McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary
Featuring more than 200 exotic and native animals, McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary in West Palm Beach, Florida is an ideal attraction for animal lovers. Unlike most zoos and safari parks, the Sanctuary is unusual as it gives visitors the opportunity to have up-close and personal experiences with many of the animals. Featuring White Tigers, Black Leopards, Scarlet Macaws, Green Mambas and everything in between, this is a not-to-be-missed experience if you live or are traveling to West Palm Beach.
The sanctuary was started in 1990 to give children the opportunity to learn to respect the animals and the land around them through educational tours and interactive seminars. The animal residents are a mix of retired animal actors, native rehabilitation animals that have been injured in the wild and exotic animals that were confiscated due to neglect, abuse or illegal possession. Overall, the sanctuary has taken in over 4,000 injured animals for rehabilitation and release back to the wild and adopted hundreds of exotic animals, many of which are now permanent residents.
If you have a large group, the Wildlife Outreach Program is a phenomenal experience. Visitors are educated on a selection of animals and members of the audience are allowed to come up and hold each of the nine animals including a Siberian Lynx, Scarlet Macaw, Barred Owl, a two-foot-long American Alligator, Rose-Hair Tarantula, Gila Monster, Kinkajou, Ringtailed Lemur and an 8′ Albino Burmese Python. This is an adventure your kids will never forget!
They also offer great tours with a popular assortment of large cats, exotic birds, creepy crawlies, slithering snakes and many other animals. The groups are small which gives guests the opportunity to learn about each animals diet, socialization and rehabilitation from the very knowledgeable tour guides. It is amazing how close you are able to get to the animal enclosures during the tour and how clean and well-maintained the entire facility is.
McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary is by reservation only so make sure to call first. Tours start hourly between 11am-1pm, Tuesday through Saturday. The Outreach Program is very popular for groups, so you will need to book at least a month in advance. The phone number to book either is 561.790.2116. To learn more about this amazing sanctuary, visit their website, mccarthyswildlife.com.