This year’s Annual Wildlife Festival on June 30, will be just $5 per person for all ages, except children 4 years and younger are free.

Wildlife West’s zoo is one of the few places where people can be close to and observe New Mexico’s native wildlife in their natural habitat. Get a behind-the-scenes tour of Koshari the 500-pound black bear, come eye-to-eye with two young cougars and see the newest arrivals—Bob the bobcat and four tree climbing grey foxes.

See a special feather film, “Phoenix Wilder and the Great Elephant Adventure,” about a lost orphan boy and a giant elephant who team up to take down poachers. Learn how the fastest bird of prey survives in the wild from falcon expert Tom Smylie, and about other raptors from the Wildlife Rescue. The Herpetological Society will showcase their reptiles, along with representatives from other environmental organizations.

Stay for the Cowboy Chuckwagon and Western Swing Dinner Show with the lively Watermelon Mountain Jug Band. The show starts at 6 p.m. with Smylie presenting a free-flight Peregrine Falcon program. Come see these magnificent birds along with an interactive Harris Hawk demonstration.

A delicious dinner is served by park volunteers at 7 p.m., followed by the music performance. The show is held in a covered all-weather amphitheater and includes a hayride.

Reservations for dinner are required by 2 p.m. on the day of the show. Chuckwagon tickets are $27 for adults, $25 for seniors, $12 for children 5 to 11, and kids 4 years and younger are free.

All activities throughout the day, except for the Chuckwagon Dinner Show, are $5 including parking. For more information, visit or call 505-281-7655.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at [email protected]