Zoo in DeSoto


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  • Dallas Zoo
    Dallas Zoo’s unlikeliest of friends, a cheetah named Winspear and a labrador named Amani, are the stars of the Cheetah Encounter show. The attraction features a 75-yard run equipped with radar guns and timekeeping displays that broadcast the animals’ speeds as they sprint, play, and dodge the smaller animals roaming around.
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    650 S R L Thornton Fwy
    Dallas, TX US
  • The Gentle Zoo
    At The Gentle Zoo, youngsters feed pigs, pat ducklings, and interact with the other fuzzy residents. Elsewhere on the zoo?s 10 acres, guests can leap about on the bounce house, blast corn from the corn cannon, navigate the maze, or enjoy a leisurely ride on the tractor train. Such attractions enthrall kids at onsite birthday parties, while the mobile petting zoo?s 12?15 staff-supervised animals offer nuzzles and create memories in children's minds. The creatures also hit the road for the animal-encounters program, which combines hands-on animal contact with educational 45-minute presentations. The Gentle Zoo donates its proceeds from the program to its Creature Connection, Inc. nonprofit, which rehabilitates rescue animals before they participate in outreach programs for foster children and at-risk youth.
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    12600 FM 2932
    Forney, TX US
  • Fort Worth Zoo
    Nearly 7,000 native and exotic species call this zoo home, including cheetahs, meerkats, and penguins. In addition to a petting zoo that let’s kids meet and mingle with goats, an armadillo, and a Texas longhorn, there are also family-friendly attractions such as a tornado simulator, a 25-foot climbing wall, and a country-themed carousel.
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    1989 Colonial Pkwy
    Fort Worth, TX US
  • Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge
    When the sun shines on the inky black coat of 8-Ball, an Asian leopard, you can see the intricate pattern of spots on his fur. What you may not notice are the scars on his neck, remnants of having been chained up in a pool hall by a former owner. When the owner could no longer keep him, 8-Ball was sent to a drive-thru safari park that was later shut down by the USDA. But all of that must seem like a faraway nightmare to 8-Ball, as he now enjoys the security, ample food, and medical care at Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge. He is among the more than 40 big cats that have been rescued and rehabilitated, trading lives of abuse, neglect, and misplacement for environs that executive director Brian Werner calls a "living resort." The facility is owned and operated by Tiger Missing Link, a nonprofit organization that Werner chartered in 1995. After diligent research, Werner began creating a big-cat sanctuary on a 25-acre property that Werner owned. He and his family lived in a small cabin with no running water, heat, or air conditioning, clearing the land themselves and going door to door to garner support for the project. It certainly wasn't easy, but through the hard work of volunteers and some big-time press?including features on Animal Planet's 2007 Tiger Week and Good Morning America?the shelter's reputation and facilities continue to grow. The refuge aims to raise visitors' awareness of the plight of large cats in the wild, and it plans to expand to add more natural habitats and observatories. Landscapers have even built a waterfall habitat where the tigers can exercise while trying not to puncture their plastic inner tubes. This feature may have been the favorite amenity for two of Michael Jackson's tigers that, according to a KLTV 7 story, have called the space home.
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    17552 FM 14
    Tyler, TX US
  • Green Meadows Farm
    Bob and Coni Keyes began the adventure that is Green Meadows Petting Farm in Wisconsin in 1964, when it was simply Green Meadows Farm. As a "pick-your-own" raspberry and vegetable farm, there was nothing there yet to pet, especially since raspberries notoriously withhold affection. When they discovered that most farms of their ilk prohibited youngsters, they brought in animal friends to make their farm a family affair. All it took was the raves of one nursery school group, and suddenly the new Green Meadows Petting Farm was bringing in up to 1,200 visitors a day. Through the decades, Green Meadows has expanded its array of animals and family entertainment, which includes horse-drawn hayrides, sleigh rides, mobile pony parties, and more pumpkins than in a headless horseman's closet. They've also expanded to locations to Maryland and Texas, allowing kids in two times zones the chance to get closer to nature's critters.
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    5610 Lake Ridge Pkwy
    Grand Prairie, TX US
  • Texas Discovery Gardens
    At noon every day, a new flock of butterflies is released into the butterfly house at Texas Discovery Gardens, opening their colorful wings for the first time among the lush vegetation. Counted among their number are elegant species such as the monarch and the blue morpho, while an outdoor nursery attracts native butterflies with nectar-rich plants and attractive butterfly buffets. This is just one of the ten themed areas on the 7.5-acre estate, which brims with vibrant collections of plants collected from around the world and is maintained using sustainable, organic methods. The newly renovated Tribute Garden invites visitors to relax in the shade next to a bubbling fountain, and the Master Gardeners' Garden demonstrates landscaping practices that are both attractive and environmentally friendly. The organization also offers education and outreach programs for children to teach them about life cycles and natural landscapes, as well as increase their understanding and appreciation for nature. Visitors can also attend festivals including the Butterflies and Bugs Family Festival on August 3, as well as special programing such as Sunrise Pilates and guided nature walks.
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    3601 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.
    Dallas, TX US

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