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“Dont waste your time or money” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Dade City's WIld Things

Dade City's WIld Things
37237 Meridian Ave, Dade City, FL 33525
+1 352-567-9453
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Ranked #4 of 19 things to do in Dade City
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Attraction details
Owner description: Dade City's WIld Things is a non-profit sanctuary zoo and natural botanical gardens. Stop by and visit our Dade City Gift Shop, featuring a zoo animal theme, While waiting for our authentic trolley to take you on a short ride to the zoo to experience a once in a lifetime, walking tour of over 150 animal exhibits. Hours of Operation: Tues - Sat. Gift Shop & Ticket Sales: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM 'Sunken Jungle Trek' Tours: 9:30 AM and 2:00 PM. Also offer 'Jungle Safari riding Tour: 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM - 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM Visit our website for more info.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Dont waste your time or money”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

You schedule a tour and when you check in are subject to an upsell, an individual animal encounter. For an extra fee you are promised an individual encounter with the animal if your choice. You ride on a dirty unairconditioned trolley breathing the exhaust to get to a piece of property with small dirty enclosures where vegetation is overgrown and seeing the animals near impossible. Then you sit and wait to interact with your animal, but it is not individual or even a small group. You go in with 15 of your closest friends where you get less than 30 seconds of time with your animal. Definitely a disappointment.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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157 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Dade City, Florida
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Wild Things Visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

This is an amazing place. It is packed with a large variety of animals. The staff is very knowledgeable and will make your visit enjoyable.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dade City, Florida
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“love natural life”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Love the cats and the natural sitting, enjoyed the time. It's best when use take the time to stop and look at everything and watch the animals in their play and enjoy the natural sitting. Don't rush thru it.The people their are nice and helpful. My daughter is a Special Ed adult and she loved it.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooksville, Florida, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

I surprised my husband and daughter with tickets to Dade City's Wild Things and they had an awful time. My 7 year old daughter was sad that the animals were in cages with no real habitat surroundings. The tour guide and staff were uninformed and rude. This is not an exploration or relaxed stroll, it is a very structured tour with lots of rules (no stepping on grass, no touching hand rails, no looking animals in eyes). While the rules are no doubt necessary and for the safety of both animals and visitors, they were delivered and reinforced in harsh/angry tones. If you do not purchase an encounter, you must wait and watch as the others have an encounter, sad for some children. Not a great destination for us.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Temple Terrace, Florida
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Educational Sunken Garden Tour, & Additional Tiger Cub Encounter was Amazing!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

Initially my friend and I were concerned, because the address for this attraction is in downtown Dade City, and as we were driving, we were like "Where does one stash a wildlife sanctuary in this part of town??" The address, it turns out, is for the gift shop/check-in area, and you are picked up from there and transported via tram to the actual attraction. I recommend that you arrive early for the check-in process, because it can be a little slow. I would also recommend bringing insect repellent, (but if you forget to bring it, it can be purchased at the gift shop). Since it's Florida and the middle of summer, drinks are also a good idea, but they do have stations along the tour where snacks and beverages can be purchased.
My friend and I went took the Sunken Garden tour, which is the walking tour. The day was overcast, and a bit humid, which was great; we were able to walk around for approximately 2 hours without getting too uncomfortably hot. Our guide was knowledgeable and personable, and I definitely learned a lot about primate aggression behavior and big cat/small cat distinctions. I was disappointed that we were not allowed to take pictures, but I'm not sure how many pictures I would've taken anyway. Since it is a nonprofit and on private property, I imagine that they can't design large exhibits that a facility like a zoo could, so almost any animal photo taken would have the chain link fencing evident, and their quarters all seemed very cramped and minimal (with the exception of the white tailed deer). The animals all seemed relatively content though (except for one monkey that was absolutely determined to show dominance over everyone within 5 feet of his cage, but hey, everyone's got their own personality!). Roy, the 1000lb Siberian Tiger was a real treat, letting everyone get a good view of him and chuffing playfully with our guide. Wilson, the submissive of the 2 male baboons on the property, blew everyone kisses when Tyson (the dominant male) wasn't looking. When a garbage truck rumbled by on the street, that set King (the male lion) off and his roars shook the compound, which was a treat! You could feel it reverberating through your whole body! The tour ended at the ring-tailed lemur cage, and these guys are always a treat to see no matter where you go!
My friend and I paid the additional fees for a tiger encounter (We chose the regular tiger, because we were informed that 13 people were already signed up for the white tiger encounter). Only 2 other people were on this encounter, and in my opinion, it was well worth the additional cost. Thunder, a 3 & 1/2 month old cub was a delight! Each one of us got to take a turn feeding him his bottle, and he was completely comfortable with all of us and the whole experience. The only time he showed any trepidation was when he sniffed an unfamiliar leather hat (a new toy). He soon got over it, though, and it became his new favorite tug-o-war toy!
Overall, I would have given the facility and tour a 3.5, because while the animal enclosures are not the greatest, and the smell of animal scat is highly prevalent, the keepers, trainers, and volunteers all seem to know the animals and their personalities and have a genuine affection for them which is also reflected reciprocally in the animals. Thunder definitely bumped the experience up to a full-blown 4.
Bring sun protection, wear shoes with good tread because the grounds could be slippery and there are some hills. If you take a non-winter tour expect heat and possible showers. I highly recommend insect repellant! If you decide to visit this facility, please try to maintain the mindset that it's not a zoo, but an educational non-profit animal rescue facility. Also, if you're near the rear of a big cat and they lift their tail, get out of the line of fire!!

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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