Monday, August 18, 2014

Tucson museum showcases international wildlife

Diorama about mountain animals
Visiting the International Wildlife Museum is almost like visiting a real zoo, only the animals aren’t alive any more. Many of them, however, are placed in dioramas that reflect their native habitat.

Located in rural Tucson, Arizona, the museum is home to more than 400 species of animals, birds and insects. The museum’s website notes that all the animals found inside the huge stone building were donated by such organizations as government agencies, zoos and wildlife rehab centers.

A walk through the museum begins with viewing some gorgeous butterfly specimens mounted under glass. There also are moths so large, it is unbelievable. There are animals from all over the world, even at least one that is no longer part of this world. That’s a HUGE woolly mammoth that roamed the earth thousands of years ago.
Interactive kiosks make learning fun
Interactive kiosks that test one’s knowledge of the animal world can be found inside the museum. Some of the exhibits may not be suitable for young children or anyone who is squeamish because they present realistic scenes of predators killing their dinner in the wild. Just walk swiftly by these dioramas to ones that show parent animals caring for their young.

The museum, founded in 1988, is affiliated with the Safari Club International Foundation. It is open daily and charges admission. It is located at 4800 W. Gates Pass Road in Tucson. The easiest way to get there is to take the Speedway exit off Interstate 10, and stay on Speedway, which eventually turns into Gates Pass Road.

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