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Review Highlights
Variety Of Animals Well Cared For

I thought the variety of animals was sufficient and they seemed to be well cared for. Staff was... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
oiobafblue
,
Verdi, Nevada
Hidden gem

My husband and I were on a road trip and found recommendations about the ark. We headed to the... read more

Reviewed May 2, 2019
jacquie B
,
Turlock, California
via mobile
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Reviewed December 11, 2018 via mobile

Excellent habitat for animals well with seeing. Big Cats and small cats in their natural environment

Date of experience: January 2018
1  Thank Steve N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2018

The staff really cares about the animals. You can tell by the way they talk about them and how they are treated. Food is hidden for example to make feeding time more interesting, the cheetah gets out of the enclosure weekly and taken for a long run. All animals have names and their story is being told at their enclosure.
They could make the visitors walk around bigger enclosures though. Imho. It would be good for the animals and the humans. Lack of space should not be an issue. Maybe a local fence company can become a sponsor?

Date of experience: November 2018
3  Thank americandollgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2018

The park is very well laid out. Near the parking area is a picnic space and playground. There's a nice gift shop and ticket desk in the main building with a complimentary coffee station and some snack items and beverages for purchase, along with some chairs around a large coffee table.
The hike up to the Black bear, Gracie, is a bit strenuous for mobility challenged guests, or if you are used to a much lower altitude, so take advantage of the golf carts. The ONLY restroom building on the property is about half way the distance from the beginning to end of the wild animal enclosures, but if you need to get there quickly there is a short cut from the gift shop.
The kids in our group were fascinated and there was enough up and down and winding around to keep it interesting for them to walk and to look for the animals. The leopard, arctic fox, red fox and a few others came right up to the large windows while we were there.
AAA discount is available, but it's well worth the full price and more.

Date of experience: October 2018
2  Thank claireleefl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2018

The great reviews are well-deserved. This is not one of those places that just calls itself a "refuge" - there's signage for each animal telling how they came to live there (hit by a car, confiscated at a border crossing, orphaned in the wild, etc.) and why they're unable to be released, and in the case of those birds of prey that require permission to have them in captivity, this place is on top of all of that. You can be sure your admission fee is being used for the betterment of animals that truly need it.

The place isn't huge, and while you start by going uphill (you don't want to miss the bear feeding!) it's truly all downhill from there, so it's a pleasant stroll on dirt pathways. We saw young children through grandparent-aged guests, and all seemed to be enjoying themselves. Lots of educational material posted for those who stop to read it, but you could have a fine visit without that, too.

The bear feeding is the highlight - the keepers have hidden food about the enclosure (in knotholes in a limb, etc) as enrichment for the bear, so that he has to "find" it, which means guests get to see him moving about rather than just eating from a bowl. It was fun to watch him try to scoop the juicy bits of the orange out of the peel, and amazing to see how he just shredded the raw fish left for him.

The "pre-show" was equally entertaining if you get there early. Wild birds and squirrels have the time between the keepers hiding the food and the bear being let into the enclosure to feast, and they know it. A scrub jay came in and plucked grapes off one by one, flying off with each purloined fruit, and a squirrel entered under a chain link fence and grabbed a half a pair, then struggled to get his bounty through that same fence. He tried and tried, but when he saw the bear about to be let in, he ran off empty handed (pawed).

You can see evidence of a fire they had there some years back, and reading the signage about that helps you realize what a great deal of support this place has from the local community, and for good reason. They are providing safe homes for animals that need them, as well as great entertainment value (I think the admission could be higher and still be worth it) to guests.

This was a great visit - a highlight of our time in Nevada.

Date of experience: September 2018
4  Thank travelmakesUrich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2018 via mobile

My wife and I had heard very little about this site but on a couple of trips while driving north out of Reno on 395. we had seen a sign with its curious name indicating an exit ramp. Even more curious is that there is also a sign for a zoo at the same spot. Were they the same or were there two animal outposts in this very desert-like area. Snakes, maybe, but this is not the usual habitat for most critters folks want to see. (Well, apparently there are 2 different places, but we only went to the Ark.)

And, SURPRISE! Animal Ark is a terrific place to see all sorts of wild animals in a very beautiful setting. Its the enterprise of a foundation that has as its goal rescuing wild animals when they can no longer survive in the wild or were in private settings that put the animals at risk.

You’ll find the Ark about 10 miles north of Reno and then another 12 miles east of 395. Easily accessible by car (although the last mile or so is on a very solid unpaved but washboardy road), you may wonder if you’ll ever arrive because the area does not look like where you’d go to find much other than sagebrush. Don’t give up. The reward is huge.

There is a pleasant visitor center and gift shop at the parking area where a very reasonable entrance fee is collected and information and a map describing the site is provided. The area where the animals are kept is probably at least several acres in size and there are well maintained and marked paths that allow guests to cover everything easily at their own pace. And if your mobility is a bit challenged, golf carts are available to rent for no more than you’d pay for 9 holes at your local muni. Docents are also available on the grounds to answer questions and add additional information beyond what is on signs at each enclosure. Everything is well maintained and the animals all looked healthy and very well cared for to these inexpert eyes. Fenced but not really caged, they seem very much at home in the Ark’s setting. (A special moment that seemed directly out of nature was watching a huge Puma try to “sneak” up on some wild quail that were able to invade his lair by crawling under the fence. Final score: Quail 5 or so; Puma 0.)

The Ark seems to enjoy a broad range of community support, as it clearly deserves. A wonderful educational opportunity for children of all ages. I mean, who among us doesn’t enjoy seeing wild creatures in a beautiful natural setting when they are not being exploited but rather are being rehabilitated?

Good on the Animal Ark! Go visit. Check out the website. Bring a kid.

Date of experience: September 2018
4  Thank AVLocal2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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