The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Va., will open to the public for its annual Autumn Conservation Festival Oct. 1 and 2. The festival is the only time of year when the breeding and research facility is open to the public. The 3,200-acre facility serves as headquarters for SCBI’s worldwide efforts to learn about animal behavior, reproduction, ecology, genetics, migration and conservation sustainability. Scientists, animal care staff and researchers will be on hand both days of the festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to answer questions about critically endangered species and how technology is being used to help save them.
Visitors can join in conservation-themed games, watch a wild bird-banding demonstration and listen to SCBI scientists talk about their conservation efforts—such as reintroducing the scimitar-horned oryx to the wild. There will also be a special meet-a-kiwi demonstration both days of the festival.
A full schedule of expert discussions, topics and times for both days of the Autumn Conservation Festival is on the Zoo’s website. Many exhibit booths will feature interactive games and exhibits that are great for kids and adults. Food, beverages and Zoo merchandise will be available for purchase.
Passes are required to attend the festival. Guests may purchase a car pass good for up to six guests for $30 in advance or $40 at the gate, if available. Larger vehicles that hold between seven and 16 guests can purchase passes in advance for $50 or $60 at the gate, if available. Credit cards will be the only form of payment accepted at the gate. Tickets are not transferable to a different day or date. SCBI Club members and Patron-level members are entitled to a free car pass.
To learn more about the festival’s events and to purchase parking passes, visit the Zoo’s website. The Autumn Conservation Festival will be held rain or shine.
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Photo Credit: Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute