Illinois is famous for two of its large zoos, the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Brookfield Zoo. There are loads of great animals at those places. But there is an animal sanctuary that is at neither of these places. In Lockport, Illinois, there is a sanctuary for North American animals, mainly wolves. Many people don’t know that Big Run Wolf Ranch in Illinois exists, even though it has been in existence for 30 years. The animals here were brought when the only other option was euthanasia. Now, this place is dedicated to not only letting people see these animals, but also educating visitors. Here’s a glimpse of what you will see.

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Check out these wolves and all of the other fantastic animals at Big Run Wolf Ranch: 14857 N Farrell Rd, Lockport, IL 60441.

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Finding The Fauna Of Illinois

What are the best petting zoos in Illinois?

Pretty much everyone loves spending time petting animals, and Illinois provides many places to do just that. You may have heard of cat yoga and goat yoga, but Lambs Farm has events where you can do yoga with ducks, tortoises, pigs, lambs, and other barnyard animals. For a wildly varied animal petting experience, head to Rainbow Ranch Petting Zoo where you can spend time with camels, zebras, llamas, kangaroos, deer, and a hybrid zebra and donkey called a zedonk! It's a fun and educational experience for the kids.

What are the best interactive animal experiences in Illinois?

Illinois has a surprising variety of wildlife encounters available. If you'd like to view the animals from the safety of a vehicle, you can do a drive-through safari at Aikman Wildlife Adventure. Don't be surprised if some of the creatures come up for a cuddle. You can even feed some of the herbivores! You can enjoy brunch with birds once per month at Niabi Zoo. Hopefully, they won't be confused by the consumption of eggs! This 40 Acre zoo is part of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve and has over 600 animals to meet and greet.

What are the best parks to see wildlife in Illinois?

Illinois abounds with beautiful nature parks and preserves where you can see all manner of fauna. Morraine Hills State Park near McHenry is 2200 acres of wetlands. You can hike several trails to take in the sights of herons, geese, raccoons, turtles, coyotes, and other wetlands wildlife. Forest Park Nature Center in Peoria Heights has 500 acres of trails and is a favorite haunt for birders. Traipse the prairies to see deer, butterflies, foxes, and more in their natural habitats. Bust out the binoculars and behold the birds!

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