Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo
So summer is winding down. I cannot believe school starts back up in one week. Wow, where has the time gone? I don’t know about your summer, but we had an action packed summer all the way up to last week. That’s when I could hear the brakes screeching and I could hear my son loud and clear saying ‘I’M BORED!!!’ Knowing that there were 2 weeks left of summer, I had to think of some type of day excursion that we could take that wasn’t going to cost me an arm and a leg, but would also be entertaining for my bored child. I know, he’s spoiled in some ways, but I also want him to have a fun summer and not be playing video games 24/7. A friend and I decided we’d take the kiddos to the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo in Thurmont, Maryland – the northern part of Frederick County.
If you’ve never been there, or you haven’t been there in a while, it’s a must-visit. It beats driving all the way down to DC to go to the National Zoo. Of course the National Zoo has a ton to offer too, but if you want to stay local, the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo is totally the way to go.
My son’s girlfriend, and I mean friend-who-is-a-girl, is shall I say, obsessed with all animals. She’s smart as a whip when it comes to types of species, what they eat, their habitats, etc. It’s so cute. So we were with the right little girl on this trip.
I love Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo’s mission statement:
“The Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo is supported by the Global Wildlife Trust whose mission is dedicated to broadening human understanding of the animal world.
This is achieved through immersion in naturalistic habitat recreations and educational programs using live animals and instructional tools both on-site at Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo and through presentations in the greater community.
We strive to provide the highest level of competent care for its resident wildlife ambassadors and to support the conservation of their wild counterparts in unspoiled habitats.
We are committed to this mission because we believe promoting harmonious coexistence of all species is our duty as stewards of the Earth.”
The Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo has signs and maps throughout so that you know exactly where you’re going and what, or I should say who, you’re going to see. You’ll visit animals from Madagasgar, Australia, Latin America, North America, Africa, EurAsia, and the Islands.
As you can see, my son’s little girlfriend was chomping at the bit to see everything! I’ll let you scroll down through my pictures to give you an idea of what you will find here.
The Ring tailed Lemurs were so cute!
The kids were enthralled.
Look closely at the above picture. There is a pink flamingo to the left.
I loved this guy!
These guys were pushing each other around to get to food.
There are signs throughout the zoo to tell you which animals cannot be fed and which ones can be fed. You can buy a cup full of animal food in the gift shop when you first come in and pay for your entry. There are also food machines throughout the zoo where you can buy smaller portions. The kids loved feeding the animals. The animals were very gentle taking the food.
This little guy is looking at me as if to say, ‘Hey sista, throw me some of that food you have!’
My son’s favorite spot in the entire zoo was the Japanese Garden and the Koi fish.
I snapped this one while I was ‘purring’ at this White Bengal Tiger, trying to get his attention. Gorgeous animal!
This Amur Leopard was constantly pacing back and forth. He looked hungry! He was just beautiful, but I was very happy we were on opposite sides of the fence.
My absolute favorite animal in the zoo was this Giraffe. I wish I knew his or her name. It was like love at first site. She met eyes with my son and his girlfriend and they ran to her as if she was their long lost love.
She was a gentle giant and very friendly.
There are several areas throughout the zoo where you can either bring in your own food and have a picnic or you can buy something to eat and drink there.
I loved the Barred Owls.
And the White Wolves.
These guys were obviously not impressed with me one bit. They were seriously lounging. Too cute!
They couldn’t contain their excitement.
Another one of my favorites – the Meerkats. It’s as if this Meerkat was posing for the picture that my friend was taking. So adorable.
What a wonderful place to take the kids to see some beautiful and rare animals from all over the world. Adults will enjoy it too. To me, interacting with animals can be very therapeutic.
At the end of your journey through all of the countries, check back at the gift shop for a souvenir. It’s a very nice gift shop with a large variety of zoo-related merchandise.
The Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo has opportunities for people to Adopt an Animal, Donate to the Zoo, Volunteer, Donate Items & Food (see their Wish List), or Become a Member. They also hold special events throughout the year. One of those events coming up is the Zoo La La – “an event that combines models parading the latest must-have clothes from local stores and boutiques along with encounters with some of the animals from the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo. Throw in some music, food and fun and it will be a night everyone will be talking about as support is raised for the non-profit preserve and zoo.” Thanks to our friend at Life in Frederick Md, Cassandra Bailey, for letting us know about this event.
Check the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo’s website for their hours and directions to their location. Also, look for deals before you go. I found a coupon for 1/2 off of one adult admission and one child admission if I texted ZOO3098 to 825725. That was a $14 savings. I’m not sure if that deal has expired yet, but it’s worth a shot. The zoo will text you any new deals going forward.
So if you go, tell them the Housewives of Frederick County sent you! And please stop and say hello to my new love, the Giraffe!
Have a happy and fun end to your summer!