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Nature Wows At The Wildlife Science Center

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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COLUMBUS, Minn. (WCCO) — It is an unmistakable sound in nature. A chorus of voices we don’t often get to hear up close, let alone see in person.

But at the Wildlife Science Center in Columbus, visitors can witness this unique melody while learning at the same time.

“Our mission is science education for kids that makes it fun,” said Peggy Callahan, the center’s executive director.

Kids may think they’re just looking at animals, but what they’ll take away are lessons in biology, ecology and physiology.

“Our animals are a wonderful back drop,” Callahan said. “They make for a living classroom, tapping into a very natural affinity that kids have for animals.”

And with more than 100 animals of a dozen different species, there is no shortage of wildlife. All are native to North America, and many to Minnesota.

And while we may remember the basics about these animals from lessons in a textbook, seeing the real thing is an entirely different experience. Even adults can learn a thing or two.

The hope is that through education, visitors will start thinking about preservation.

“If people enjoy their natural resources, they’ll protect them,” she said. “And Minnesota is a beautiful spot for natural resources, and I feel like our education programs are part of making people excited about those.”

But more importantly, they inspire children to get outside and embrace their natural curiosity to learn.

“Our motto is ‘no child left indoors,'” Callahan said. “We really feel like the important thing is to get kids back outdoors.”

She says wolf pups will soon be born at the center, and will out of the den by the end of May.

The Wildlife Science Center is open for group tours by appointment, but is open Saturdays for families.

They have tours at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., which costs $6 for adults and $4 for kids.

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