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Sep
28

FLASHLIGHT SAFARIS ADD EXTRA NIGHTS

September 28, 2015 | by Dan McKernan


Big Bear Alpine Zoo’s Flashlight Safaris have grown in popularity prompting zoo officials to include five Friday evenings to this year’s program. Big Bear guests now have the opportunity to get up close to Big Bear Alpine Zoo’s nocturnal animals every Friday and Saturday in October, except Saturday, October 31.  According to Big Bear Alpine Zoo Curator Bob Cisneros, the extra nights were added to satisfy the demand of the zoo’s Flashlight Safaris.  

“Last year the Flashlight Safaris really caught on. Some nights we had about 100 or so people show up,” said Cisneros. “We’re hopeful the new dates will help spread things out.”
        
As dusk sets in this October, certain animals’ nocturnal instincts take over at Big Bear Alpine Zoo, which provides an engaging exhibition for people to learn about these fascinating creatures of the night. Flashlight Safari tours start Friday, October 2 and Saturday, October 3 and continue every Friday and Saturday through October 30, 2015 (There is no Flashlight Safari on Saturday, October 31). Some of the animals that come alive after dark include mountain lions, snow leopards, bobcats, foxes, raccoons, skunks, beavers, grizzly and black bears, owls, coyotes and wolves.  

The Flashlight Safaris begin in the education center where guests learn about the biological makeup and heightened senses of nocturnal and crepuscular animals such as the rods in their eyes that enable them to capture light when it’s dark or the color of their fur that blends with nighttime lighting creating a natural camouflage. From there the curator or other park staff lead the tour group through the zoo with flashlights to point out various nocturnal behaviors. The zoo has over 160 animals on display. More than half of the animals are nocturnal or crepuscular, which means guests are in for a show.   

“The activity level of some of our animals after dark can get really high strung,” added Curator Bob Cisneros. “It definitely makes for a great show!”      

Flashlight Safaris are held at Big Bear Alpine Zoo, located at 43285 Goldmine Drive in Big Bear Lake, every Friday and Saturday starting October 2 to October 30, 2015 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Patrons have up to 7 p.m. to join the tour. Doors close promptly at 7 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults and $9 for seniors and children ages 3-10, children under 3 are free. Guests are encouraged to bring flashlights and wear warm clothes. To learn more about the Big Bear Alpine Zoo or further information about Flashlight Safari Tours visit www.BigBearAlpineZoo.org or call 909-584-1299.     

For all there is to see and do in beautiful Big Bear Lake, make lodging reservations or request a free Visitors Guide log on to www.bigbear.com or call 1-800-424-4232.  

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About Big Bear Alpine Zoo: Big Bear Alpine Zoo (BBAZ) is the only zoological facility in San Bernardino County, and one of only two alpine zoos in the United States. The difference is BBAZ is mostly dedicated to alpine wildlife that has been impacted by humans. BBAZ has always been a wildlife rehabilitation center and sanctuary for injured, orphaned, and endangered alpine species until they can be returned to their natural habitat. BBAZ is open year round, weather permitting. Permanent “residents” include a family of Grizzly bears, bobcats, wood bison, wolves, mountain lions and snow leopards, as well as dozens of smaller native alpine wildlife, such as foxes, porcupine, raccoons, eagles and a variety of other birds. Both guided and self-guided tours are available and provide an excellent first-hand look into mountain wildlife and the delicate balance of nature.  

September 28, 2015