LAKE TOWNSHIP A couple hundred people stopped by the Nature Center at Quail Hollow Park on June 25 to learn about the wildlife that Stark Parks houses at its Wildlife Center. The fun family-friendly offered live ambassador animals including a barred owl, red-tail hawk, red fox, box turtle and many more.
Sarah Kent, administrative assistant at the Wildlife Center, said there were 15 different birds a possum without a tail and a brown bat in the mix
"We call them ambassadors because they are animals that come into the Wildlife Center for rehabilitation but can’t return to the wild, so they become our ambassadors," Kent said. "The ambassadors are used for classroom visits and events like today. They are ambassadors for their species. We’ve got a great turnout today of families who want to meet these amazing animals. We’re planning to make the event an annual offering," she said.
There were also animal-themed games for the kids and free refreshments. Each station had trading cards with information about the animal on display. There was also a check-up station for kids to bring their own stuffed animal to get a certificate of good health.
John and Kara Kirkpatrick brought the family out to the event and were learning about Wesley the possum without a tail.
"We are all animal lovers and we stopped by to learn more about the wildlife, it’s been great," John said.
The upper parking lots were filled with people attending the event. Many had to park in the lower lot and do a short walk to the Nature Center area.
"The turnout today has been great, lots of people came to see the animals and some came to enjoy the park and hike the trails and then stopped by to see the animals," said Jared Shive, marketing specialist with Stark Parks.
"It is not our goal to have an animal collection. Our goal is to get them back out into the wild and living out the rest of their life carefree and hopefully not coming to visit us again," Shive added.
Visit starkparks.com to learn more about the Wildlife Center and the Nature Center at Quail Hollow. The Wildlife Center is temporarily located on Market Avenue while a new center is being built in its location next to Sippo Lake.