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“Excellent North American wildlife viewing experience”
Review of Shalom Wildlife

Shalom Wildlife
Ranked #1 of 24 things to do in West Bend
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Berwyn, IL
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Excellent North American wildlife viewing experience”
Reviewed July 9, 2014

I found this hidden gem a few years ago when I saw a brochure for it at the Cabela's several miles away. This is more a wildlife park than a zoo, since most of the animals are in very large yards which allow for the animals to be exhibited in herds so you will see much more natural behaviors than you would at a typical zoo exhibit. The park is in a very beautiful forested area, with a wide variety of deciduous trees, pines, evergreens, hills, meadows and streams. It would probably be a very cool and shady place to visit even on a hot summer day.

The majority of exhibits are North American animals, including elk, bison, wolves and several varieties of deer, both native and exotic, along with a few exotic hoofed animals. The place is about 100 acres, and you can rent a golf cart to get around, but I suggest you walk, slow down, and really take in the quiet and beauty of the natural settings. I have visited about four times, and each time I spent about three hours (so this place is also a very good value). Because the enclosures are large be patient and you are sure to see some interesting behaviors. For example, on my last visit the bison had just had a calf, and when I first got to their meadow the herd was way in the back, but within about five minutes they had moved much closer to the fence where I could view them much better.

The staff is very friendly and the owner gives school groups a narrated tour on a tractor-pulled tram, and you can tell this guy is a real showman who enjoys sharing his love of animals with the school kids.

My only criticism of the place is that the exhibits for smaller animals, such as the fox, mink, porcupine, etc., and VERY small (although clean) and do not seem to have much enrichment for them...a sharp contrast to the large and complex exhibits for the other animals. I would very much like to see bigger and more interesting cages for these animals.

Be sure to be on the lookout for Lovey, a whitetail deer who enjoys being petted and will stand by the fence of the whitetail deer yard when she sees people coming. I've petted her about 10-15 minutes (she seems to like having her ears scratched and her neck and chest rubbed), and that still wasn't enough for her. Found out I am terribly allergic to deer dander but I would rather have itchy eyes than pass up a chance to pet a deer.

In sum, this is a wonderful nature-oriented attraction for families, adults, or serious wildlife watchers.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank zoogoerBerwyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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100 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A must see if in the area !!!”
Reviewed June 21, 2014 via mobile

Awesome place to go with or without kids. Great people and animals are in a natural setting. Every visit will amaze you, and there is always something new.

Helpful?
1 Thank deer430 .
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Will Return!”
Reviewed June 21, 2014

We were looking for a place to see and take photos of animals on a warm June day, and this place was close enough to Milwaukee that we didn't need to drive 2 hours. It's a wildlife park and it also has a petting zoo at the end, so if you miss the wild animals, you can always check out the barn animals. The petting zoo includes a large pack of greedy yet adorable goats that will fight for pellets, two sweet pigs, a group of gentle donkeys, and a horse.
We were worried that we would be unable to see many of the wild animals because they would be hiding or sleeping, but several are in small enough cages that unless they are tucked away in their little box beds, etc, you will at least get a peek at them. This includes the mink who was sleeping, a raccoon tucked away in his tower napping, a bobcat on his perch also napping will fully visible, a porcupine napping atop his log, and a family of 4 foxes complete with 2 kits that were running around alternating napping with playing. There is also a skunk listed on the map, but we somehow missed him. The highlight of the smaller caged animals was the foxes just running in circles and yipping, and the beauty of the bobcat. He had been declawed by previous owners and could never be released into the wild, but amazing to see so up close. I hope he might get a partner someday to play with. It's sad that so many people think they can tame and handle a wild animal after they alter it to fit their lives, and then end up dumping them. There are also larger animals in large enclosures instead of cages, including 2 llamas, a bison that was too far away to really see, several types of deer- some of which came close enough to be pet through the fence including reindeer, moose that were too far away from the fence to see, and bears that we somehow missed. The highlight of the whole wildlife park was seeing the two wolves in their enclosure. They come right up to the fence to examine you and hold still for pictures, which was amazing because the wolves at the zoo always hide. it was incredible seeing that kind of animal less than a foot away and only separated by a few pieces of wire. They have trees, logs, and even water to run through and explore. I would come back just to see the wolves.
We made it through the entire park in 3 hours, but to spend enough time looking at every animal I would suggest at least 4 hours. The park closes at 5, leaving us with no time to loop back to catch what we missed or what had been hiding or sleeping. As an added note, there are little education stations or sheds with facts and information about some of the animals- deer, birds, insects, and each stations has a clue that leads to a chest with a small toy. A yoyo, a rubber bug, a superball...
Overall we were not at all disappointed in our visit, would definitely come again, and were enchanted by the wolves and foxes.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Marissa R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago
Level Contributor
53 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Bear Cubs!”
Reviewed June 3, 2014

Go now while the bear cubs are little....so fun to watch! The other animals are great too, the bison large and intimidating. Most of the animals have acres of land to roam freely. It's a lovely place to spend a morning...

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank travel5760
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Linda george ”
Reviewed May 19, 2014 via mobile

I can't get enough of this place I tell people about any chance I can it gives you the feeling if being out with nature but gives us city folk the feeling of still being safe and up close cone often and enjoy it's never the same twice

Helpful?
2 Thank Linda G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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