St Augustine Wild ReserveCurrently Closed
- Address: St. Augustine, FL 32085, St Augustine, United States
- Timings: 02:00 pm - 04:00 pm Details
- Phone: +1-9049400664
- Ticket Price: Free
- Time Required: 02:00 Hrs
- Tags: Wildlife Park, Zoo, Wildlife Safari, Family And Kids, Nature
St Augustine Wild Reserve - Review
According to the Humane Society of the United States, trading in exotic pets is a multi-billion dollar industry, second only to drugs and weapons on the black market. This $15 billion dollar business has breeders and dealers selling animals over the internet or in trade magazines. Lots of animals are forced into the exotic pet trade every year to become someone's pet or entertain in a circus or roadside zoo. Poachers will often kill the protective mother first so that it's easier to capture the young and this happens when the animal is taken into captivity from the wild. Once these pets become, big or violent, the owners start physical abuse and want the problem taken off their hand. This is where St. Augustine Wild Reserve come in, they rescue these exotic animals and put them into protective care in the reserve.
Although baby animals might be cute and easy to maintain, they usually grow into unsafe adults with incontrollable needs. In the wild an exotic animal will travel miles in search of food, so life in a domestic milieu isn't going to satisfy their natural desires. As these poor animals grow, their needs for food and space increase immensely. At this stage, the once-loved pets often end up in cages where they are mistreated or injured. The pet owner realises that he does not have the money to feed his pet and leaves the poor animal to fate. This affects the behavioural pattern of the animal that can lead to bites and attacks.
According to the Humane Society of the U.S, all reptiles and amphibians carry salmonella, and pets like monkeys and African rodents often carry viruses like herpes B, monkey pox and rabies, all of which are highly contagious and actually fatal to humans. Removing wild animals from their natural habitat affects the delicate eco system which relies on these animals to a great extent.
The Reserve takes in unwanted exotic animals as an alternate to euthanasia. Some of the Reserve’s animals came from abusive homes. Two wolves were rescued when their owner was involved in a fatal auto accident. Many of the animals were confiscated by wildlife agencies from individuals who did not have proper state permits, or who starved their animals, keeping them in lower filthy conditions. Michael Jackson had to part ways with five Arctic wolves and an African lion that lived at his ranch near Santa Barbara. To Deborah Warrick, the founder of this reserve, this was her calling to protect and help these animals who were in dire strait. Wild Reserve offers tours on an appointment-only basis.
They offer tours three times weekly by appointment only. Guests will be introduced to each species, told about the basic biology, and how the animal arrived at the sanctuary. Visitors will be allowed within 5-10 feet of the exotic animals, which are housed in secure habitats. Also on the tour will be the amazing white tigers, orange tigers, a very rare golden tabby tiger, cougars, servals, coatimundis, cougars, lynxes, leopards, and a host of wolves ranging in colour from black to white.
They do not allow photography at the Reserve; it may irritate some of the animals. However a photographic CD of all of the animals is available at the end of each tour. Their goal is to educate the public about exotic animal ownership, to prevent future animal abuse. They transport various animals to schools, churches, and other outreach venues for educational presentations so that individuals may see what these animals are really like, dissuading them from obtaining such an animal as a pet.
St Augustine Wild Reserve Information
- They are not open on a daily basis like a large zoo, although they do offer two-hour tours, reserved in advance.
- Tours are held in the afternoon, usually on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays at 2:00 pm.
- Email as far in advance as possible to make reservations. Children under 5 are free.
- They may be able to schedule a tour on a different day, if they know in advance.
- Volunteer at the St. Augustine Wild Reserve. Experience not necessary. They will train you in proper husbandry skills and animal handling.
- It is a non-profit organisation.
- They accept donations and has a web site for you to follow and donate.
- Guests will be able to venture closer to adult African lions than they ever imagined.
- They also have a large bird collection, which includes conures, macaws, Amazon parrots, lovebirds, and even parakeets, cockatoos, cockatiels, doves, quail and finches.
- They feed all of the big cats on the tour on most days, and set up a tiger bubble bath for one pair of tigers.
- They do not allow photography at this compound, however, but offer a Photo CD at the end of the tour for a small donation.
- You may photograph our beautiful peacocks, lovebirds and conures, which are outside of the compound near the guest waiting area.
Restaurants Near St Augustine Wild Reserve
- Pizza Hut: Italian
- Sushi Bistro: Japanese
- Tropical Smoothie Cafe: Cafe, Sandwiches
- Outback Crab Shack: Grill
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Things to Know Before Visiting St Augustine Wild Reserve
18.96% of people who visit St Augustine include St Augustine Wild Reserve in their plan
95% of people start their St Augustine Wild Reserve visit around 2 PM
People usually take around 2 Hrs to see St Augustine Wild Reserve
95% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting St Augustine Wild Reserve
St Augustine Wild Reserve Trips
St Augustine Wild Reserve, St Augustine Reviews
This place is the most amazing animal experience I have ever had. The interaction you get with the variety of large cats can be breath taking and life changing! The people who work there are all volunteers and are filled with a strong passion to care for these animals. You must remember this isn't a zoo, or a place for some cheap animal entertainment, (so please respect their rules). These are endangered and abandoned animals that these people choose to dedicate their life to raise and care for. I will return 100%, I love this place, it is one of my life's most amazing experiences!
A sanctuary for large exotic animals. Take a stroll and get close, but not too close to some of the most majestic animals on earth. Some were "pets" without licenses surrendered taken lawfully and given to people that have the knowledge and understanding to care for these large animals. The Liger looked like a fun loving buddy rubbing his face near the gate for his handlers to scratch his chin. The wolves captivated me the most. Being a dog trainer it was fascinating to see the similarities up close between our domesticated house pets and their amazing ancestors. Fully run by volunteers I encourage you to take a trip to see lions lynx tigers hyena and several packs of wolves, just to name a few. The guides are full of knowledge and answer any and all questions. The pack howl at the end, a wild farewell, still gives me shivers. Very cool, best place we visited while staying in Dt Augustine.
Pro tips: Dress accordingly to the weather, ie sunblock and hats. Make a reservation. (Luckily we had cash) Optional: Bring a watermelon to donate to the animals (or something the reserve needs). Great tour and very educational. Its awesome and an honor to see these rescued animals. I plan on bringing my brother on my next trip back! I only wish they sold tee shirts, I would have bought one!
It was so amazing to be close to the animals. You can tell how much the caretakers care for the animals. We learned so much about the wildlife here!
We really enjoyed taking this tour and seeing all the beautiful animals. You can tell these animals are well cared for. Everyone was so knowledgable and they did a great job making sure everyone stayed cool and hydrated. We had a large crowd on our tour and it was difficult to hear and see everything but they sent us a nice email afterwards offering another tour in the future. Highly recommend this!