May 19

Wildlife West Nature Park: Getting Close to New Mexico’s Finest Animals

Mountain Lion What do you do when you’re stuck in a town for an extra day, and have pretty much seen everything that was worthwhile?  Well, if you are like me then you check out your hotels stand of brochures showing the attractions in and around town.  One that caught my eye was for a sanctuary for animals that are native to the area.  The brochure was for Wildlife West Nature Park.  I did a little research on the place and they had good reviews fromthe good people on tripadvisor.com so I thought I would give it a shot.  Plus it did not hurt that it was on my way to see the Salinas Pueblo Missions so, if I would not have gone then the whole time I was seeing the missions I would have been wondering if I should have gone to the animal park.  Overall it turned out to be a decent stop and I did not have question myself on what I choose to see that day.

Wildlife West Nature Park is a 122 acre nature park where some of that land is used to enclose non-releasable animals.  They have 25 species of native New Mexico animals including black bear, mountain lions, coyotes, Mexican gray wolves, and a variety of birds including a beautiful golden eagle.  In all there are 40 animals that live in the enclosures plus the other animals that might be going through the area.  Most of the animals they have have some sort of injury or were raised in captivity and that keeps them from being placed back into the wild.  For example, the Golden Eagle is missing its right eye.

Pulling into the place I had my reservations, it did not look like much but as soon as I paid and walked through the little building my attitude changed.  Most of the enclosures were fairly good size which is nice to see.  I was especially impressed with how large the black bear area was but unfortunately when I was there the bear was not quite done hibernating.  There were over two miles of trails leading to the different exhibit areas and also places to see some other native species that migrate through including a pond and prairie dog town.  It was also good to know that they use many recyclable materials and native vegetation to make their exhibits, and have tried to minimize the reshaping of the land their enclosures sit on.
Peregrine Falcon

They do have some educational shows and other seasonal attractions like a wagon feed and local concerts in their amphitheater.  Wildlife West Nature Park also hosts several different festivals throughout the year and they have a free-flight falcon show starring two peregrine falcons.  If you are interested in those things make sure you give them a call or checkout their website to find out more about it.

Like any attraction that involves animals each day is going to be something different.  Some days the animals are out moving around and others days they are completely asleep.  I was there on a day that not much was happening, but that is ok because I knew that might be the case going in.  In the end, it felt good to go there and donate some money to what seems like a worthy place, and if I was in the area I would go again.  However, if you are on a budget and expecting this place to be as big as zoo then this is not the place for you.

to see more animal attractions like the Wildlife West Nature Park click here.  Wildlife West

Wildlife West Nature Park
Located at the North Frontage Road of Exit 187 on I-40 about 20 minutes east of Albuquerque
Hours of Operation – March 11th to November 3rd 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. the rest of the year 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost as of this posting- Adults $7.00 Seniors $6.00 and Children $4.00 under 5 are free
For more information visit their website at http://www.wildlifewest.org/

Golden Eagle

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  1. freda

    Looks like it is missing it’s LEFT eye to me. lol but I like it anyway.

  2. Kenny and Karen

    The golden eagle is the bird in the very bottom picture. See how his right eye is turned away from the camera. That’s the one that is missing.

    You might have been thinking of the falcon a couple of pictures up 😉 He is alright but his left eye does look kind of dark in this picture.


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