“Wow.” That’s the reaction staff of the non-profit North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre have been getting from visitors who walk through the Museum of Nature doors and enter the open air grounds. Outside, the 5th annual Magical Nights of Light unfold before their eyes — “wild” 3D shows with lasers forming the shapes of animals, set amongst beautiful LED-lit gardens.
Magical Nights of Light
The Magical Nights of Light feature climatic points — such as a laser eagle flying overhead and catching a laser fish in the facility’s pond — but staff said the entire show is a “wildLIGHT” extravaganza.
“The entire 8 acres of the grounds is lit up in one way or another,” wildlife recovery centre co-founder Sylvia Campbell said.
The spectacle is beautiful in all types of weather, Campbell added.
“The snow captures the colourful lasers in the air, as does the rain.”
Attendees walk through the show at their own pace. After, they are invited to have hot chocolate in the Learning Centre with Santa.
And the entire centre is well suited to strolling throughout the cooler months, said volunteer coordinator Joyce Lee.
“We’re open year-round and the winter has a unique charm,” Lee said. “It’s great to take your time, wander around and enjoy what we have to offer.”
Overall, Campbell said the centre takes in about 750 ill, injured or orphaned animals a year. That’s why sponsoring animals that can’t be released back into the wild is so important.
Their adoption program invites members of the public to symbolically adopt a bird or mammal that must remain at the centre.
The adoption, through the purchase of “care shares,” supports the animal by providing food, annual check-ups, medical care, and toys to enrich and stimulate natural behaviours.
Campbell said the centre receives no government funding for the animals it rescues.
“They depend on us and we depend on you,” she said. “Especially around this time of year, people like to buy adoptions for feel-good Christmas gifts.”
The Magical Nights of Light take place Fridays and Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20 and 21. Admission is by pre-purchased ticket only, available at niwratickets.org. Tickets are $5 per person, and free for children 12 years old and under. Parking passes and a free shuttle bus are also available.
The North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., seven days a week.
To learn more about adoption animals, visit niwra.org/contribute.