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Wildlife care center opens doors Saturday
Animals like this fox are routinely brought to the Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center near Fox Grove in Hughson to be nursed back to health. Most are released back into the wild but some are kept as educational animals. The facility will be open to the public this Saturday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. For more information visit - photo by Contributed to the Courier

The Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center will hold its annual "Day With Wildlife" on Saturday, Sept. 21, at Fox Grove Fishing Access in Hughson. The event opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 3 p.m. Admission is free.

The public can get close-up views of hawks, snakes, squirrels, foxes and other animals. Following each talk, a docent will walk around with the animal so you can get an up close look and ask questions.

The public may meet a new burrowing owl named Barnaby and a new ground squirrel named Loki.

The event also featured a barbecued tri-tip meal for sale as well as the sale of slushies, sodas, cookies and cakes. There will be kids' activities, raffle, silent auction, and T-shirt sale.

Kids activities include face painting, crafts, and owl pellet dissection. Children may tear apart a wild owl pellet and find the bones of the animal it ate. They can also look at the charts and try to figure out if the owl ate a mouse, gopher, lizard or bird. And participants may keep the bones if they wish.

There will be videos of many of the animals the center has rehabilitated and released as well as x-rays of injured animals. The public is invited to try to figure out what happened to eat injured animal.

A schedule of the animal presentations is on the website. Visit the website for details, raffle prizes, and directions.