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It's open season at Animal Ark.

This local nonprofit is a haven for animals that cannot be released back into the wild. The Ark comes out of hibernation March 26. You won't just meet a jaguar. You'll meet El Santo. You won't just meet a black bear. You'll meet Gracie. The organization has announced a line-up of events that include free educational lectures by local wildlife professionals, keeper talks and close-up viewing of the animals.

Spring & Summer Event Calendar

What: Piñatas & Predators
When: 10:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. May 7
Watch the fun as predators break open their treat-filled piñatas. Event prices: Adults $15; Seniors $13.50; Children $12; children 2 and under are free.

What: Ark Stampede
When: 8:30 a.m. May 21
Run or walk through the beauty of nature on this challenging 5K course. A fun, short Kids Run is available along with face painting and raffle prizes for the entire family. 5K entry fee of $35 adults and $20 kids includes free admission to Animal Ark; the non-entry family admission is 50% off.

What: Cheetah 500
When: 5:30 p.m. May 29
See the world’s fastest land mammal in action as the cheetahs run at top speeds – completely off-leash – around the Animal Ark run field. Event prices: Adults $40; Seniors $35; Children (8-16 years old) $30. Children must be at least 8 years old to attend.

What: CSI: Animal Ark
When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 11
Receive hands-on training in identifying wild feline characteristics and biology as you walk through the park, observe living specimens, and meet the wildlife caretakers. Event prices: Adults $12; Seniors $11; Children (3-12 years old) $10; Children 2 and under are free.

What: July is Military Month at the Animal Ark
When: Month of July
Free admission for all active and reserve personnel. Military family members will receive 50% regular admission prices.

What: Wolf Howl Night
When: 6 to 8:30 p.m. July 9
The park opens at 6:00 p.m. so you may see the other residents of Animal Ark prior to the fun and educational Wolf Howl Program at 7:00. Hear wolves and coyotes howl then participate in a contest, with prizes to be awarded to the best human howlers. Event prices: Adults $15; Seniors $13.50; Children $12; children 2 and under are free.

What: All American Cheetah Dash
When: 6:30 p.m. 
Reservations required due to limited seating. RSVP at 1-775-970-3431 
Watch magnificent cats running with extraordinary speed, off-leash, across the desert in pursuit of an enticing lure. Event prices: Adults $40; Seniors $35; Children (8-16 years old) $30. Children must be at least 8 years old to attend.

What: Ark at Dark
When: 7:30 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.
Reserve early as this event fills quickly! RSVP at 1-775-970-3431 
Wolves and coyotes howling and big cats growling in the night: it’s Ark at Dark! Enjoy a guided flashlight tour and see nocturnal predators in their element. Event prices: Adults $15; Seniors $13.50; Children $12; Suggested for ages 7 or older due to late hour.

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