When it comes to zoos, North Georgia Zoo has proven to be far from ordinary.
Located in Cleveland, Georgia, less than 15 minutes from Helen Alpine Georgia, NGA Zoo strives to be much more than an attraction for animal spectators. For five years now, this hidden treasure has worked to be a sanctuary for a variety of livestock and exotic animals to live out their lives with love and dignity. For their human visitors, NGA Zoo has become a place of education by offering an up close and personal experience with the animals and zoo keepers. Whether you visit NGA Zoo in the winter or summer, you’ll find each season brings its own unique experiences for the entire family. During summer months, guests can shoot water at the buffalo using water guns. This activity is a blast for kids of all ages, but it’s safe to assume the buffalo enjoy it more. This fall, be sure to bring the entire family to enjoy the scarecrow trail and pumpkin patch. Any time during the year, bring the little ones by for a pony ride. No matter what time of year you plan your visit, the zoo keepers and animals of NGA Zoo are sure to give you and your entire family a warm welcome. Melissa Burns, the zoo’s head Curator explains, “We are a family friendly zoo with a huge amount of options, so everyone will find something to do here.” Burns began her work at NGA Zoo about five years ago. Originally an intern from Colorado, she fell in love with the animals, the keepers and the zoo’s mission, so she decided to stay.
NGA Zoo is well known for its exceptional one of a kind wolf encounters and otter encounters. Visitors fly and drive across the country just for the opportunity to interact with these special animals. While also known for its large petting zoo, there are lots of other animals for visitors to interact with. “We have a huge petting zoo that is visible from the road, and I would like people to realize that we are much more than that. Our petting zoo is a great place to hang out and see some unique livestock, but we have tons of other animals for guests to see,” Burns explains.
With over 400 animals such as livestock, reptiles, birds and exotics, NGA Zoo acts as a strong advocate for animal conservation and protection as well as public education. Burns continues, “Our goal has and always will be to bring people and animals together. If people want to get an up close experience with animals then this is the place to come.” In fact, NGA Zoo offers a wide variety of opportunities to get up close interactions with their animals, including all the new, adorable babies.
NGA Zoo cares for many different species of baby animals, and the public is welcome to visit, hold and bottle feed these little creatures. Opportunities include Baby Lemur Encounters, Wolf Pup Encounters and Baby Kangaroo Encounters. “Those are our most popular babies but not the only ones guests will get to see,” explains Burns. “We just had two adorable baby donkeys born which guests can visit, and we have baby ponies that can be seen on our Camel Encounters. Throughout the day, we do creature features where you may get to meet one of our adorable Fallow baby deer babies, Cavy babies, Capybara baby, or some other special animals.”
New for 2014 are the interactive lemur encounters where you can hang out with our adorable lemurs. Also new this year is the parakeet landing where visitors can interact and feed the parakeets! By offering so many hands on experiences, NGA Zoo is holding true to its mission of conservation and public education. “We work hard to continue fun and learning so that our guests can not only hug and cuddle with a kangaroo but learn about what is special about them,” explains Burns. In fact, the zoo is home to over a dozen kangaroos representing five different species. Having opened its doors to the public about five years ago, NGA Zoo has used its wide variety of animals to educate and entertain the public. Burns continues, “It allows our guests to get to know our animals more, and they learn a lot during their visit.”
While NGA Zoo has many familiar animals such as kangaroos and zebras, their wide variety of other, less known creatures is another thing that sets them apart. Burns explains, “We are the largest breeders of miniature animals in Georgia.” So the next time you’re driving by this hidden treasure, stop in and ask to visit, cuddle and bottle feed some baby kangaroos or play with some wolf puppies. While having so much fun, you’ll definitely pick up an education and appreciation for a wide variety of animals. Be sure to pay NGA Zoo a visit soon!
Summer Hours: Saturday & Sunday 10am – 6pm Monday & Friday 10am – 4pm
North Georgia Zoo & Petting Farm Home of Wildlife Wonders & Paradise Valley Farm
2912 Paradise Valley Road Cleveland GA 30528 706. 348. 7279 email@example.com
For more information about pricing, schedules, group tours or specialized and unique opportunities such as Behind the Scenes Tours, Shadow a Zoo Keeper for a Day, Birthday Parties and much more visit: www.northgeorgiazoo.com www.myfavoritezoo.com