Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary in Locust Grove, GA takes in abused and orphaned animals, many that had been kept as exotic pets, and gives them a safe new home, and you can visit these animals for free.
About Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary
Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary is non-profit animal sanctuary that provides a home for injured, abused, and orphaned animals and attempts to rehabilitate those that may be reintroduced into the wild.
Noah’s Ark is a 250-acre park with paved pathways, a picnic area, a playground, a welcome center, and of course all its 1,500 animals.
Noah’s Ark Animals
Many of the animals at Noah’s Ark are exotic animals that have been kept as exotic pets. These animals have been rescued and sent here to be rehabilitated. Signs on the enclosures will tell you the animals’ names and how they came to be at Noah’s Ark.
At Noah’s Ark, you’re separated from the animals by two layers of chain link fence, which is annoying for photographing but is best for the safety of you and the animals. The animals are also kept in long, sprawling habitats laid out side-by-side to each other, so if you don’t see some of them, they may be on the other side. The good news here is that you can see the habitats up close from from both far ends, so it’s a bit of a walk, but you just have to walk around to the opposite end of the habitat and you may get a better view.
Here’s what kind of animals you can expect to see at Noah’s Ark:
- Exotic Cats
- Small Mammals
If you’ve been to my blog before, you know what I care about the most: bears!
Noah’s Ark’s website says that they have 7 bears, but we only saw 6. The habitat where the map said the Syrian Brown Bear was supposed to be was empty and there was no sign on the enclosure. Other than that, they have 5 American Black Bears (Angus, Little Anne, Tuffy, Hershey, and Baloo) and 1 Grizzly Bear (Anna Lou). Most of these bears were found being kept in terrible conditions as pets around the US, and now at the sanctuary they’re beginning to exhibit normal bear behaviors again.
The big cats are also really interesting to see. They have 7 Bengal Tigers, 1 White Bengal Tiger, 1 Lion, 1 Cougar, and 1 Bob Cat. The cats were rescued mostly from breeders who wanted the cubs for cub petting venues and docile adults for photo opportunities. The white tiger has special needs because the only way to get a white tiger is by inbreeding, and it takes a lot of effort to keep her healthy.
The sanctuary’s claim to fame has been what they call the BLT: a bear, a lion, and a tiger discovered together at just a few months old in the basement of an Atlanta home during a drug raid. Baloo the black bear, Leo the lion, and Shere Khan the tiger were special because they lived together in the same habitat. Even though they were very different animals, they clung to each other after their trauma (Baloo had to have a harness surgically removed; Leo had an infected wound on his nose; and Shere Khan was malnourished) and refused to be separated, always staying within 100 feet of each other. Noah’s Ark was the only place to see a lion, a tiger, and a bear (oh my) interacting with each other.
Sadly, Leo passed away in August 2016, and Shere Khan passed away in December 2018. Both Leo and Shere Khan are buried next to the trio’s clubhouse, pictured above (you can kind of see Baloo’s snout by the stairs in the picture; he was hiding from the hot sun).
So Kevin surprised me with a trip down to Noah’s Ark for our anniversary, and he also sneakily snuck out one of my teddy bears to bring along, so here’s Slumbers enjoying his time with a bunch of sleepy bears.
Visiting Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary
Parking for Noah’s Ark is back by the welcome center, but the entrance to the animal habitat is all the way down by where you turned in. There is plenty of overflow parking for when the sanctuary gets crowded. The park asks that you sign in at the welcome center, but they also have a place to sign in by the entrance as well.
There is no charge for parking or admission at Noah’s Ark. Donations are accepted. The Welcome Center, picnic area, and playground are open Tuesday — Saturday from 9 a.m. — 4 p.m, but the animal habitat is only open Tuesday — Saturday from 12 p.m. — 3 p.m., so make sure you plan to get there with plenty of time to see the animals.
Have you visited Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary? Let me know in the comments!