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Where the Wild Things Are
By REBECCA FLANSBURG Rain or shine, there are many educational and quality time benefits of plotting summer adventure field trips. For those who love animals (which is pretty much almost everybody) a trip to the zoo is a fun way to see the world’s wildlife without ever having to book an exotic vacation. Luckily, Minnesota is chock full of wonderful animal-viewing opportunities, many of which are just a short drive away. n
PHOTOS BY JOEY HALVORSON
Paul Bunyan’s Animal Land
Often overlooked, Paul Bunyan’s Animal Land is a cozy little animal park that offers a few unique opportunities zoo-lovers won’t get elsewhere. Located on Highway 2 East, between Bemidji and Cass Lake, Animal Land is home to nearly 100 animals representing every continent on earth. Lions, tigers, bears, camels, lemurs, kangaroos, monkeys, raccoons, three species of deer, bobcats, wolves, reptiles, exotic birds, amazing bugs and various small mammals are just a few of the animals who make their home at Animal Land. And the moment you walk through the doors, free roaming critters like kangaroos and deer are there to pet. Armed with bananas, we were instant favorites with Sydney, Keith and Liam, the three red kangaroos that hopped about. The sika deer took a shine to the discarded peels as well and allowed some petting and ear scratching too. To learn about this zoo, visit them on the web: http://www.paulbunyansanimalland.com/
Pine Grove Zoo
Just a hop, slither and trot away from the Brainerd lakes area, is the Pine Grove Zoo in Little Falls. Nestled among a grove of white pines, this little zoo has a lot going on. Families or individuals can meander down paved paths and view a variety of exotic, native and domestic animals at home in spacious, natural habitats. Pine Grove usually has several baby animal exhibits for visitors to enjoy and their petting zoo area provides an opportunity to feed and pet the resident donkeys, calves and sheep. The winding paved paths are also wheelchair and handicap accessible and the Cougar Cafe gives zoo-goers the chance to rest and replenish under shaded picnic tables. If your little animals need to “run their wiggles out,” Pine Grove has an adjoining park, playground and walking path area that are gorgeous and well-kept. Open mid-April through mid-October: Monday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., zoo-lovers can learn more about Pine Grove Zoo at: www.pinegrovezoo.com.
20 Summer 2016 | her voice
Published on May 18, 2016
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