MAPLEWOOD, MN—Presenting a romanticized snapshot of regional biodiversity, a local nature preserve reportedly set highly unrealistic expectations Monday with a visitor center full of taxidermied animals. “Whoa, a beaver, a timber wolf, and a pack of bobcats just chilling on a rock,” said first-time visitor Stephanie Coughlin, admitting with glee that she always dreamed about “getting up close and personal” with a black bear, a badger, and an elk. “Check out all those bald eagles! There’s, like, five of them next to that moose and those flying squirrels. Wait, is that a river otter? Fuck yeah! How did I miss out on all of this? I mean, I’ve never seen anything larger than a possum, and I’ve lived in the Minneapolis suburbs for, like, 30 years.” At press time, a dejected Coughlin learned that she would be spending the next two hours dissecting owl pellets.
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