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“EXCELLENT VOLUNTEER ZOO”

St. Augustine Wild Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The St. Augustine Wild Reserve offers tours on an appointment-only basis. We are not open on a daily basis like a large zoo, although we do offer two-hour tours, reserved in advance. Tours are held in the afternoon, usually on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays at 2pm. Email as far in advance as possible to make reservations. Children under 5 are free. We may be able to schedule a tour on a different day, if we know far enough in advance. Guests will be given a guided tour of the 7-acre animal compound by an experienced wildlife professional. An introduction to each species, basic biology, and how the species arrived at our sanctuary will be discussed in detail. Visitors will be allowed a close-up view of the exotic animals. Guests will be able to venture closer to adult African lions than they ever imagined. Also on the tour will be our amazing white tigers, several orange tigers, a very rare golden tabby tiger, cougars, servals, lynxes, leopards, hyenas, coati mundis, and a host of wolves ranging in color from black to white. We also have a large bird collection, which includes conures, macaws, Amazon parrots, lovebirds, and even parakeets, cockatoos, cockatiels, doves, quail and finches. We feed all of the big cats on the tour on most days, and set up a tiger bubblebath for one pair of tigers. We do not allow photography at this compound, however, we do offer a fabulous 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. Thank you!
Union City, New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
92 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“EXCELLENT VOLUNTEER ZOO”
Reviewed June 20, 2013

My wife and I visited this reserve yesterday. Finding this location was no problem, though the entrance drive is narrow so drive slow. The parking is on grass near the stock room. This is NOT a zoo! All the animals here are permanent residents and can not be released for various reasons. The tour takes a slow start as you wait for all the guests on the tour to turn up. The staff take great pride in these animals and you can hear and see the affection they have for the animals and the animals for them. My wife and I witnessed a 600 pound cat roll over for a belly rub from a volunteer - simply amazing! The requested donation is $25 per adult and well worth it. My wife and I also left some food donations for them. I strongly suggest you bring some frozen water bottles with you - the water WILL melt in the heat, although they do offer you cold water and umbrellas, as well as offering water from a hose to cool you down. There is a Wallgreens a short drive from the Reserve also to purchase anything you may need - like another cold drink. They do have a port-a-potty on site, but we did not use this. This is not a zoo experience. It is a Wildlife reserve, bear this in mind and you will have a great day!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank martok78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Saint Louis, Missouri
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“WEIRD”
Reviewed June 18, 2013

It was amazing to see all the cats up close, purring, being petted, but they are WILD animals. I honestly don't know how the volunteers aren't missing apendages. They let the wolves LICK THEIR FACES. NOT DOGS, WOLVES. It was an odd experience. I will not go back, I didn't feel safe. I know they are all volunteers, and the animals seem happy, but they were VERY UNPROFESSIONAL to be working with dangerous animals. I will stick to the zoo next time. Also, the parking lot is a just a field in front of the owner's house. It felt like a redneck reality show where you are watching just to see someone lose an arm. No thanks.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
16 Thank Heather918
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Littlehampton, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“amazing”
Reviewed June 14, 2013

wonderful experience. the roar of the huge tiger is something I will never forget. Best part was going into a lions enclosure. They had a 4mth old cub called Nairobi. He was beautiful. Being able to rub a lions belly is something not many people get to do.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank judy123456789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lakeland, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Wow!!!! You must do this if you are an animal lover.”
Reviewed June 11, 2013 via mobile

I don't know where to start. Deborah and her crew of volunteers have created a perfect refuge for some very lucky animals. When we visited here, I we were amazed at the LOVE and COMPASSION that these volunteers (uhh yeah- volunteers) have for these wonderful animals. If you think you have had a good animal expirence at a zoo or another refuge, you are wrong. I have never been anywhere where I got to experience the behavior of lions, tigers, wolves, lynx, panthers, etc ....from 5 feet away!!! These animals are well cared for and loved. We also got the rare expirence of aging with a lion cub, which was awesome. Please don't miss an opportunity to experience these animals and volunteers. And please, after you go, continue to make donations to this amazing not for profit organization. I can't believe the hours and hours of time that these people are able to spend with these animals, and how much of their own money ends up going to take care of the animals that have become their family. Such an awesome experience. It is no frills.... All money they get goes straight to the care of the animals. Like I said, do not pass this up!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank christinarn05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Meriden, Connecticut
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great little secret”
Reviewed June 6, 2013 via mobile

A must do if you like big cats. Lions, tigers, panthers and many other rescue animals. Tigers take a bubble bath. Great tour of all the animals. 100% nonprofit. The guides do a great job. The cost is minimal for an afternoon of fun. We even got to play with a 5 month old lion cub. So much fun.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank wingnut0412
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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