PAJARITO ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER News
On Tuesday, June 5th, PEEC’s Summer Family Evenings program will kick off with a Taxidermy Museum with animals from Yukon Wildlife Studio. Visitors are welcome to drop in any time between 6:30 and 8:30. The event is free for PEEC members, and just $5 per family for non-members at the door.
Yukon Wildlife Studio was given the body of the mountain lion that killed a local dog on Christmas Eve on North Mesa last year. This animal has been mounted, and will be displayed at PEEC, along with a full-size bear, a beaver, a raccoon, a fox, and other animals. James Brooks of Yukon Wildlife Studio will be on hand to answer questions. He found out a number of interesting things about the mountain lion in the process of preparing the mount, such as an old injury on the lion’s skull from what appears to be an animal’s hoof, and will be happy to talk to visitors about his discoveries.
His family ingrained Brooks’ love for the outdoors in him at a very early age. His deep passion and curiosity for animals and the world they live in planted the seed for his interest in taxidermy. He looks at each animal with a scientific mind, and learns more about its life as he works on its mount. The animals in this show were obtained in different ways. For example, the mountain lion was killed by law enforcement officials because of its aggressive nature. The elk is comprised of shed antlers and a skin that was otherwise going to be discarded by a hunter. The deer was killed by a car and Brooks salvaged the animal for display. The fox was a road kill animal. The bear was emaciated and put down by game wardens. The oryx is from a hunter that passed away and the family didn’t want to throw the antlers and skin away.
June 5th is also the night of the transit of Venus across the sun, and PEEC will have a telescope set up for people to observe this phenomenon, starting at 4 p.m. Bring your eclipse glasses or purchase a pair from PEEC (we’ve ordered more)—but the telescope with a solar filter will give the best view of Venus crossing the sun.
PEEC’s Summer Family Evenings will continue each Tuesday night through August 7th, with free or low-cost programs for families, including visits from the Raptor Center, the Harrell House of Natural Oddities, a talk on sea otters, and much more.