This authentic wildlife experience, about 25 miles southeast of Zanesville in rural southeastern Ohio, is where the rolling landscape of the Midwest becomes the severe winding mountains of Appalachia. Then suddenly the land opens up and transports visitors to a setting similar to the African plains with wildlife roaming freely. Enjoy this short article on African Safari Experience in Southeast Ohio.
Where To See Wild Animals in Southeast Ohio
Appropriately called “The Wilds,” this unusual partnership combines the resources of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Development, a number of Ohio zoological parks and the Central Ohio Coal Company. After strip mining had left nearly 10,000 acres unsuitable for most purposes, the partnership with significant financial support from the private sector, began restoring the land in the late 1980s.
Rather quickly a number of facilities were built to care for the wildlife. It enables to explain the concept to visitors seeking an up close experience with otherwise endangered and inaccessible animals. At the same time, biologists, conservation experts, veterinarians and similar dedicated professionals began assembling their immense talents and resources in this remote corner of Ohio to develop some of the most successful captive breeding and recovery programs in the world.
The first wildlife species introduces to the preserve are:-
- North American red wolves,
- African Hatmann’s mountain zebra,
- scimitar-horned oryx,
- Cuvier’s gazelle and
- Asian Przewalski’s horses.
Other species includes the greater one-horned rhinoceros, Bactrian camel, Sable antelope and more.
A brief on African Safari Experience in Southeast Ohio
A 90 minute sunset safari at The Wilds is as close as many residents of North America will ever get to an African safari. It is indeed a fairly authentic experience. In open wagons or large busses, visitors are taken through the pastures where zebras, rhinos and gazelle roam and interact as they would in their native lands. Sometimes the animals approach the busses so close that their smells, sounds and texture of their hides is within reach of visitors.
Touring The Wilds in Ohio
A number of tours throughout the day include
- hands-on activities for children,
- range tours and
- workshops for people of all ages.
Tent camping with limited amenities is one option for those who want to be closer to the wildlife. A lodge with restaurant, guest rooms and spacious patios overlooking the grazing lands and wildlife trails is another option.
In addition to wildlife tours, specific birding tours and other guided nature hikes introduce guests to a pleasure experience. The osprey breeding station is particularly exciting when babies are in the nest.
Educational Experiences at the Wilds
Each year, more than 1,500 students spend the night at the Wilds. Another 2000 or so participate in day camps. Distance learning programs bring programs from The Wilds to hundreds more classrooms around the region. There are also week-long summer programs for young people.
Scholarships are available for training programs directed at public school teachers.
Thanks for reading our insight on African Safari Experience in Southeast Ohio. Don’t forget to share and subscribe.