320 acre animal sanctuary featuring large carnivores
The Wild Animal Sanctuary is an organization that has been rescuing exotic wildlife and endangered species since 1980. The actual sanctuary is made up of 720 acres and is home to more than 300 carnivorous animals – bears, lions, tigers, leopards, cougars, etc. The animals at the The Wild Animal Sanctuary have all been rescued from private owners who have the animal illegally or find they are unable to properly care for it (go figure, not knowing how to take care of a tiger), road side stands, animal auctions or worse… More often than not, the animals are confiscated by law enforcement officials and instead of “putting the animals down” The Wild Animal Sanctuary provides an opportunity for a new, safe life.
Touring The Wild Animal Sanctuary is fairly easy and provides a great way to get in a little exercise at the same time. Known as the “Mile Into The Wild” Walkway – a unique system of elevated cat-walks and observation platforms – visitors can view the rescued animals and see them living and interacting with one another in their habitats. Each species has its own large habitat so they can live as "naturely" as possible.
There are several observation decks and binoculars for visitors to see the animals who might be hanging out in the back areas of their enclosed habitats. I would recommend you bring your own binaculors if you have them. Make sure to grab one of the tour guide books before you venture out. They contain a lot great information on the animals, how there were rescued, their names and more.
There are also several volunteers throughout the walkway who can answer questions for you – you just have to ask. If you need to rent a wagon, you can do so in the gift shop, where you purchase your entry fee. Pricing in $5 per wagon.
The gift shop is huge for kids - at least mine. Stuffed animals galore, books, jewerly, etc.
It's a fun time for kids - and adults. One thing I wish we had done was talk more about how the animals we rescued beforehand with our kids. It really hit home more for them when we read the resuce stories about the animals.
For more on our visit and phots, see my post: http://carpe-travel.com/wild-animal-sanctuary/