pet news

NOVEMBER 16, 2011

“WILD” events offer family fun: Help create treats for residents at Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

Kids and Adults will get close-up look as animals demonstrate natural behaviors

WHAT: Wildlife Enrichment Events
WHEN:  10 a.m. – Noon Nov. 19, and Dec. 17
WHERE: Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center
            156th St. and Dynamite Road, Scottsdale
HOW:    Reservations are required (480-471-3621)

SCOTTSDALE – Animals at the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center (SWCC) will feast on treats prepared by visitors, including such wildlife delicacies as “mouse-cicles” and mealworms, during upcoming “enrichment” events that are open to the public.

The family-friendly events on Nov. 19 and Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to noon will allow children and adults to make treats for the permanent wild residents of SWCC’s Nature Center that are designed to engage them in activities similar to being in the wild.  The enrichment parties also offer a unique opportunity to get close to Arizona native and other wildlife, while learning how they live.

SWCC will provide materials to make enrichment items for the animals. An enrichment item is something that wild animal keepers use to alleviate boredom and stimulate animals to investigate or interact with their surroundings. For example, the item may contain food for the animals, which they have to work at getting, or scents that stimulate them.

Included in the event is a tour of SWCC’s Nature Center, during which the goodies will be handed out. Participants may see mountain lions and bobcats pounce on their enrichment gifts with frozen mice hidden inside and a bear smash open his box of treats or peel apart cardboard tubes containing bugs, nuts or fruit.

This fun and educational event also will benefit the animals in another way — all of the event proceeds will go toward the medical care, housing, feeding, and daily upkeep of wildlife at the facility. 

Reservations and pre-payment are required, as space is limited.  The cost for the event is $20 for children 12 and under and $30 for adults and children older than 12. For more information visit or call 480-471-3621.

Southwest Wildlife rescues, rehabilitates, and releases injured, displaced, and orphaned wildlife.  SWCC operates a sanctuary and nature center in northeast Scottsdale that provides a home for animals that cannot be released because of injuries or because they have become imprinted on or habituated to humans and would be unable to fend for themselves in the wild. The sanctuary also serves as a holding facility for the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program. In addition, it contributes to wildlife research and provides veterinary interns from around the world the opportunity to practice wildlife medicine.