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Nocturnal view: Explora’s ‘Night With the Animals’ includes snakes, Gila monsters

Get up close and personal with wolves, reptiles, hedgehogs and more during “Night With the Animals” at Explora.

The Adult Night event on March 22 will feature activities with Animal Humane New Mexico, Wanagi Wolf Fund and Rescue, The New Mexico Herpetological Society and the ABQ BioPark.

“We know that we’re getting three wolves from Wanagi, and they are like cuddly wolves,” said Tory Hajny, rental and adult programs coordinator at Explora. “From ABQ BioPark, we’re going to have a hedgehog and a plated lizard. It depends on the animals, but everyone will be able to meet them.”

“Night With the Animals” attendees will be able to interact with wolves and other animals. (Courtesy of Explora)

Eventgoers also will be able to pick up a snake and see a Gila monster, thanks to the Herpetological Society, and visit an African pygmy falcon from the ABQ BioPark. Animal Humane will conduct a clicker demonstration with a dog trainer. Guests will learn how to train their dogs using a clicker.

Animal adaptation activities will be held throughout the evening.

“We’re going to do a a skull workshop, and we’re going to have skulls, and you can guess which skull is which,” Hajny said. “And then we’re going to have identifying animal tracks, so we’ll have prints and people can make prints into sand. And then, say it was a bear track, and you’ll know then what a bear track looks like. We are going to have an activity on how animals have adapted to their food, so it’s called ‘Which Beak Is Best,’ and you’re going to have different materials that re-create beaks of, like, hummingbirds and you have to try to do things with that kind of beak.”

Attendees can go fishing for prizes.

“There’s a board game called ‘Let’s Go Fishing’ and it’s going to be a live version of that, so we’re going to have foam fish with prizes written on them and a magnet so you’re going to get your little rod and go fishing in our fountain,” Hajny said. “They can win a scorpion sucker from our gift shop. We have bug suckers and other animal snacks that will be gifts, and they can also win 30 percent off of our gift shop.”

The entire museum will be open for the event, and guests can explore exhibit areas, including the newest exhibit, “Airworks.” People can make their own rocket as part of the exhibit.

There will be live music by Ryan Smith on cello, food for sale by My Sweet Basil and coffee available for purchase from Michael Thomas Coffee.

Guests can talk with High Desert Amateur Radio Club members, who will be demonstrating new technology in the community room on Explora’s ground floor. Attendees will be able to view the night sky, weather permitting, with astronomers from The Albuquerque Astronomical Society on the west deck on the upper floor of Explora.

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