Bear Hollow Zoo in Athens, Georgia is a free and fun little zoo that takes in orphaned or injured animals from Georgia’s native wildlife and gives them a new home.
Bear Hollow Zoo
How can I resist a zoo that is named specifically after bears? That’s right, I can’t. So now every time we go to Athens (which has been only two times so far), we go to Bear Hollow.
Bear Hollow Zoo is located in Athens’ Memorial Park and is free to visit. The zoo is home to native Georgia animals who cannot be released into the wild, usually because they had been orphaned, injured, or become too used to people. The zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, and the Reptile House is open on Saturdays (and some Sundays) from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Bear Hollow Animals
Bear Hollow has three black bear residents, though I have only seen one bear. DJ has been at the zoo since 2003, and cubs Athena and Yonah were placed at the zoo in 2010. The first time we visited the zoo last winter, the bear habitat was being remodeled and they were fixing the viewing deck. On our second visit, it was cold and the bears would rather have been sleeping and we only saw one bear when he was sent out by the zookeeper who probably needed to clean his indoor habitat. I don’t know where the other bears were, but I guess I’ll just have to go back again!
Right next to the black bears is Honovi, a bald eagle with a wing injury. Since he can’t fly, he has an uncovered habitat, unlike the other birds. The resident owls all have great names – Hooch is a barred owl with an eye injury, and Eeyore and Winnie the Whoo are great horned owls with bone and muscle injuries. There is also a red-tailed hawk named Ohoopee and some turkeys.
The zoo’s reptile and amphibian residents include snakes, alligators, frogs, tortoises, and a soft-shell turtle hybrid (which is a non-naturally occurring hybrid between a Florida soft-shell turtle and a local turtle).
Other animals who have made their home at Bear Hollow include a bobcat named Katie, two opossums who aren’t people-shy at all, two river otters, and two white-tailed deer.
It’s a lot of animals for such a little zoo! But if you miss some, you can just as easily come back and try again, which I will definitely have to to to make sure I see all three bears!
What’s your favorite animal at Bear Hollow? Let me know in the comments!