A Visit to the Wilds Conservation Center, Ohio


The Wilds, Cumberland, OH with Tori and Ivy

The Wilds, Cumberland, OH with Tori and Ivy


Last week, I was asked to go to The Wilds with my son’s girlfriend and her best friend. Anytime these two are together, there is fun to be had! The day was beautiful with sunshine and modest temperatures. What better day could we ask for than this? We loaded up the car and made the drive to Cumberland, Ohio. As we parked the car, a shuttle bus came by and picked us up to take us to the main building where we could purchase tickets to an Open-Air Safari, an overnight adventure, a Wildside Tour, and even zipline adventures! (By the way, there are several other types of safari’s and tours…I encourage you to check out their website at the bottom of my blog!) We purchased our open-air safari tickets, browsed the gift shop, and rested in the lounge area while watching employees perform rescue Zipline training, (honestly, I love that they are constantly reinforcing their training, makes us all feel safer, right?) and then made our way to the bus stop to await our open-air bus.

After climbing into our open-air bus, we were told the history of The Wilds and that The Wilds is a private, non-profit conservation center that focuses on rare and endangered species by providing cutting-edge conservation science and education in hopes of connecting people and wildlife. While touring their conservation, you will even walk right past the surgical and medical care rooms that provide full service for their animals.

As we begin our journey into the nearly 10,000 acre conservation, we drive to the first gate. Now, I’m going to pause here and say that our driver/tour guide had a fantastic sense of humor when she said, “Welcome to Jurassic Park!” We all laughed because it really did look like one of the gates from the movie. She quickly explained that the gate was not just to keep their wildlife in, it was also to keep the native wildlife out. If you think about that, it makes perfect sense! It’s hard to protect endangered and rare species from native wildlife without a gate! After going through the gate, we saw a herd of Banteng, native to Southeast Asia and Indonesia. They were absolutely beautiful! We made our way through a few more gates (each to keep certain wildlife in/native wildlife out) and saw many other types of wildlife, then found our way to our first stop where we could walk inside of a room that was filled with birds and, if we would like, feed them.

After hanging out with these friendly birds, it was time to move on to see other wildlife. Oh, were we in for a treat! We visited with Cheetahs, Dholes, and African Painted Dogs. What a fun time it was! This is also where we saw the animal care facility that housed the surgical room and medical needs.

Continuing on to visit other wildlife, we were greeted by a grouping of camels. We were told that the female camels would be resting while the male camels would guard them. (Which is also why the male camels had foamy mouths – to protect their females) As you can see from the picture showing on my website, this camel was doing his job well! I was fortunate enough to catch this camel blowing a bubble with his foam. My absolute favorite animal!

And just when I thought that this was as close as visitors could get to the animals, I looked right beside me out the window of our open-air safari bus and saw a Persian Onager, very curious about us. Another beautiful animal.

What’s a visit to The Wilds without seeing Rhinos, Zebras and Giraffes? I can’t tell you how beautiful these animals are in the wild. (Or, should I say “The Wilds”?) There were so many picture opportunities that I ended up taking over 100 photos during our safari.

We had so much fun at The Wilds that I am already planning my next trip, which I hope will include a Sunset Safari and an overnight stay at Nomad Ridge in one of their luxurious Yurts! I could not imagine how beautiful it would be to wake up to see these glorious animals on a sunrise in their natural habitat. Maybe someday I will be brave enough to try the Zipline!

If you ever have the chance to stop at The Wilds, I am certain that you will love the experience as much as I did, and want to come back and experience this wonderful conservation over and over again. If you do love it as much as I do, I would highly recommend buying a Wilds membership that would be appropriate for your family. The membership includes FREE Open-Air Safari for whatever level of membership that you have purchased. I cannot tell you how impressive that is to me! Of course, if you buy a membership, you also receive discounts to safaris, tours, (this includes Zipline tours) and lodging, all while enjoying free parking!

If you’re asking yourself, “What else can we do?” Please know that what I mentioned today is just a small piece of the amazing experience that you will have at The Wilds. You can even get more involved with other memberships that help to provide the cutting-edge care that is always needed. You can Adopt an Animal which helps with nutrition costs and gives you an opportunity to bond with your adopted animal. Why not consider making a gift donation to The Wilds Fund to ensure that this conservation can continue to provide for these rare and endangered species as well as their protected environment? As mentioned above, The Wilds is a Non-Profit Conservation Center. Funds are always needed and much appreciated!

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Written by rvandtravellife
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