Card Wildlife Education Center invites families to explore the wild

FAMILY FUN: Local families can visit Ferris' Card Wildlife Education Center and view mounts from all over the world and across the U.S., like this elk. (Pioneer photo/Mary Mattingly)

FAMILY FUN: Local families can visit Ferris’ Card Wildlife Education Center and view mounts from all over the world and across the U.S., like this elk. (Pioneer photo/Mary Mattingly)

This article is part of the Summer Fun Series, which is designed to bring families together by pinpointing recreational activities in our community.

Showcasing nearly 200 wildlife specimens from around the world, the Card Wildlife Education Center at Ferris State University caters to families with an interest in animals. The center is free, open to the public, and offers free tours upon reservation. The display of animal mounts from across the world is typically frequented by students, school groups and local families. The facility is located on the ground floor of the Arts and Sciences Commons building (Room 011).

The center is full of specimens donated by Ferris alumnus Roger Card, and his late wife, Debra.

It features a Michigan and North American display, an African display, an Asian display, Australian display and European display. The center features mounts including a giraffe, lion, red kangaroo and game bird species.

“Summer is usually our busier season,” said center employee Jennifer Tu. “We get people coming from all over Michigan and sometimes outside the state. We had someone attending a high school reunion in the area today from Kentucky, and he stopped by the center.”

UP CLOSE: People who tour the center are welcome to take pictures, but are not allowed to touch the mounts, which come from all over the world. (Pioneer photo/Mary Mattingly)

UP CLOSE: People who tour the center are welcome to take pictures, but are not allowed to touch the mounts, which come from all over the world. (Pioneer photo/Mary Mattingly)

Tours are typically tailored to the age group touring and are capped at around 20 people per group. Attendees are free to take pictures of the displays, but are not allowed to touch them.

“We try to keep everybody active and we explain everything about the Card Center,” said Sean Bruce, a Card center employee and tour guide. “We don’t explain every animal. A lot of animals our tour groups already know about, so we stick to the animals they don’t know about or the most interesting animals.”

The center is meant to be an educational tool for the community.

“I want to help the people who come through the center learn about these animals and how to protect them in the wild,” Tu, a biology major said. “There is so much happening with our environment and we need to remember how it can affect these animals.”

To make an appointment for a tour, call the center at (231) 591-5387. The center also is free for drop-ins during business hours.

EXPLORATION: While attendees cannot touch the mounted displays, they can explore several pelts from different animals across America at the front of the center. (Pioneer photo/Mary Mattingly)

EXPLORATION: While attendees cannot touch the mounted displays, they can explore several pelts from different animals across America at the front of the center. (Pioneer photo/Mary Mattingly)

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