TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Over 12,000 animals call the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum home.
"This is Athena. Athena is a burrowing owl. A lot of people think of owls as 'night owls,' but she is actually a day-active owl. She can do both," said Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Education Specialist, Robin Kropp.
Kropp is an animal expert. She teaches visitors everything there is to know about desert animals. When the pandemic hit, she started posting her lessons online.
"Normally you'll see a docent with a bird on their hand and now that is starting again. We're so happy because we're able to visit with guests and have everybody out," said Kropp.
The Desert Museum is fully open again, following a brief closure during the pandemic. It was founded in 1952. Today, the attraction includes a zoo, natural history museum, art gallery, aquarium and botanical garden.
"If you've never been to Tucson or to the Sonora Desert region, the Desert Museum offers a nice taste of everything that the region has to offer. We have different areas on grounds where you can see the animals and plants of that type of ecosystem," said Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Education Program Manager, Catherine Bartlett.
A rainy day during Monsoon season, ironically, may be the best time to visit the museum. Many of the animals come outside to enjoy the cooler weather.
"We open at 7:30 a.m. and stay open until 2 p.m. Just like the animals of the desert, it's good to be active in the early morning and avoid the heat of the afternoon," said Kropp,
In August, the museum will open on Saturdays from 7:30 to 9 p.m.