtub.
 They also have tortoises...
 ...and squirrel monkeys.

(My mom did have a squirrel monkey as a pet when she was little. She ordered it from the back of a comic book for $19.95! And she can attest that these are not good pets.)
 This picture speaks for itself.
 How many walking sticks can you find in this picture?
 I love this picture! It's the underside of a red-toed tree frog! Look at those toes!
Here is the top-side of the tree frog.
 This is Irwin the alligator.
 Did you know porcupines could climb a chain link fence?
 That is a sloth, hanging upside down, his favorite position.
The WLC has reptile shows every hour. This is a legless lizard. Did you know that lizards can blink, but snakes can't? Or that lizards have ear holes, but snakes don't? This legless lizard is Lester. A legless lizard can regrow its tail one time. If he loses his tail a second time, he has to live without it.

I highly recommend visiting the WLC! I look forward to returning for an "animal experience."

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