Yesterday, I took the day off from work to surprise the boys, and to go do something fun! We went to the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary and neighboring park, before having lunch and seeing a movie. Folsom Zoo Sanctuary is small compared to the other local zoo (Sacramento Zoo), but has unique offerings. Last time we were there, Lucas was probably two, so this was a novel experience for both him and Elias.
This zoo is atypical due to the fact that the animals are all rescued or endangered. Their policies regarding the animals are humane and focused around informing the public. You can read more about their specific policies on their website here. I didn’t mind the $17 total entrance fee at all, knowing that the goals of the business are altruistic.
A rundown of some of the animals housed at the zoo;
- Two monkeys, one of whom has a seizure condition that requires monitoring
- A tiger, rescued from an illicit breeding facility
- Two owls, one who performed in shows for most of its life, one who had a wing removed after being malnourished as an owlet
- Feral pigs (who knew pigs could escape from farms/homes and become wild?!)
- Wolves, one from a “reserve” in Alaska that charged fees for people to pet wolves that were chained up
- Deer (seems kind of silly but I’m sure they are safer in the zoo than near the highway! The boys loved them too)
- Bears, none of which had mothers when they were rescued, and one that suffered gunshot wounds before being brought to the Sanctuary.
The last time we visited, chickens roamed at will, but it seems peacocks now run the place! Lucas and Elias loved them, and probably spent more time watching peacocks than the animals in the exhibits. Lucas was interested to learn that the bears at Folsom Zoo are product testers for prototypes of bear-proof storage lockers, while Elias just liked standing up against the glass and exclaiming “bear!”
It wasn’t terribly busy, even for a Sunday, and visiting all the animals only took about an hour. Afterwards, Lucas was itching to try out the neighboring park. There were two main playgrounds, one of which was completely wheelchair accessible and included modified swings. Last time we visited the zoo, I didn’t even notice the park, so I’m glad they had a chance to try it out!
We spent another hour at the park, before heading off to find some lunch. On a whim we decided to see a movie (Kung Fu Panda 3), during which I almost cried, but still recommend for the family-friendly laughs!
We will probably revisit the zoo in another year or so, or perhaps during one of their special events, but next time we’ll plan for a picnic at the park!