Noah’s Ark Animal Rehabilitation Center Review - Locust Grove near Atlanta, GA
Noah’s Ark is an animal rehabilitation center and wildlife refuge south of Atlanta (down I-75) near the Tanger Outlet Mall. It’s about an hour and fifteen minutes from Atlanta’s north suburbs.
I love this place so much more than Zoo Atlanta. It’s open and shady, and you can get right up close to the cages to see the animals. It’s not often crowded, and the kids can run and run and not get lost or run over. Compared to Noah’s Ark, Zoo Atlanta is too big, too crowded, too expensive, requires too much walking, the parking is too far away, and it’s too big to absorb in one day. You can run yourself and your family into the ground trying to see everything at the zoo and still need to save energy to walk uphill back to your car.
• Open noon to 3 p.m, weather permitting.
• Call ahead or check their website for weather conditions.
• Noah’s Ark is closed Sundays and Mondays.
• No admission fee, but donations are urgently needed
• Bring your own picnic
• Great for field trips, birthday parties, and scouting projects
• Parking is free
Noah’s Ark is a 250-acre home to all sorts of abandoned, lost, injured, and otherwise down on their luck animals from alligators and horses to emus and monkeys, and many others in between. I’m not sure what’s in between a horse and an emu, but Noah’s Ark probably has one of those, too.
Noah’s Ark opened in 1990 by a woman with an incredibly big heart, and it’s become an animal rehabilitation center with natural habitats and nature trails, a long-term care home for children, and a training center.
When you first arrive, head to the administrative building near the parking lot and do try to make a donation if you are able. They don’t require admission fees but operate solely on the generosity of donations and volunteers to meet their needs of caring for their children and animals. The administrative building has a vending machine, which is all that they offer in terms of refreshments. Fast food chains are not far away, maybe 5 minutes, if you need to get lunch on your way. The administrative building also houses some turtles and GIANT snakes behind glass that are captivating and hard to leave behind just to explore the rest of the park.
Also nearby are a field of horses, a brand new playground, and a large alligator pond with a fun rickety suspension bridge going over the pond. My kids could have played all day right here, but eventually we crossed to the other side of the park to see the habitats.
Peacocks wander freely around the whole park and you’ll hear them calling each other from the ground or high up in the trees. It is really magnificent to see a large peacock way up in a tree! Shade and benches abound, and you’ll feel relaxed making your way through the habitats on the wide trails. The kids will probably run circles around you, back and forth, just because they can do that here.
Well, what kinds of animals can you see? Ostriches, emus, horses, boar, buffalo, tropical birds, bears, leopards, tigers, lions, wolves, monkeys, llama, snakes, alligators, and snapping turtles. There are over 1,000 animals and they go through 800 pounds of dry dog food every day!! If you have any random fruit, canned cat food, dry dog food, or sweets for the bears that you can part with, it would be a blessing for the animals for you to bring what you can spare.
The most interesting habitat has to be Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My! An adult black bear, male lion, and tiger live together in one large, grassy space. The story is (this is all hearsay, but strange enough to be true) that a local drug dealer bought a bear, lion, and tiger when they were all babies to keep in his yard to protect his drugs. When he was eventually busted, the animals were placed at Noah’s Ark and continue to live together.
As I watched the bear in a corner near where I was standing, the tiger was making its way around the perimeter of the habitat in the direction of the bear. The tiger got closer to the bear, and closer still. My eyes turned to saucers and I felt complete bewilderment as to what would happen when the tiger reached the bear. The bear didn’t seem concerned, though, and when the tiger finally reached the bear, he walked straight up to the bear and rubbed his face on the bear just like a sweet kitty cat would! The tiger loved on the bear momentarily, then continued his patrol. Unbelievable! And, without a doubt, a moment I will never forget. You, too, are bound to have highly memorable moments from a trip to Noah’s Ark.
712 LG Griffin Road
Locust Grove, GA 30248
Noah’s Ark Animal Rehabilitation Center Review is written by Lolita M