The St. Augustine Wild Reserve in Florida gives visitors a fantastic opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the most exotic animals in the world!
Alot of animal lovers are against zoos, so visiting a place like St Augustine wild reserve is a great alternative and your donations can really make a difference.
1. The Wild Animals
St Augustine Wild Reserve contains over 50 large mammals such as lions, tigers, wolves and even Ligers (Half Lion, Half tiger!)
They also contain 30 smaller animal species , from white tailed deer to exotic squirrels and Coatis-mundis.
There are a variety of Tigers at St Augustine wild reserve, from Tiger sisters (Angel & Shekhina) which have been here since birth to Toruk the majestic white tiger!
The Tiger Bubble Baths are the best time to see these great beasts!
The king of the Jungle, a proud majestic beast, Hakuna Matata!
According to the Guinness Book of World Records: The largest feline in the world is a liger named Hercules, who weighs 922 pounds and measures 11 feet in length and 4 feet at the shoulder. He lives at Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina.
The wild Reserve has a variety of mountain lions, other names of these include Pumas, Cougar & Panthers!
They are the large cat breed which can pur. A popular mountain lion at the reserve is named “sage”.
Keep an eye out for “Drifter” Mountain lion at the reserve.
Surprisingly Leopards are the Strongest pound for pound big cat. They can climb trees, even while carrying heavy prey and often choose to relax on tree branches during the daytime.
The leopard is also a really fast cat with a max running speed of 58 km/h! Still not as fast as their cousin breed the cheetah which can run at a speed of 109.4 km/h (68.0 mph)
Tip: Keep an eye out for Nemesis a popular leopard at the reserve.
Nemesis is the name of the leopard
The coati is a relative of the North american raccoon and is characterised by it’s long bushy tail and reddish brown fur!
They are often seen searching for fruits at the forest canopies.
Bobcats are the most common wildcat found in North America, and true to their name they look exactly like slightly overgrown cats!
Although they can be much deadlier! There diet consists of rabbits, rats, squirrels and even birds and deer. Kita is a popular bobcat at the reserve.
The bobcat hunts by stealth, they can run a top speed of 30mph and there jump and cover 10 feet!
Oriental Tree Squirrels:
These squirrels are often referred to as the “beautiful squirrels“. There orange bellies and thick black bushy tails give them a distinctive look.
They are commonly found in Southeast Asia and even places like North east india and Nepal.
The Patagonian mara is a cute rodent which looks like a cross between a rabbit/hare and baby deer! They are herbivores and are found in the open habitats of Argentina such as Patagonia.
Rico is a real character Patagonian Cavy at the reserve.
Wolves were roaming the United Stated before the European Settlers arrived. However, they are now found in only 7 of the lower 48 states! Athena is a large wolf at the Reserve.
- Wolves can roam large and long distances, up to 12 miles (20 kilometers) in just one day!
- Wolves prefer to eat large animals like moose, deer and elk.
- Wolves have a big appetite and can consume 20 pounds or 9 kilograms of meat in a single sitting.
2. The Founder
The founder of the St. Augustine Wild Reserve is Deborah Warrick, she began rescuing wolves in 1981 and then wen’t on to create St Augustine Wild Reserve in 1995 with it’s prime purpose being a care centre for exotic breeds of animals.
With a founder like Deborah, you can be sure that a place like St Augustine is ethical, well run and comes from the heart.
She has a Bachelors degree in Biology and a Masters Degree in Veterinary Forensic Science.
She was a previous graduate of the Los Angeles Zoo Keeper course and qualified in the Chemical Immobilization of Animals.
As a visitor to St Augustine Wild Reserve you know you are in good hands!
3. Tiger Bubble Baths!
On a tour around, St Augustine you will get to see the tigers of the reserve soaking in a Lavender scented bubble bath!
Now although this may be cute to see, it’s not just to relax these furry beasts. In fact, the bubble bath cleans & nourishes there coats and also deters insect pests!
4. Community Work
St Augustine Wild Reserve is a non profit animal reserve, there main aim to provide conservation and education on wildlife.
The founder runs a variety of educational programs promoted wildlife welfare and conservation!
FLORIDA SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF & BLIND:
The Wild Reserve visited the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind and invited students to get up close and personal with the reserves tiger cubs!
One the volunteers from the reserve did an amazing presentation on endangered species throughout the world.
TIGER CUBS VISIT ST. JOHNS TECHNICAL SCHOOL:
The St. Augustine Wild Reserve was invited to the St. Johns Technical College for their Endangered Species Event. The Alligator Farm was also there with an alligator and other exotic animals.
The Reserve brought two tiger cubs, Seze and Toruk to interact with the students and be fed milk from baby bottles!
The students stepped up as-well by delivering fantastic presentations on endangered species such as snow leopards.
The reserve is regularly looking for volunteers to get involved with the running of the Sanctuary. The Volunteers really get their hands dirty by doing everything from cage cleaning to meal preparation and even leading the tours around the facility!
So it’s great for those that either want to get their hands dirty and get stuck in with day to day running or just those that enjoy public speaking & could lead the tours!
The volunteer opportunities are also great for anyone wishing to study wildlife or veterinary work.
Unlike a zoo, visitors cannot just turn up at the reserve and expect to be shown around you must schedule a tour appointment.
The benefit of this is the maintenance & care for the animals will not be disturbed and the animals will not be disturbed by daily crowds of people like you would get at a public zoo!
St Augustine Wild Reserve is spread over several acres and your tour is led by an experienced wildlife professional.
- Tiger & Lion Habitats
- Tiger Bubble baths
- Educational materials on the Biology of each species
- Story of how each animal came to the Sanctuary.
- Exotic Aniamals
How much is St Augustine Wild Reserve?
St Augustine Wild Reserve costs $30 per adult (donation) and children under 10 are admitted for $20 (donation). Kids 5 & under are given free admission.
When are tours run at St Augustine Wild Reserve?
Tours are offered on Saturdays, Mondays, and Wednesdays at 2 p.m.
These must be booked in advance to reserve your spot. Most of these tours are walking tours and take around two hours to complete.There is also a Golf cart for those which struggle walking far.
What if your elderly or disabled?
The large golf cart is used to drive people around St Augustine Wild Reserve, if there are elderly or handicapped.
Can you drive around St Augustine Wild Reserve?
Unlike some nature reserves you can only drive to the gate and then must just the walking tour, take the golf cart if you struggle walking for long periods!
Do I need to bring anything?
I would recommended bringing hats, sunscreen and wearing comfortable lightweight clothing & shoes. The reserve hands out cold bottles of water, but feel free to bring your own and a few snacks!
I love the backpack with a water bottle bladder attached, these are great to just take a sip as your touring the park.
5190 Farm Creek Rd, St. Augustine, FL 32092-0651. Src
For great deals on places to stay in St Augustine, check out booking.com/St Augustine. I always use these as they offer a great selection & book now pay later deals.
Check out this great Dolphin & Wildlife Adventure in St Augustine