The seasoned tour guides at the Conservators’ Center in Burlington, North Carolina have had their fair share of animal adventures. It is these that help them provide guests with once-in-a-lifetime experiences with exotic wildlife, with more than 30 lions, tigers, and leopards.
Tours bring customers unique experiences, such as eye-to-eye experiences with tigers, and an "oofing", the Center's description for the earth-shaking lion's roar when they call to one another. On every tour, guides will "oof" to the lions, who often respond. Visitors will also get to observe wolves romping through the woods, and the discovery of lesser-known species such as servals and binturongs.
Being true to their mission of wildlife education, conservation, and rescue, the nonprofit Conservators' Center houses animal residents who were in need of a new home. They all live comfortable lives in this haven for wild animals.
Some 233 lemurs have traveled from the island of Madagascar to call the Duke Lemur Center in Raleigh home. Here, at one of the world’s largest sanctuaries for rare and endangered prosimian primates, they find protection and able tennis partners in their caretakers. The Lemur Center looks to promote research and understanding of these interesting creatures—ancient relatives of monkeys, apes, and humans—while further sustaining global biodiversity.
Not ones to keep these creatures all to themselves, the scientists at the Duke Lemur Center offer an array of tours that let visitors get up close. The Walking with Lemurs experience removes all barriers between tourists and the animals, such as the ringtailed lemur, the red-bellied lemur, and the bamboo lemur. During Lemurs Live!, a knowledgeable guide introduces them to about 10 different species and explains what makes them some of the most interesting animals on the planet.
The clucks of more than 250 chickens harmonize with the braying of goats and the snorts of pigs, composing a pastoral symphony that resounds across 30 acres of lush, sustainable farmland. Lofty woods outline the acreage as the leaves of pumpkins, squash, and flowers dapple the pastures. Brier Creek Family Farm's resident staff patrols these scenic grounds, carefully tending to the ever-changing flocks of livestock that have included sheep, rabbits, cattle, and ducks.
The team bestows its passion for agriculture upon budding farmhands during camps, teaching pupils to intermingle with the animals, till an organic garden, and communicate through subtle pitchfork motions. The farmers further enlighten visitors at an onsite store brimming with eggs, seeds, crafts, and antiques.
The vision of a local North Carolina man, Zootastic Park sends animal lovers on an educational, interactive journey with an ever-expanding selection of exhibits, attractions, and activities. Owner Scottie Brown—who, along with his family, has been working with exotic animals for more than 30 years—transformed his dream into reality in 2009, when the zoo finally opened its gates after several years of construction and growing inside a kangaroo pouch. Today, the zoo's themed areas, such as Western Town and the Barnyard Petting Zoo, let visitors explore reptiles, farm animals, and exotic beasts including antelope, birds, and tigers who go by the names Sasha and Jasmine. Zootastic Park also hosts or furnishes animals for special events and can provide an exotic feel for events including birthdays, weddings, and corporate gatherings. When winter rolls around, the zoo morphs into a wonderland of lights, complete with an appearance from a Santa Claus who is clearly just a zebra wearing the sheep's cast-off wool.