Aloha Safari Zoo, Cameron
April 7, 2016
This morning we enjoyed a field trip to the Aloha Safari Zoo in Cameron with Mr. Three’s preschool. ASZ is a rescue zoo about 45 minutes from Pinehurst. Every time we visit something has been added or changed, it just keeps growing. It’s such a wonderful place, you must make a trip to check it out!
The zoo is the home to 400 animals including 90 Peacocks…NINETY PEACOCKS!!!
I LOVE PEACOCKS!
The story of how it started is awesome. Lee Crutchfield purchased the land when he was 19 from his high school principal. He started the zoo with his prize horse and his prize monkey. (Monkey he won because of his horse!) He was the first person we met this morning and was super friendly and knowledgeable. I enjoyed watching him interact with the monkeys most, you can tell he absolutely loves this unique world he has created.
Lee Crutchfield, owner, with the monkeys. They were so sweet with him!
He has built everything you see on the property; the ponds, the buildings, all of the habitats. His passion is contagious and exciting. He has family helping him in the daily operations and every staff member there is super friendly, knowledgeable and helpful!
Hours vary based upon the time of year, so check out their website before making plans to visit. Admission is currently $8/person for everyone over age 2. You’ll also want to take the safari tour so you can see all of the large animals and the price for that is $3/person for everyone over 12 months. If you’d like to feed the animals, they sell bags for $3. They do accept credit cards so no worries on making sure you have the right change!
The boys were mesmerized by all of the interesting animals! Especially the snakes!
MOM TIPS! Bring a picnic lunch, there are plenty of picnic tables for you to enjoy. During season they also have some refreshment stands set up for guests. A few important mom-housekeeping notes!! Do not bring your double stroller! Paths are narrow and even an umbrella stroller is a bit hard to navigate when crowds are low. I suggest baby wearing for the non walkers/slow walkers. Diaper changing areas were not available, I could have missed this but I am pretty sure you’re on your own there. We used the car for this necessity, no big deal. Porta-potties are scattered throughout the property and were clean/well maintained.
Stretch has quite the personality!
One of the highlights of the visit was feeding (or watching others feed because we were a bit too scared) the giraffe! What a beautiful animal! Bring $1 to purchase a cup of snacks for “Stretch”!
Stretch the Giraffe
When reading more on their website about their current offerings I learned that they offer animal talks. While we were there we got to hear a lot of information about the animals, but I imagine when they are busier and open to the public you’ll want to make sure you schedule some time to listen to some specific animal talks. Check out the schedule on their website.
Also, what I thought was really interesting and exciting is that they have their animals participate in painting as an enrichment to their lives. They then sell these paintings for donations of $15 plus shipping & handling. What a great way to support a beautiful cause and place with a unique piece of art! I love that!
All of the animals are unique. I just love the fact that this is a rescue zoo!
There is a full list of animals they currently house on their site as well. We loved meeting Bodie the Bear, seeing the Bengal Tiger, and learning about the Asian Water Buffalo! The thing I love the most about this zoo is the fact that the animals are all rescues. They were either previously injured abandoned, abused, neglected, or were cared for by previous owners and given to them. This is their forever home and it’s obvious how special that is when you visit.
So check it out! You will not regret it! Aloha Safari Zoo Website (CLICK HERE!)
We will be back soon! I could watch the monkeys all day!