GRAY, Maine - Just in time for Patriot's Day Weekend and school vacation week, the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray opens today, Thursday, April 15. The park is open daily through November 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
"The holiday weekend and school vacation week always brings many families and friends to the park, and this year, visitors will enjoy our improvements," said Lisa Kane, natural science educator for the department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
The 200-acre park has over 25 different species of wildlife on exhibit, including moose, black bear, fisher, lynx, mountain lions, white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, bald eagles, hawks, owls, trout and more.
Guests visiting the park will see the new, spacious coyote exhibit. White-tailed deer are enjoying their new 3-acre enclosure. The bull moose is comfortable in its new habitat as well, and the lynx kittens, new to the park last year, have grown considerably. Last year, close to 90,000 people visited the park, enjoying such new additions as the fish house and turtle exhibit.
In addition to the variety of wildlife displays, there are nature trails, a visitor's center with a number of interactive wildlife and conservation exhibits, demonstration wildlife gardens, a show fish pool, picnic and grill areas, and a snack shack. Visitors can also walk to the Dry Mills Fish Hatchery to view brook trout.
For school kids and their teachers, there are wildlife education programs offered Tuesdays and Thursdays in May, June, September and October. Additional wildlife displays and programs are offered to the general public Saturdays from May through September. Guided tours are available for groups by appointment. Over 3,000 students took part in the wildlife educational programs and guided tours in 2003.
The Maine Wildlife Park is open from April 15 through November 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Visitors are allowed to remain in the park until 6:00 p.m. Call 207-287-8000 for more information or 207-657-4977 to listen to the recorded message with current program information.
Admission is $5.00 for adults, $3.25 ages 4-12, and children 3 and under are free. There are special prices for groups of 15 and more, and ages 60+ pay $4.00 for admission.
There are many opportunities to volunteer at the Maine Wildlife Park, including Gate Attendants and Tour Guides. Training sessions have been scheduled for the different positions. Please call Henry Hamilton at the Maine Wildlife Park, 657-4977, to sign up.
The Maine Wildlife Park is located off the Maine Turnpike (I-95) on Exit 63 on Route 26 in Gray, Maine, and is operated by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.