Many avid hikers log hundreds of miles on trails throughout the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks and never see a mountain lion or even a bobcat. Yet with a trip to Irvine Regional Park, anyone can see these cats, along with many other species of locally-native wildlife. The OC Zoo is operated by OC Parks, and also provides educational information and programs about these often elusive creatures.
The OC Zoo offers a unique opportunity to see and learn about animals you may never come across on the trail. It also offers care and rescue to animals that are abandoned, illegally kept as pets, or are otherwise not suitable to be released into the wild. Some of the animals are trained to be education animals, and zoo staff take these special animals out into the public for information sessions throughout the day.
Working with education animals helps zoo staff teach kids and adults alike about the animals and their roles in sustaining local habitats. This Friday, August 10, the OC Zoo will have several education animals out for the public during a special event. Beginning at 4 pm, admission to the OC Zoo will be free, and visitors will have up-close views of a Rosy Boa, Western Screech Owl, Opossums, a tarantula, and more. The night will also feature a free outdoor screening of the movie "Zookeeper," beginning at dusk.
For more information on the OC Zoo movie night, visit http://www.ocparks.com/oczoo/. For information on outdoor programs and activities offered throughout the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks at www.LetsGoOutside.org/activities.