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Catoctin Wildlife Preserve, Thurmont

#3 of 12 in Things to do in Thurmont
Zoo · Zoo / Aquarium
Catoctin Wildlife Preserve is where people and animals get close – in unexpected ways. Ramble over 50 beautifully wooded and landscaped acres and gardens hosting animals who jump, swim, fly, roar and tweet to greet you.

Asian Tigers, South American Jaguar, American Alligators and Malayan Sun Bears all live and breed on our grounds. Comical macaws, energetic lemurs, lazy dingos and some of the rarest and most entertaining monkeys in the world await you. Dangle your fingers among a hundred of brilliantly colored Japanese Koi in the Japanese Garden and watch the sunlight on the ripples of its calming waters. Feed the dozens of free flying ducks and geese wandering among our ponds.

More adventuresome? Delve into the depths of Africa, Asia and the Americas on our Wildlife Safari Adventure. Offered from Memorial Day to Labor Day, this optional add-on brings you within a breath of two-ton buffalo, zebra, camels, ostrich and more. Magnificent hoofed animals from around the globe enjoy a pet and feeding opportunity from the safe confines of your Safari vehicle. Your family will enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
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Catoctin Wildlife Preserve reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 3.5
289 reviews
  • This is a hidden gem and I can't believe it took us 15 years living in the DC area to finally make the trip, I don't know how many times we passed it driving to Liberty, White Tail and place...  more »
  • It was a really nice trip. Most activities were closed but you still got to feed the animals. I would go again honestly it was a lovely day out  more »
  • What a little 💎!!!! I had so much fun here!!! Uniquely surprising! I didn't get to see everything because we went late. 😭😭😭😭 Fair warning, they put some of the animals away for dinner, an hour before they close. We missed the snow leopard because of that. Sad day. Over it was great and we're definitely going again, when we have more time. 😁👍
  • I was looking forward to visiting after many years away. I wasn't sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised. Many of the buildings date back to the early years of the park but it is apparent that they work hard to continually update and expand the facility. It all looked neat and clean. It is amazing how diverse the animals are, they come from all over the world and include rare, endangered species as well as common ones. They all look well cared for and healthy. It was so much fun to watch the kids getting up close with so many different species; goats, camel, antelope, yak, bison, ostrich and many more. The joy of the experience was all over their smiling faces (the kids, not the animal faces). The staff was friendly and helpful, their enthusiasm shows. A great day out for kids of all ages.

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