So let me tell you a little about Aloha Safari Zoo NC, based on our trip and some info they gave us. Most of the animals are rescues, either from residences that could not any longer properly care for them, or from what is called “shooter farms”, where they were used for sport. So don’t expect picture perfect animals..some do carry the scars of their previous life, and I believe the woman said they have up to 4 veterinarians, including a hoof specialist, that worked with the zoo.. However, that said, you can see the evidence of the care they receive now..all were well filled out, and not apprehensive of strangers at all..in fact, there were warnings everywhere to remember they ARE wild animals, and should be respected as such. You will also see several tagged animals. These are not removed, in order to reduce yet more stress on the animal..
When you enter, the first thing you see is picnic tables. The zoo works with local schools, etc for events: field trips, birthdays, things like that. There is a cool-blue pond right at the entrance, with peacocks, etc milling around. The charge is $5 (*Please note: checks or cash only, according to the website), and you can purchase a bag of animal treats for an additional $3 for feeding the animals, plus another $3 for the safari ride, which is an umbrella-covered trolley type thing. If you go, be sure to sit on the right of the Safari Ride, as that is where the bigger animals are more easily viewed. This zoo is handicap accessable, although I am not sure how that applies to the Safari Ride…I would imagine you would need to check with their very knowledgable and friendly staff! However, the walkways are nice and even, and wind thru the miniture horse barn, past the white Bengal Tiger, and the Russian Grizzly Bear.
The zoo offers exhibits of over 300 animals, and one that I hate that we did not get a picture of was the largest spotted draft horse in the US..at a whopping 22 hands..for those of you unfamilar with horse terms, that is over 7 feet!
We walked away with a renewed respect for what these people are doing and continue to try to do..give these animals a forever home, free of the dangers they were previosly exposed to. As many know from flyers from CLAWS, these particular animals are not suitable for return to the wild, as they lack the skills necessary to survive..Here, they receive care and a constant striving for improvement in their living conditions.
For those of you who would like to visit, the street address is:
159 Mini Lane
Cameron, NC 28326
contact phone is: 919 770 7109