SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Santa Fe Reptile and Bug Museum features snakes, spiders, frogs and bugs. The popular museum is now looking for a new place to set up shop after the outlet mall was auctioned off.

Wade Harrell is the director of the museum and said he’s always had a love for these animals. His desire to educate the public is what inspired him to open the museum. Harrell said the creatures are just misunderstood. It was Harrell’s desire to educate the public on the natural world, that inspired him to open the museum.

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Originally opened as the Harrell House Bug Museum in 2013, Harrell said his critters have attracted tens of thousands of guests. The museum became a non-profit in 2020, then in January they moved into the Santa Fe Outlet Mall. But the mall recently sold at auction for $5.9 million.

Harrell is now hoping to find a new location for his museum, but the move will be costly. “In the neighborhood of 50- $100,000 to really get started, to get that lease, to fix the space and secure a few months of our lease payments,” said Harrell.

Now, he’s selling t-shirts and merchandise with the hopes of raising enough money to make the move. Harrell said if he doesn’t reach his goal, he’ll convert his home and garage into an animal area until he’s able to find a new location.