Some of these places are more popular than others, but they are still likely to be less crowded than your local zoo. Additionally, many of these spots help to rescue and rehabilitate animals, or allow them to roam free of cages; other spots are wildlife preserves or sanctuaries. You’ll get to interact closely with animals, outside the typical zoo environment. True animal lovers will savor these unique experiences! I’ll start with more well known areas and then move into the more obscure.

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A brief, heartwarming video about The Barnyard Sanctuary:

These are some of my favorite places to enjoy, and I hope you will too! They are all non-profit organizations and many are in need of volunteers. If you have the time, considering working with the animals first-hand at one of these incredible places. You may also be interested in no-kill shelters and rescues including the Oasis Animal Sanctuary, Wild Baby Rescue, Tabby’s Place, RBARI, St. Hubert’s and The Last Resort Animal Rescue. If you’re tight on time, share this post and raise awareness. Also, please share your favorite spots to get up-close with animals in the comments.

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