Mike Havstad

Bob Kilpatrick and Peter Triem, licensed wildlife rehabilitators with the Ojai Raptor Center, will return for their fourth year with their “Snakes, Snakes and More Snakes” presentation at 11:00 AM on Saturday June 28th at the Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center. They will entertain and educate the audience about the varieties of snakes found in southern California. Of special interest to many people will be the live rattlesnake.

This year the outdoor audience experience will be more enjoyable with shade provided by canopies. We also have a new indoor public restroom on the premises. Seabee volunteers from Port Hueneme completed major renovations to our bathroom, kitchenette, storage room and hallway at the end of March and local contractors finished the detailed work just as our season began.

Other changes since last year include two large display cases, one that will house taxidermy displays of an acorn woodpecker on a granary, a gray fox stalking a quail, local birds and other educational materials. The second case will be dedicated to information and props about the California condor.

The program is geared towards all ages. Are you or your kids curious about which snakes make great pets and which ones are escape artists? Do you know how to properly handle and take care of them? Or, do you just have a curiosity for nature?

Bring your kids out to earn the Los Padres National Forest Junior Ranger Badge. The event is held outdoors at the Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center on June 28 at 11:00 am. We have a limited number of chairs and recommend bringing a camp chair for all your family members. Sorry no pets allowed.

The Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center is located on Scenic Highway 33, a half-hour drive north of Ventura. The visitor center is operated under a special-use permit with the Los Padres Forest Association and the Los Padres National Forest.

Donations, used to pay for programs and advertising, are $3 for adults and $2 for participants ages 5 to 18; children younger than 4 are free. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. No pets allowed.

Editor’s Note: Mike Havstad is the director of the Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center and is a Board member of Los Padres Forest Association. If you have an outdoor event you’d like publicized, an organization devoted to outdoor education you want featured or a story you’d like to share relating to the outdoors, email the Outdoor Guy at the Indy.


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