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“Up close and personal with the local wildlife.”
Review of Wildhaven Ranch

Wildhaven Ranch
Reviewed 23 March 2013

A great way to spend two hours! Starts off with an introduction to birds of prey where the staff brings the birds up to you within inches. Next was the bobcat who when fed a dead bird plays with it like your own housecat plays with its favorite toy. Then two mule dear strut before you like ladies on parade. This is followed by the preserves wild coyotes performing a live howling seranade prompted by one of the tour guides. On our tour they were able to prompt a leashed coyote out of its cage to pose for pictures on a tree stump! Next you go into the bear habitat where your guide, from inside the bears cage, encourages these beautiful creatures to display there intelligents and claws to you again only inches from where you are sitting. Finally you visit with a bald and a golden eagle. Although their intent is educational it is also entertaining and inspirational. But be on your best behavior and follow the guides instructions. Loud and fast moving behavior scares the animals. Viewing is only by tour and you are not allowed to wander around by yourself. Wildhaven Ranch is truly a hidden gem which will be added to our families annual donation list.

10  Thank 482DavidL482
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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13 - 17 of 19 reviews

Reviewed 21 August 2012

Being a local up on the mountain for 19 years, I had recently decided it was time to go and visit Wildhaven Ranch. I gathered my younger family members, and we drove 10 minutes from my home to the facility. Mind you, you must call in advance to make reservations, and you must get direct directions from the front desk receptionist due to the fact that GPS will misguide you. We went to go see the bear enclosure. Well, first and foremost, it has been one hot of a summer up here in the mountains. The bears were out for about 15 minutes, and went back to their cages. Understandable, I would not wander in the heat either. Mind you, we were promised to see 4 bears and 1 baby bear----we saw 2. However we sat there, in green plastic lawn chairs (which we were short a couple seats) and stared at an empty enclosure for an hour and 15 minutes. The gentlemen who gave us the tour was impolite, and would answer our ever so "ignorant" questions with remarks as if we were suppose to know the answers to them. HELLO, we are coming to LEARN, if we knew everything then we probably would not be here! The poor children had to listen to this guy be a complete snob and give off the "Duh, how could you not know" type of attitude. Well, after staring at an empty cage and being treated as if WE were the animals, a few people asked if we could see the other animals. He said, "Well, I guess you guys have been good." As if he was doing us a favor. We paid $35 to get in (which appeared very inexpensive) to see an empty cage. We are funding your facility, sir. I did not know we were based off of "stars" on who's been naughty and who's been nice. So then, he gave us the option of seeing the Deer enclosure or the Eagle enclosure. Everyone picked the Eagle enclosure, so we proceeded. Okay, so then we went and saw the Golden Eagle (I believe was its species) and the Bald Eagle. A woman asked the difference between the two, and he gave a snobbish response along the lines of, "A bald eagle is not really bald---as everyone should know it is our Nations bird. And obviously they both look different." As if it didn't get anymore awkward after his comment, a woman pointed out, "Can the Golden Eagle turn its head 360 degrees?" And he said, "No, only owls do that. Of course." Everyone looks, and the Golden Eagle had its head turned at 180 degrees. I believe that is still pretty impressive---and I think a proper tour guide would point out the most impressive facts about the animals. Or maybe I am expecting too much? Anyways---we were dismissed after quite some time and I realized how much it was a rip off to pay $35 to be treated like an idiot. This place has been threatened to be closed down multiple times due to terrible customer service and lack of funding. The two go hand in hand really, and I did not understand why until now. To Wildhaven, please---get a new owner that does not have an ego the size of this planet. To people reading this, you're better off going to Big Bear an hour and a half away to see more animals and be treated with respect. Mostly to be treated with respect because the animals are awesome at Wildhaven---the people are not. Thus killing my experience.

36  Thank allofourtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2012

You can also sit 3 feet away from a black bear or watch a raccoon open a glass jar.

We went to visit this extraordinary wildlife animal rescue shelter and not only was it entertaining, it was also extremely educational for both young and old alike. The up close views of the animals and the way they feed and behave was very intriguing and it makes you appreciate God's design for all living things.

The staff's dedication toward the care and feeding of these animals is so apparent. It was nice to know that good deeds are happening in this facility. This place is a must-see if you are in town to enjoy the beauty of nature.

7  Thank anchi123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2012

If you've never been to Lake Arrowhead, you might not realise that this is an affluent mountain town with 9000/sq. foot homes, private docks, and exclusive rights to use the lake.

I was astonished at these gorgeous homes and couldn't help but admire the wealth that these folks had. I wondered what they might do for a living, or how often they actually use these homes as most of them seemed like a 2nd or 3rd vacation property. I also hoped that whatever helped these people attain their wealth was contributing back to society.

And then a 15 minute drive away is Wildhaven Ranch, where you can see goodwill at work.

Wildhaven is a volunteer run animal rescue center that offers tours on a reservation only basis. You might ask yourself, "What kind of business requires reservations and doesn't hold regular business hours." Once you visit the ranch you'll understand why. These volunteers
offer their time to care for injured and rehabilitated animals that wouldn't survive in the wild. The tours allow you to get up close to wild animals and provide an experience that you can't find in a zoo. They operate on a donations and 100% of the proceeds go to caring for the animals.

It's a great learning experience for adults and children. If you're lucky you'll be able to catch some of the animals during feeding time or even sit 3 feet away from a California black bear as she sprays you with a water hose.

12  Thank Neil B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2012

Wildhaven is not a zoo. It is a rehab place for injured wild animals. They change depending on what is injured. Some are returned to the wild, while others are not able to survive in the wild and are kept there. Those are the ones you really see.

2  Thank Johanna O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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