BELVIDERE – The word "adorable" fits the litter of wolf pups born at Summerfield Zoo.
This weekend, the little ones will be available to have visitors' photos taken with them. The photo shoot will be after the animal encounter presentations, which are at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday and noon and 2 p.m. Sunday.
"We are thrilled to announce the birth of a litter of gray wolf pups," Yvette McGreane, zoo volunteer, said in a news release. "While babies are always exciting, these wolf pups are an incredible opportunity to help educate the public about the species. Be sure that you don't miss out on the opportunity to see them and get your picture taken with them."
Other activities at the zoo are pony rides, a petting zoo, bottles for baby goats, a gift shop, and a snack shop.
Summerfield Zoo has been around since 1990. A wide variety of animals awaits explorers who will see wallabies, camels, reindeer, zebra, giant tortoises, foxes, alligators, prairie dogs, and peacocks.
Less well-known critters include Pantagonian cavies with rabbit similarities, kinkajous that are like ferrets and monkeys, large-spotted genets that are of African origin, and servals, which are African wild cats.
When winter snows blow and Christmas draws near, the zoo reaches out to the public with the use of its reindeer. "Santa's" reindeer can be rented for parties and special events. Elves and handlers go along with them to make sure all runs smoothly. It's also possible to arrange for visits by other exotic animals at times other than holidays.
Visitors who plan a trip to the zoo this summer should be aware that road construction may make the trip interesting. The Pearl Street Road bridge over Interstate 90 is closed. Directions are offered on the zoo's website.
The small zoo may not offer the large array of activities and animals as some of the larger ones, but it specializes in giving visitors a closer look at its residents. And don't miss the chance to get a photo with the pups. This is the final weekend for pictures.
If you go
What: Summerfield Zoo
Where: 3088 Flora Road, Belvidere
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and closed Monday and Tuesday
Cost: $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for children on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; $5 per person Wednesday and Thursday
Information: summerfieldfarmandzoo.com on the web, email Summerfieldzoo@aol.com or call 815-547-4852