Animal sanctuaries and nature centers offer the public an intimate glimpse into the world of animals. These facilities offer a vast array of educational and entertaining activities for every age level. Some of the most popular attractions are up-close animal encounters which, naturally, have their own set of rules. Read on for three things that you and your family will need to know before you experience an animal encounter.
An Experience to Be Remembered
Remember to check beforehand to ensure that all age groups of your family will be allowed into the facility. While more immersive encounters will require adult ages only, there will be many ways for younger children to enjoy their stay as well. Looking at animals from afar and observing how they eat, sleep, play and move around will be a wonderful memory for them. If your visit will be primarily outdoors, be sure to prepare everyone by applying plenty of sunscreen and taking along enough water to stay properly hydrated. As always, taking plenty of pictures of your family outing is a must, but be aware that there are certain areas of your visit that may prohibit flash photography.
A Chance to Learn More
Nature centers and sanctuaries offer a clean, peaceful, and spacious area for the animals to live in. Unlike a cramped zoo, animals in these types of facilities are given a bit more freedom when it comes to being able to reside in an area closer to their native habitat. Use this opportunity to learn as much as possible about the types of animals you see. You will have a guide to educate you on some of the more basic ways that these animals survive day-to-day and will gladly answer any questions you have. For younger children, try to encourage them to take note of the different colors, patterns, and appearance of each animal, and give a brief explanation of what type of animal they are.
Up-Close and Personal
For those lucky enough to be able to participate in an up-close animal encounter, following the rules will be a must. Always stay in the area that your guide designates for you, allowing for extra space between yourself and the animal. Cheetahs, for instance, can be a remarkable animal to view up close. While this wild cat can be controlled by trained staff, spectators will still not be allowed too close to the animal or engage in touch of any kind. Be sure to listen to any instructions carefully during your encounter and take in as much of the experience as you can. This can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that simply can't be missed!