Pioneer Ridge Nature Area

Courier file photo. 

OTTUMWA — Have you ever wondered how nocturnal animals sound and survive?

On July 16, the kids of Ottumwa will get the opportunity to learn about how nocturnal animals of Pioneer Ridge Nature Area survive in the darkness. The camping adventure will begin at 7 p.m. and end at 10 p.m.

Seven children aged 12 to 15, signed up for the Full Moon Nocturnal Camp will first meet naturalist Annette Wittrock at Pioneer Ridge. From there, Wittrock will take the kids and observe the sound of owls, hedgehogs, raccoons, bats and other nocturnal animals make their sounds and use their instincts.

The children will bring flashlights and zest for adventure. Wittrock advised parents not to worry about their child’s safety. She has been a naturalist for 20 years and has experience with organizing camping trips for children of all ages.

“Parents are welcome to tag along as long,” Wittrock said, “as we are not traveling outside the county. I haven’t lost anyone in 20 years.”

After the kids get to observe the animals, they will go with Wittrock on a night hike to test their nocturnal sight.

“I’m excited I get to do this,” Wittrock said.

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