New Mexico Wildlife Center Introducing New Animal Ambassadors During Three Day Open House Oct. 2-4

NMWC Executive Director Melissa Moore with Sol the Turkey Vulture. Courtesy/NMWC

NMWC News:

ESPAÑOLA – New Mexico Wildlife Center (NMWC) will extend its annual open house from two days to three days this year to accommodate visitors more safely.

This year’s event runs Friday, Oct. 2 through Sunday, Oct. 4 and will open at 10 a.m. all three days.

“We love having our open house and inviting the community on site every October,” NMWC Executive Director Melissa Moore said. “We’re sorry we can’t have the big group on site this year like we usually do, so instead were going to offer a more personalized experience for a smaller number of our friends.”

Groups of up to nine people will be scheduled for personalized tours guided by a member of the NMWC staff. Visitors are asked to call ahead to reserve a time in advance.

Tours begin each hour, on the hour, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and include the outside areas of the hospital as well as the animal ambassadors on the education side with special animal encounters for each group.

Some may meet Durango the new Prairie Falcon while others may see a demonstration with Pepper the Raccoon. There will be plenty of photo opportunities, so visitors are encouraged to bring a camera.

Regular visitors will notice some other changes from past years:

  • Masks will be required. (If necessary, reusable NMWC masks can be purchased at the door for $6.00 each.)
  • Hand sanitizers will be available at various locations on the grounds.
  • Indoor spaces will be closed, so restrooms will not be open to the public. Dress for the weather and plan accordingly.
  • Prepackaged snacks, beverages, and gift shop items will be available for sale.
  • Suggested donation is $10 for adults and $5 for children.

“We want to showcase for the community what we’ve been doing over the course of the last 12 months,” Moore said. “This year, it’s even more important to do that since we were closed for five months. We’re excited about our new owl exhibit and some of the new ambassador animals that have joined our team this year, like Amelia the American Kestrel.”

Amelia makes her debut at this year’s Open House. Courtesy/NMWC

Additionally, at 2 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday before Open House begins, NMWC is offering its new Virtual Animal Encounters. Those unable to attend  the Open House, or just want to try out their new online education format, can call ahead to register. Registrants will receive a link where they can join a live chat about one of NMWC’s Ambassador Animals as presented by a member of the Education staff.

NMWC is at 19 Wheat Street in Espanola. For more details, call Dawn at 505.753.9505, or email

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About New Mexico Wildlife Center:

Connecting people and wildlife for an abundant tomorrow. The Center is open to the public for self-guided tours 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Sick and injured animals are taken in seven days a week, but it is advised that you call first after 3 p.m. or on Sundays.

Pepper the Raccoon is a visitor favorite at NMWC. Courtesy/NMWC