South Georgia zoos offer a walk on the wild side

McClatchy-Tribune News ServiceOctober 13, 2012 

Take your family on a wildlife safari in South Georgia. These four zoos offer educational components aplenty for the kids.

• The Oatland Island Wildlife Center of Savannah lets your children experience any of 40 hands-on activities, such as marsh ecology boat tours, star programs and guided tours – all with the goal of deepening their understanding of flora and fauna.

Info: 912-395-1212; oatlandisland.org

• At Pine Mountain’s Wild Animal Safari – Georgia’s drive-through animal park – go on safari from the comfort of your own vehicle, in a rented Zebra Van, or on a guided bus tour. See 650 animals from 65 different species. For a more traditional zoo experience, stroll along the walking path, where you’ll find the smaller and more friendly animals and can hand-feed sheep, alpaca, zedonk and others.

Info: 706-663-8744; animalsafari.com/Georgia/

•  Statesboro’s Center for Wildlife Education offers daily wildlife programs highlighting different species and topics. Check out a bald eagle’s nest, feel an owl’s feathers as it swoops by your head, or hold Monty the Burmese Python and learn why this scaly vertebrate isn’t so scary after all. Get up close and personal with raptors, reptiles, amphibians and mammals at the Wildlife Education Center and the Lamar Q Ball, Jr. Raptor Center. With more than five acres of diverse habitats and species, an amphitheater, and an indoor classroom, this is one zoo your family will never forget.

Info: 912-478-0831; http://nando.com/53

•  At Zoo Atlanta, Families can play Zoo’s Clues and navigate the zoo by helping an otter detective track down his latest hints and clues. Children can also go on scavenger hunts, create crafts or participate in one of the many Year-of-the-Dragon activities offered by Zoo Atlanta.

Info: 404- 624-WILD; zooatlanta.org/

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