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Scottsdale wildlife sanctuary offering special tours for Thanksgiving week

A Mexican gray wolf at the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale. (Facebook photo)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Before you have Thanksgiving dessert, take the family on a tour in the desert.

The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in North Scottsdale is offering special special tours all week in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday.

“We have a variety of animals at our sanctuary and rehab facility,” said Kelley Marcum, education director for Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center. “That includes mountain lions, Mexican gray wolves, black bears, and coyotes, just to name a few.”

Marcum said the facility is all about rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing southwest native mammals — as many as 400 animals, depending on the time of year.

The special hour-and-a-half tours run through the Sunday, excluding Thanksgiving day. There will even be a full moon tour on Wednesday evening.

“We set up lights around the sanctuary and we invite people to come out to one of our guided by the light of the full moon,” she said. “It’s really neat because typically the wolves will howl, and a lot of the animals are quite active in the evening hours.

“It’s not like a lot of other places you go where you can actually be within arm’s length away from the animal,” she said. “It’s a great way for, especially out of state visitors to come and see some of the amazing wildlife we have to offer Arizona.”

Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center is located at 27026 N. 156th St., near Rio Verde Drive. Pre-registration is required for all tours and the cost is $25 per person, $30 for the full moon tour.

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