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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Opossums, Hawks, and Rabbits, Oh My! The Randall Museum Goes Wild

Posted By on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 9:30 AM

JOHN ROBERT CHARLTON
  • John Robert Charlton

In elementary school, my favorite yearly assembly was one where they'd bring wild animals, like bobcats, baby snow leopards, and porcupines, to our school's stage. Some nut jobs really dedicated people would raise these "non-releasable wild animals" (animals that would not survive in the wild) in their own homes for the animals' entire lives, and would bring them in with the goal of promoting love, respect, and protection for all of the planet's wilder inhabitants.

The Randall Museum has a similar program on Saturdays called "Meet the Animals," where you can meet more than 100 different creatures that live at the museum. We've just gotten word they have three new additions, so no time like the present to get up close and personal with a hawk that's been everywhere from Canada to Argentina. Wonder what these guys would do if we tried to dress em' up like Lady Gaga.

Some fun facts about the new additions for those interested in more than just pups and kittehs:

Opossum

opossum.jpg

Did you know opossums and their opposable thumbs have been around for so long, they used to hang around the watering hole with dinosaurs? This particular opossum was found orphaned and refused to head back out into the wild, so now he lives at the museum's Live Animal Exhibit.

Swainson's Hawk

swainson_shawk.jpg

The hawk comes to the museum with a broken wing from a rehab center in Utah. Unable to make its annual 12,000 mile migration, this hawk (as well as many other animals at the "live animal exhibit" and not "zoo") is very comfortable around humans and will usually come greet you up close.

Desert Cottontail Rabbit

desertcottontail.jpg

Get a kick out of this one: In their natural desert habitats, these rabbits usually seek shelter in tortoise burrows to escape the heat. The new rabbit at the museum is similarly shacking up with the Randall's desert tortoise. How awkward does that get after every race?

"Meet the Animals" starts on Saturdays at 11 a.m. at the Randall Museum, 199 Museum (at Roosevelt), S.F. Admission is free.

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Neha Talreja

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