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Brown's Oakridge Zoo
Reviewed 18 August 2012

I'm not an expert on the right or wrong way to house wild animals, so I won't get into that. What I will say is, my overall opinion of the property itself was "craphole". The property is overtaken with weeds and just everyday crap. It blew my mind that they would allow the public to see the place in that kind of condition. The older lady had the personality if a rabid badger, and the younger one wasn't much better. They gave off a "just give us your money and leave" vibe. They definitely made us feel like customers were a burden to them. The only thing that made me give a two star rating instead of one is my two year old and four year got to feed and pet a tiger cub and that was freaking cool, no matter what I thought of the rest of the visit. Bottom line is, if you want to donate to this place, I'd start without a couple of string trimmers and a 55 gallon drum of round-up. Also, maybe somebody to go in and teach them some people skills.

11  Thank Yuni R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 July 2012

I took both my teenager and toddler here last week. It was great! I don't know if the term "zoo" is appropriate, because it seemed like many of the animals have been rescued from places that can't take care of them.
My kids and I loved it! It was very hand on and educational. I have told many of my friends about it!

2  Thank lindyu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2011

It is rare to have such an experience in the average zoo. Usually large corporations or government simply run them for 'educational' purposes. Rarely does one get to connect to the animals.
The Brown Oakridge Zoo is completely different. A family has given their time, space, and energy to give animals a space to live in nature. Unlike zoo's that are within a city or city limit, thus exposed to the hectic, noisy, and polluted environment of the city, Brown Oakridge Zoo allows them their connection with nature.

The staff, as already mentioned, was the family. The zoo itself is by appointment only during the weekday and the that is the key to the experience. You will be given a tour by the family and given the animal background as well as the individual animals history in regard to it being there. The family has provided the animals with a peaceful and save refuge, which ironically not many zoos can provide.

If you do go and visit during a certain time, you might have the unique experience of meeting one of their babies. We had the pleasure of meeting Bogdan who was at 5 weeks old already a heartbreaker that you could not resist. We were given the chance to simply sit with him, pet him, and upon his demand: feed him his bottle. Trust us, you don't say no to his demands. His cuteness demanded it.

It simply was amazing to interact with animals that are unfortunately still on the endangered species list. Though it might not look like it, the zoo can be highly educational for all ages by giving you an experience very few locations can provide.
To us it was another lesson for us appreciating the unique wildlife that should be preserved and cherish.

As a last thought and wish, when you visit, please be respectful to the animals and do not expect them to perform silly tricks. They are there to enjoy life just as much as you do.

4  Thank Thomas L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2009

If you’re looking for an experience that you children will always remember then Brown's Oakridge Zoo in Smithfield IL, should be at the top of your list. Brown's Oakridge Zoo is the only privately owned ZOO in the State of Illinois. Visit their Website http://brownsoakridgezoo.com/ .Don't show up expecting to see the normal everyday Zoo. This Zoo gets personal, literally, you will get personal with the Zoo animals!! They have 2 white Siberian Tigers, the only ones in the state of Illinois. This place is so personal, you can actually sit in Nancy & Ivan Brown's front lawn and feed, hold, & pet the baby Tigers, Lions, Leopards, Black Bear, & other cubs that happen to be living in their yard. Just DO NOT scratch or rough house with them, or they'll be whisked away back to the house. Nobody wants to be around a 750lb Siberian Tiger who likes play rough with people! The Zoo is located about 1 hour west of Peoria IL, or 30 minutes east of Macomb IL, home of WIU, & 30 minutes west of Canton IL. It is in the middle of nowhere, but that is part of the experience. Absolutely worth the drive. The zoo is extremely affordable, $5 for adults, less for kid’s udder 12. & $20 for unlimited photos per camera with the cubs!! This is an experience that any child (or adult) will remember for years. No where else would you get to spend such quality time with such adorable cubs.

16  Thank pekinIL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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