Unwanted critters found inside the Kirby Science Center at the Washington Pavilion has caused the temporary closure of the Science Center.

Pavilion staff sent out the following media release:

"On Wednesday, February 26, staff at the Kirby Science Discovery Center discovered mites on the Science Center’s two resident box turtles, Discover and Tie Dye. The turtles were immediately removed from the Science Center and brought to their vet, Dayton Williams, DVM. Dr. Williams diagnosed that the turtles have some unwanted guests named Dermanyssus gallinae, also known as red mite, hanging out with them in their enclosure.

Do to this unexpected discovery; the staff at the Pavilion is immediately taking action.

  • ·The Kirby Science Discovery Center and Raven Children’s Studio are closed Thursday, February 27 through Monday, March 3 to accommodate professional fumigation of the areas visited by the turtles.
  • Since Discover and Tie Dye don’t like movies, the CineDome will remain open during this time. Tickets to Mission Films are available for $5 and admission to Hollywood Movies for $3 (youth 0-17) and $5 adults (18+).
  • The Visual Arts Center will remain open for all regularly scheduled hours and events.
  • Storytime will still take place at 10:15a.m. Saturday morning. We ask that you check in with the Box Office for the location.
  • Staff are notifying patrons who visited the Science Center and may have come in contact with the turtles.
  • If patrons experience itchy skin and/or small red bumps they should visit their family practice physician to determine if they need to be treated.

We request that patrons interested in visiting the Kirby Science Discovery Center or Raven Children’s Studio call ahead at (605) 367-6000 for the most up-to-date information about hours. We will reopen the affected spaces once it has been determined that the environment is safe for our patrons and our turtle friends."