Wildlife Underpasses

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National Wildlife, NWF's magazine, credits the organization's efforts to ban lead shot used in waterfowl hunting for preventing death from lead poisoning for millions of birds across 27 species. Current NWF efforts center on animals and habitat impacted by the Gulf oil spill, polar bears and other species adversely impacted by climate change, and eradication of invasive species like the Asian Carp that threaten indigenous species' survival. In addition to conservation, NWF expends enormous effort on outreach and education. By helping children connect to nature, NWF fosters greater environmental stewardship within our youth. In 1958, NWF introduced Ranger Rick to children. Ranger Rick, the magazine, began publication in 1968 inspiring children with the Ranger Rick pledge to "explore the wonders of nature and learn the importance of every living thing. " As a child, I looked forward each month to getting my Ranger Rick, and the magazine motivated my first activist action, circulating a petition to ban baby seal hunting. NWF expanded its outreach to children by adding two magazine formats, Animal Baby (for 2 - 4 year olds) and Your Big Backyard (for ages 4 - 7). Always innovating, the NWF website reaches even more children and their parents. In 2007, NWF sponsored the Green Hour to provide parents with ideas to get their children outside and engaged in nature. In 2009, the Green Hour effort merged into NWF's current children's campaign Be Out There And it's not just children NWF works to connect to nature.

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We then saw a bobcat and several other species of big cats, ending with Leo, the lion. He was happy to us and came over to the fence so our tour guide could give him a scratch through the fence. We were farther back, behind another fence. Even though we were at a safe distance it was definitely much closer to a lion than you could ever get at the zoo. A deer carcass was in the enclosure and Leo and all the animals look well fed. When leaving Leo's viewing area we saw a donations box to help feed Leo and the other animals, we quickly obliged and hope you do the same. We went back inside the Riverside Wildlife Center and received a safety lecture. Lynn, one of the owners, told us not to tap the glass because it can cause snakes to strike at the glass which can injure the snakes. We were told that we would have the opportunity to see many animals and even touch and hold some. Some of the animals are dangerous so we were told to stay with our guide and to listen to him carefully. During the indoor portion of our tour we saw snapping turtles, scorpions, many snakes, including several poisonous snakes and some from Missouri.