We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Nice zoo”

Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo
Ranked #6 of 15 things to do in Thurmont
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: From macaws to monkeys, boas to bears, this zoo offers visitors a chance to get up-close-and-personal with many different animals.
Reviewed 1 September 2017

Most kids love the zoo and this one is not an exception. We like that we can have a picnic in the park. They have several areas with tables and chairs. Kids love feeding animals. They have several feeding areas. Shows are fun. Safari is a bit expensive in my opinion, but ok. Camel rides look like fun (never tried them). They also have a couple parks for little ones.
What I think they could improve is what they sell in their kiosk. Seems to me their selection is so limited. People would enjoy a better selection.l

Thank Poslek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (240)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
All reviews
"safari ride"
in 47 reviews
"feed the animals"
in 15 reviews
"fish food"
in 5 reviews
"much nicer"
in 4 reviews
"great variety of animals"
in 3 reviews
"andean condor"
in 3 reviews
"snake house"
in 3 reviews
"shaded areas"
in 3 reviews
"venomous snakes"
in 4 reviews
"day trip"
in 10 reviews
"little pricey"
in 4 reviews
"camel"
in 22 reviews
"goats"
in 21 reviews
"feeding"
in 22 reviews
"parakeets"
in 10 reviews
"cup"
in 10 reviews
"koi"
in 10 reviews
Filter

33 - 37 of 240 reviews

Reviewed 31 August 2017

We visit this small zoo at least once a year. It is small, but has a great variety of animals. I have seen many improvements over the years, and new, larger exhibts are added constantly. Yes, some of the animals are still in enclosures that are too small, but all look healthy. There is lots of staff around tending to the animals, and everybody is friendly and helpful. You can feed most of the animals with food you can purchase inside the gift shop. Or bring plenty of quarters for the machines. They offer a safari ride (have not taken it yet), and during summer season you can enter the parakeet aviary and feed the birds. They will be all over you. What fun! Just watch your step please. They even have my favorite animals - Red River Hogs! Parking is free.

Thank O7918XPandread
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2017

Today was one of those spur of the moment days that the wife got up with an itch to get out of the house. After talking about it and looking in to our coupon book, we came across a coupon for this zoo. We went to the website and after about 20 min of looking we were off for our adventure.

Since we live in Baltimore it took us about an hour, but we made the best of it with family talk and car games. Once we got there at around 10 am, we entered in through the glass doors and paid our entrance fee and for the 12 pm safari. We immediately went out to the right. The macaws were beautiful, the "blue" one was very vocal and flapping around on the branch, my 11 year old would not take his eyes off the 10 of them. We went through the rest of the park down toward the safari adventure. Once we got down to the adventure, we waited about 10 minutes in the shade then we were able to board a very large military truck with a trailer. Even though it was a large trailer, I would say that there were only about 30 people total and spread out through the 2 places. We were able to get up close to Zebras, Fallow Deer, Bison, Ostrich, Rhea, and some other very impressive species of animals that I cant remember.

When we boarded we got a safety briefing then they told us that we could buy feed for the animals once we stop the truck in a few stops. But here is the only issue i have with the whole day, they dont take card at the truck. Only cash and there were no sings or notifications prior to getting on the truck. So after we were told that we couldnt buy any feed, we were slightly disappointed, but still looking to have a good time. Apparently someone overheard the conversation and bought my 2 boys a cup each, I was very happy and grateful that they would be able to partake.

If you are wondering, yes me and my kids pulled the dad aside after the ride ended and thanked him and offered to pay him back.

I am 38 years old and I think that I enjoyed that safari ride more then my 2 kids, but that is just a side note.

This was a very fun medium size zoo

Thank Erik S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2017

We went to the zoo after hiking and enjoyed the animals. For a smaller private zoo, it was nice, but could use some updates and repairs. We went on a Monday so none of the food places through out the zoo were open. I am not sure if they are open during the weekend. We enjoyed reading how the zoo came to own most of the animals and how they try to maintain them. Some times I did feel like the cages were small for the animals. I do think it would be good to take children to since they can get closer to see the animals.

1  Thank Theresa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 28 July 2017

New Management has taken over and they are in the process of making changes to improve the quality of life for the animals.

I challenge you that after you finish reading this review - close your eyes and think which experience is better and you will understand why we like this place.

First off, all the animals at the Preserve have been either donated, abandoned or rescued from neglectful homes. Many of these animals would have been euthanized if it was not for the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo.

Second, the animals are learning just as management is to how best server everyone. The changes being made today are for the betterment of everyone. That means new areas, better accommodations and a better experience for the animals.

Third, double fences in the enclosures are being installed to protect visitors as some of these animals that are frightened easily or can get pushy when feeding. On your visit you may see a white power being spread on the ground in the areas, this is to help the animals calm down. The current staff really cares about the health and safety of the animals and visitors.

And finally here is the reason my family really likes this place. We can feed and touch the animals like goats, deer, ducks, geese, emus; and at the show touch snakes and reptiles. Some may same they can already do this in their backyards or farms - that is great for them. I do not have these animals accessible in my yard.

While the Baltimore Zoo may have better areas for the animals - my kids can not feed or touch or smell them up close. Unfortunately, we live in a visual society and the looks of everything is what matters. My family takes a different perspective on life.

The Catoctin Zoo allows my kids who are blind to fully experience the sounds, smells and touch of the animals. To me that is a blessing and this place is a blessing. They can get up close to these animals to smell, touch and hear them. Now they are able to do it even safer then before.

There are numerous Groupons and Coupons out for this place that makes it an affordable visit for all.

Other information - Safari and Camels Rides are Extra. Camel Ride is $5. Animal Food is reasonably priced and discounted if you bring back the cup by a dollar. Food is on site but there are fast food restaurants just a 5 minute drive north.

Give this place a try if you want an animal preserve experience for all your senses.

Thank Bikenrun2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo also viewed

 

Been to Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing