Learn Your Lizards with ‘Wild Man Phil’ at the Arboretum

Superior — Colorful, comical, skittering lizards are the hook for summertime lizard walks at Boyce Thompson Arboretum, guided by outdoor educator ‘Wild Man Phil’ Rakoci.

Attend his excursion on Saturday June 10 and you’re likely to learn about more than just ‘herps’ (that’s short for herpetology, the formal name for scientific study of reptiles).

“My goal is introducing people to their desert-dwelling neighbors, especially the ones which need to be better understood," says Rakoci. Famous for talking nonchalantly while having a lizard securely clamped to an earlobe, Rakoci shares his affection for desert wildlife — while dispelling myths about misunderstood venomous critters.

This and most Arboretum weekend nature walks are included with daily admission of $12.50. The walks are free for BTA annual members and also Arizona State Parks pass-holders.

“We'll take a humorous walk around the gardens, one where you'll also learn the unique characteristics of Sonoran Desert wildlife, their homes, and the ways the lives of these vastly different and usually misunderstood animals are interwoven, creating a community where each has a purpose and a place.”

If you’re in the market for adventure with Rakoci after dark, he guides private Nocturnal Excursions in the Pinal County desert seeking rattlesnakes, bats, and other creatures more active by moonlight. Next dates are June 10, 17, 24 and 30 – continuing through September. Read more and register online at wildmanphil.net.

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