Educational Zoo and Animal Preserve

The Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo is more than a traditional zoo. The private, family-owned park offers a variety of animal adventures in this 50 acre area. There are a variety of up close exhibits that offer a look into the life of animals in their natural habitats. There are opportunities to interact with the animals in a safe, supervised environment, and kids can feed goats, donkeys, llamas, ducks, and sheep by hand. The zoo also offers animal shows that feature exotic birds, alligators, and snakes.

The newest feature at the Preserve and Zoo is the Global Wildlife Safari. This is a one hour ride through four different areas called paddocks. The 25 wooded acres offer a "birds-eye'' view into the lives of animals in a naturalized habitat. Those riding the safari tram must be at least 36'' tall, so little children will have to wait to enjoy the ride. The trip offers a variety of great photo opportunities, and you are sure to see wildlife like zebra, emu, ostrich, bison, and llama.

There are "Tell and Touch'' demonstrations at the conservation which allow children to interact with animals in an educational manner. The Jurassic Theatre is an exhibit that features animals with prehistoric origins like the python, the alligator, and the furry chinchilla. The zoo takes pride in its preservation efforts and breeds a variety of endangered species. The lemur, the Bengal tiger, and the cobra are few of its treasured residents.

Since the preserve and zoo seek to educate as much as it entertains, they host a variety of events which allow children to learn through fun. Their zoo birthday parties are a great time for all of the party guests. They include a private visit and photo opportunity with one of a variety of the zoo's animals. Basic packages start at $220, and offer families a memory they will treasure for many years to come. The zoo also hosts sleepovers. This is live interactive and educational entertainment, and includes a variety of games and activities. There is a guided twilight tour through the zoo, and a campfire wrap-up where kids can discuss everything they learned and what they saw during their tour. Sleepovers book up very quickly, so be sure to book well in advance if this is something your child has their heart set on.

The zoo offers membership opportunities and members are entitled to a discount admission, as well as discount on the variety of events the zoo offers. The zoo is known throughout the entire country as the host facility for the award winning cable television series "The Wildlife with Whitney Hahn.'' It is Hahn's family who owns the zoo, and she began her show with a desire to teach and share the animal information with those who were not close to the park, or who were unable to take a tour. Located in Thurmont, Maryland, the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo is an affordable opportunity to share the lives of animals with your family.

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