7 Places to make new animal friends
By Shari & Elisa Monday, July 21, 2014
For all the animal lovers out there, summer is the perfect time for a visit to one of the many farms & zoos in our province. You (and your kids) can get close enough to touch many of the animals. The farms and zoos across Ontario provide a wonderful opportunity to learn about local & exotic animals and, of course, to make some furry new friends.
Brantford Twin Valley Zoo & Killman Zoo (Southwestern Ont)
The Brantford Twin Valley Zoo is a great outdoor educational experience for the whole family. Visitors engage with a variety of exotic & domestic animals right up close. The Killman Zoo started out as a wildlife sanctuary in the 1970’s and now has one of the largest Big Cat collections in Ontario as well as a variety of domestic & exotic animals. Both zoos have a petting area allowing kids (& adults) to develop an appreciation for the creatures living with us.
Oshawa Zoo and Fun Farm & Riverdale Farm (GTA area)
The Oshawa Zoo is dedicated to creating a safe, friendly & educational zoo environment since they opened in 1993. They also save orphaned animals and are proud to see their rescued animals roaming around the zoo. The Riverdale Farm is a (not so hidden) Toronto gem located in the midst of urban Cabbagetown. This is a great place, in the heart of the city, to learn how a farm works & to interact with some domestic animals.
Valleyview Farm has loads of activities for the whole family. There are puppet shows, train rides, an Old Farm Museum & a creative play area to keep kids engaged. You’ll meet the larger farm animals on the Country Walk – home to llamas, donkeys, horses, sheep & a duck pond. You’ll see the new babies of the farm and the little animals like rabbits & ducklings at the Little Animal Barn.
Primrose Donkey Sanctuary & Salem Alpacas Farm (Central Ont)
The Primrose Donkey Sanctuary is dedicated to rescuing, protecting & rehabilitating donkeys and (when needed) other large farm animals. They welcome guests with open arms (& hoofs!) & educate visitors about these amazing animals. Salem Alpacas Farm is home to over 30 alpacas whose fleece is used to produce beautiful duvets & other products. You can visit the farm, meet the animals & learn all about them as well as purchase some of the soft, hand-made products.
Now that summer is finally here, an excursion to the countryside is definitely in order. A visit to a zoo or farm is always a great way to explore nature & learn about wildlife. You never know what amazing things you’ll find!
– Michelle Brandes, SFG newsletter editor, [email protected]