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Staying Alive: Defenses of the Animal Kingdom

October 14, 2023 - April 21, 2024

Included with Museum Admission Buy Tickets

Learn about the animal kingdom’s coolest methods of self-defense!  

Every species of animal has evolved some mechanism to protect themselves from attack. Some of these means of self-defense are more obvious than others, but make no mistake, every animal has a strategy! 

Staying Alive: Defenses of the Animal Kingdom explores how animals use tough armor, powerful venom and poison, sneaky camouflage and mimicry, and stunning speed and sound to fend off, evade and trick predators. 

In this gorgeous exhibit, you can get up close and personal with 16 live animals and learn all about the extraordinary tactics and adaptations they use to survive – featuring hands-on interactives and on-site animal experts!

Don’t miss your chance to see this one of a kind exhibit. Reserve your tickets today!

Ticket Information

Staying Alive: Defenses of the Animal Kingdom + Museum Admission

Your museum admission ticket includes access to Staying Alive: Defenses of the Animal Kingdom!

Adult (14+) $19.00
Senior (63+)
Youth (3-13)
Infant (Under 3 years)

Ticket reservations required for all ages.

Staying Alive: Defenses of the Animal Kingdom Member Pricing

OMSI members receive complimentary admission to Staying Alive: Defenses of the Animal Kingdom!

Questions about OMSI’s accessibility programs? Learn More

Your ticket also provides entry to OMSI’s permanent exhibit halls, including Turbine Hall, Science Playground, and the Natural Sciences Hall. For more in-depth science fun, be sure to check out one of OMSI’s four science labs.

Explore Staying Alive: Defenses of the Animal Kingdom

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we touch the animals?

Not all, but many of them yes! The educator in the exhibit will go over which animals can be touched by the public, which cannot, and why. We do have specific handling rules for the best interest of animals and guests, so please listen to the educator’s instructions and you will get to meet and even touch many cool animals!

Where are the animals from?

All of these animals are cared for by the Foundation for Animal Rescue and Education (FARE), an Ottawa- and Syracuse-based organization serving the community for over 20 years, which is the largest exotic animal rescue and public education program in Canada and the U.S.

Are these animals from the wild?

None of the animals here are wild animals. All of them were born in human care and the majority of them are actually rescued pets. Any animal that comes to the Foundation that is eligible for release into the wild is always released into the wild. A large part of FARE’s work stresses the importance of keeping wild animals wild, not taking animals from the wild (except under very special circumstances).

Are the animals stressed?

No. It is strictly against FARE policies to bring out any animals into their educational programs who are stressed by the experience. Any animal showing signs of stress must be taken out of our outreach programs and get re-evaluated by senior staff before re- entering outreach programs.

How do you know if an animal is stressed?

There are several behavioral and physiological signs of stress that the animal care specialists and veterinarians can and do look out for, though they vary between species. Before any animal is placed in an outreach program like Staying Alive, a behavioral assessment of that animal must conclude that it is well socialized and exhibits no sign of stress around people. Also, a mandatory part of the animal care training program includes signs of stress for all species that a handler is permitted to work with.

Exhibit in Support of:

The Foundation for Animal Rescue and Education (F.A.R.E.)

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