Tucked away into the side of the highway in northern New Mexico, just south of Española is The Wildlife Center. The mission of The Wildlife Center is "to conserve and restore native wildlife and their habitats through action-oriented education, promotion of public awareness, strategic partnerships and responsible wildlife rehabilitation. " Our family enjoys visiting zoos, petting zoos and wildlife parks around New Mexico but we had only recently heard about the existence of the Wildlife Center. We picked up a brochure about it while visiting the Rattlesnake Museum in Old Town of Albuquerque. We decided to visit while on a family vacation up in northern New Mexico.
Entrance to The Wildlife Center costs $4 for adults and $2 for kids with a discount for military members and senior citizens. Immediately you are greeted with tanks and cages of wildlife animals such as a turtle, snake and bird inside the center. The kids loved looking at the different animals up-close. We then took a self-guided tour to look at various wild animals, most of which were birds. You have to whisper in the little bird room to look at the cute birds that follow you with their eyes. Then we walked along the path to see magnificent native New Mexico animals, such as hawks, owls, eagles, bobcats, a vulture and others. Our family's favorites included the bald eagle and the bobcats, but loved them all.
We got to encounter a staff member spraying the birds with water. You could see how much the birds loved getting wet, which was great to watch. Many of the birds kept a watchful eye on us as we passed them and we respected that some of them were extra jumpy, like the owl and made sure not to make sudden movements. All the staff were extremely friendly and gave us great information. We also learned that there is an area that public is not allowed that has large animals like bears and bobcats for rehabilitation. You can see plenty of videos and really great photos of the many wildlife they rehabilitate at their center on their facebook page. Be sure to give them a visit because it's a pretty cool place.