For more than forty years, this Noah’s Ark has been rescuing neglected, abused, and orphaned animals while providing education to the community of the value of all living things. With the goal of releasing animals back into the wild, this center offers these domestic, farm, exotic, and retired medical research animals a permanent home if this is not possible. Each large habitat area is set up to try to mimic their home as much as possible.
With more than 100 animal species to view in this 250 acre setting, this free rescue center very much feels like a real zoo. While you can get up closer to the domesticated animals pen with pigs and goats, the big cats and bears will be further away. The primates are in a section together having been retired from medical science. The most impressive to us is always the giant cages of abandoned parrots and exotic birds. This zoo leads to great conversations with your family about why these animals were abandoned and how seeing them should guide our conversations about adopting pets. It’s a very eye-opening and unique experience.
45 minutes southeast of Atlanta in Locust Grove, Georgia
Address: 712 L G Griffin Rd.; Locust Grove, GA 30248
Very limited hours – open only Tuesday to Saturday from 12PM to 3 PM
⏳How much time do I need?
Two hours should be enough.
Free, donations accepted at a box before the entrance to the animals. They need the donations to help feed and take care of these big animals and continue their mission.
There is a free, large parking lot right the zoo area, nature center, and playground. Prepare yourself to be followed around by the peacocks.
There is a large grouping of picnic table areas outside the entrance. They are first come, first serve which could potential pose a problem if there’s a big school group, but we’ve never had a problem.
The only restroom I know of is on the side of the parking lot where you can see the playground. Go inside the building.
While there are some big trees in area, most of the walking will be semi-shade to sun. There isn’t enough to cool off a hot day completely but wouldn’t be completely miserable.
- Schedule a school or group field-trip to Noah’s Ark.
- If you have a special birthday coming up, consider scheduling a private behind-the-scenes tour of the grounds or a big cat feeding.
- This is a non-profit animal rescue which is run completely by donation. Per their website, it costs $33,000 per month to keep it running. Check out their webpage for the supply wish list, links to donations, and volunteer information.
- Stop by the gift shop at the information center to purchase a souvenir and support their rescue operations.
- Ask the questions! When we’ve been there and staff has been doing an animal feeding, they’ve always been more than willing to answer any questions we have. We love meeting the staff and learning a bit more!
- As you will be doing quite a bit of walking, you might want to wear some good shoes.
- The paths are paved and very accessible for wheelchairs or strollers.
- Save time for the playground area near nature center and cross over the bridge to look for the alligators.
- As this is a non-profit, some of the signage is outdated and incomplete. I would love to have more information on all the animals, but it just isn’t present.
- There is minimal staffing in the zoo area; prepare to self-guide and roam around.
- Bring your water with you into the zoo, but don’t plan to fill it up once inside.
Their animals are listed online if you want to turn your trip into a scavenger hunt or do some preparation reading at home. Some of the animals include tigers, bears, lions, exotic birds, wolves, goats, snakes, lemurs, macaques, porcupine, capuchin monkeys, peacocks, foxes, wolves, and more.