If the lavender scented bubble baths the tigers at this wild animal preserve receive have you suspecting that this sanctuary is unlike any other, we are here to say you are correct! Housing exotic animals that they have rescued from situations both good and bad, this nonprofit St. Augustine wildlife reserve really takes their responsibilities seriously while still managing to impart a sense of love and fun. The previously mentioned lavender scented bubble bath, for example, doesn’t just help keep the tigers clean or deter bugs, it provides the animals with some fun “me time” that animals of all species can’t help but enjoy!
How Does the Reserve Get Their Animals?
The animals that make their home at this St. Augustine wildlife reserve have been rescued from situations that in most cases were less than stellar. Some have been taken from private owners that were harboring them illegally, some have been saved from abusive homes where they were neglected and starved, and a couple of wolves were taken in when their beloved owner was fatally injured in a car crash. There are even a few “celebrities” that have been rehomed to the reserve; five arctic wolves and a stunning African lion were donated to the facility by Michael Jackson when he decided he no longer wanted them living at his Santa Barbara Ranch.
Are There Opportunities to Visit the Animals?
The St. Augustine Wild Reserve, located about a half hour north of St. Augustine’s historical district, does not allow drop in visitors, but they do offer two hour tours that you must pre-book. An experienced staff member will give an intensive tour of the compound, allowing you and the others in your party an up close and personal look at animals you will most likely never come across again—outside of a zoo, that is.
The reserve’s animal residents consist of tigers of all colors (including a golden tabby tiger that is extremely rare), lynx, ligers, an American black bear, cougars, coatimundis, servals and wolves of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Pictures are not allowed, as the process can be disruptive to the residents, but you will have the opportunity to purchase a CD with almost 200 pictures of the animals doing what they do best—being animals. A visit to the reserve is truly a once in a lifetime experience.
The Ocean Gallery
Experience the wild side of St. Augustine with a visit to the St. Augustine Wild Reserve when you book your luxury Ocean Gallery vacation home for your unforgettable Florida vacation. There are so many sights to see and things to do in St. Augustine, you’ll have trouble fitting them all in! Why not see some of the activities below: