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“Not for me” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Wilbur D. May Center

Wilbur D. May Center
Ranked #23 of 124 things to do in Reno
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Wilbur D. May Center is a year-round destination for people of all ages. It contains a museum, arboretum, and botanical garden - dedicated to preserving the legacy of Wilbur May, a Reno rancher, world traveler, and philanthropist. The museum contains a beautiful permanent collection of rare and exotic artifacts and animals from around the world. The 20+ acre arboretum and botanical garden features beautiful plants, trees, and flowers, along with hidden groves, ponds, waterfalls, and a meditation labyrinth.
Level Contributor
227 reviews
148 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
“Not for me”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2013

All the collections of one man who traveled the globe and hunted and more. Too many dead large African animals, esp, predators, for me - a replica of his trophy room is there. What was galling to me was the museum sign write up explaining how hunting is a necessary culling of animals in the wild... bad message when so many are endangered. I do understand its a different time frame but still, the write up could be more up to date with reality now, instead of excusing the slaughter.
That said - there are some interesting objects in the collections, the park is very beautiful.

Visited May 2013
5 Thank loverainsky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Samantha S, Manager at Wilbur D. May Center, responded to this review, October 31, 2013
I'm sorry that you were disturbed by the hunting information! It's a controversial topic to try to present to a museum audience. All 200 specimens in our collection are at least 50 years old. Wilbur began big game hunting in the 1930s - the golden era for safaris and a time when conservation wasn't of much concern. Later big game hunters tried to defend the practice by making a connection between hunting, conservation, and helping tribal groups. Our signs do reflect that change, but we in no way promote big game hunting in the modern era, nor the hunting of endangered species. Perhaps our signs could better reflect that position.

As an aside -- I do keep a close eye on the conservation status of the animals in our collection. We have three animals that are listed as critically endangered (Hunter's Hartebeest, Tora Hartebeest, and the Black Rhino) and three that are listed as endangered (Cape Hunting Dog, Bengal Tiger, and the Indian Water Buffalo).

I hope you were able to enjoy other aspects of the museum collection and thank you for your visit!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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53 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Reno, Nevada
Level Contributor
41 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Great Time”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 26, 2013

Go here and enjoy 13 acres of beauty and awe. This is one of the nicest places in the Reno area to go and enjoy an hour or a day. Take lunch and go enjoy yourself for a few hours.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Dennis J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnemucca, Nevada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2013

The Wilbur D May Museum islike walking into someones home inKenya or somewhere fantastic he has been. His hunting trophys are all over the main museum and the story of his life the things he collected, the guns he used, all seem to be placed in the rooms with care and understanding of a project that he wanted to share with the world. THe other side of the museum usually has interesting and unique tings going on all the time. Keep the kids busy when the Dinosaur exhibit comes to the museum, of the live snake show or the wolf show. These are well thought out activities for kids to learn about their history, the lives of animals, and the history of the past. The Arboretium is fantastic int eh spring and summer. It is beautiful always but to walk through and see so many types of flowers, shrubs and trees is amazing lke you ar ein a rein forest. Don't forget to stop by the outside Dinosaur exhibit take a picture of the kids on their favorite Dinosaur. Let them play in the play ground. It is a great place to visit and share.

Visited August 2013
2 Thank winnemuccanevada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reno, Nevada
Level Contributor
31 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Thank you Wilbur D. May for your gift to Reno”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2013

The Wilbur D. May Center is always a required visit when the grandkids come to stay. There are great exhibits that change and experiences to try. The permanent exhibit donated from the May Family is incredible. Come, see, experience, enjoyl.

Visited October 2012
Thank Harvey L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reno, Nevada
Level Contributor
204 reviews
101 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“A Wonderful Small Natural History Museum”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2013

Wilbur May was a renown entrepreneur in Reno, NV. This museum incorporates items he collected and shot on his world adventures. The museum usually has a great kid's interactive science exhibit during the spring months.

Visited February 2013
Thank rzman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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