FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - FAQ
ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS WE HEAR THE MOST
WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?
Our physical address is 27026 N. 156th Street in Scottsdale, Arizona. We are located in North Scottsdale at 156th Street and Dynamite (Dynamite street name changes to Rio Verde). We are located about a half-mile south on 156th Street (dirt road) where you will then see a sign for our location and turn right. Follow that road until you reach our parking lot.
DO I HAVE TO REGISTER FOR A TOUR PRIOR?
Tour registrations are required. We sell a limited amount of tickets per tour and may have to turn you away if we sell out. Please register for a tour online or call us at 480-471-3621 if you experience any difficulties.
HOW LONG IS THE TOUR AND WHAT WILL I SEE?
Allow two hours for your tour experience. Our tours are walking tours and completely outdoors. You will see native southwest mammals varying from black bears and mountain lions to small foxes. All the wild animals along our tour route are non-releasable. The tour guides tell the stories of the animals that have found permanent sanctuary here at Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center.
IS YOUR TOUR ROUTE WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE?
CAN I RENT A WHEELCHAIR?
Our tour route is wheelchair accessible. However, our tour route is completely outdoors and on a dirt/gravel path. We do NOT recommend electric/motorized wheelchairs or scooters unless you have taken them on dirt/gravel paths prior to your tour. Most motorized scooters/chairs are only meant for paved surfaces. Manual wheelchairs are recommended.
We don't have wheelchairs for rent; however, we have one wheelchair that was donated to our facility for guest use. If you'd like to use the wheelchair, please let us know when you book your tour so that we can set it aside for you. Please call us at 480-471-3621 if you would like to reserve our wheelchair.
IS THIS TOUR APPROPRIATE FOR SMALL CHILDREN?
Depending on the child, small children (under 6 years old) may find it difficult to stay still and stay with the group. We encourage strollers, water and plenty of snacks if you have a small child with you on tour.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PRIVATE AND A PUBLIC TOUR?
Public tours are offered through our website. We cap our public tours at 10 participants. Private tours allow you and your party to have your own separate tour guide. Private tours must be booked at least one month in advance with a deposit due at that time. Requests for private tours can be submitted via our Contact Us form or by phone at 480-471-3621. Availability varies depending on the time of year.
CAN I COME AND WALK AROUND ON MY OWN?
We are open to the public only during scheduled public tours and events. Guests cannot wander the sanctuary without a tour guide. Some of our special events feature a station-based tour experience. The tour guides are stationed around the sanctuary and you walk at your own pace to each station. Station-based tour experiences are featured during Family Days, Howl-o-ween and Happy Howlidays.
IS ONE TOUR TIME BETTER THAN ANOTHER?
Every tour is a little different. Many people choose the first tour of the day so they have time for other activities in the afternoon. The late afternoon tour is a favorite of many of our guides because the wolves tend to howl more frequently with the changing light. Wild animals also have different patterns of being asleep and awake, for example bobcats and mountain lions tend to be more awake at the later hours whereas the javelina and coyote are more lively during the morning. The animal activity also varies by season: the bears sleep in late and go to bed early during the winter months and the kit foxes are most active during summer. Every tour is an adventure!
ARE YOU OPEN IN THE SUMMER?
Yes! Our animals receive care every day, year-round. Though our tours reduce in the summertime, there are still plenty of opportunities to visit us. Summer is also the time when we most need you! This is the time of year when we have the most mouths to feed, the biggest electricity bill, use the most water, and receive the least income. The animals rely on your donations to keep our animals in good care. Touring in the summer, purchasing souvenirs from our gift shop, and joining our Wild Family are some of the ways you can help us.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
Tours are outdoors as you weave in and out of shady and sunny areas. Please remember to bring sunblock, water and wear closed-toed shoes on the day of your tour. Tours take place rain or shine.
DO YOU HAVE DISCOUNTED SENIOR RATES?
We do not offer discounted senior rates. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on tour fees and donations to care for orphaned, injured and displaced wildlife.
DO YOU HAVE ANY DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE?
We offer discounted rates for school groups, girl scout and boy scout groups. We do not offer any other discounted rates. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on tour fees and donations to care for orphaned, injured and displaced wildlife. You can submit a School Field Trip form here.
DO YOU OFFER SCHOOL PROGRAMS?
We offer discounted rates for school groups. Please note that the maximum number of participants we can have on-site is 50. This includes children and adult guests. School groups with more than 50 students are split up into different days. School tour dates fill up fast. You can submit a School Field Trip form to request further information here.
IS THERE FOOD ONSITE?
There are no food options onsite and picnicking is not available without an appointment. Guests (especially little ones) are welcome to have snacks and drinks during the tour.
CAN I TAKE UBER OR LYFT TO YOUR LOCATION?
We are located far from most Uber or Lyft drivers. If you plan on arriving via Uber or Lyft, we recommend scheduling a return ride far in advance. You may well be better off scheduling via a taxi company that services the 85262 zip code. Please note that we often have guests stranded at our location waiting for a return Uber or Lyft.
CAN I HAVE MY BIRTHDAY PARTY AT SOUTHWEST WILDLIFE?
At this time, we do not offer birthday parties at our location. But you are more than welcome to attend a public tour with your guests as part of your celebration. You can browse our available tour dates and times here, or call (480) 471-3621 to inquire about a private tour.
CAN WE FEED OR PET THE ANIMALS?
We do not allow guests to feed or touch the mammals residing at our sanctuary. Many of the animals brought to Southwest Wildlife are here due to interactions with humans that have caused them to be removed from their natural homes in the wild. Our message is: wild animals are not pets.
DO YOU INTERACT WITH YOUR ANIMALS?
Though many of our animals were previously kept as pets, we do not treat them as pets. We do not approach them or try to pet them. This is for our safety as well as theirs. We want our animals to remain as wild as possible.
WHY CAN YOUR ANIMALS NOT BE RELEASED?
Some of the animals that come to Southwest Wildlife cannot be released back into the wild. If an animal’s injuries are too severe and impact their ability to survive in the wild they are non-releasable. They also cannot be released if they are too comfortable around humans from previously being kept as pets or from being fed. However, most animals that arrive at our sanctuary are successfully released back into the wild.
WHERE DO YOUR ANIMALS COME FROM?
Our mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and release native southwest mammals. We rescue animals that are in need, whether they are orphaned, injured or displaced. Many of our animals were previously kept as illegal pets. We are also a holding facility for endangered Mexican gray wolves.
WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW TO SAFELY CO-EXIST WITH WILDLIFE?
Please click here to learn more about common problems and solutions with local wildlife.