Southern White Rhino Calf

A Southern White Rhino and her calf are shown here at The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio.

CUMBERLAND, Ohio ­– Spring is in the air and the animals are in the pastures, which means that The Wilds is opening for the season.

Beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 1, a variety of excursions will be available that are certain to create lasting memories for the whole family. Whether it’s a first-time visitor or returning guest, there is lots to see and do at The Wilds.

A safari park and conservation center, The Wilds combines cutting-edge conservation science and education programs with hands-on experiences. Established in 1984, The Wilds resides on nearly 10,000 acres of reclaimed surface mining land.

The Wilds is home to more than 30 rare and endangered species from around the globe. The animals are provided wide, open pastures to roam, coexist and amaze guests.

Over the past few months, The Wilds has welcomed five Sichuan takin kids, three white rhinoceros calves, nine Père David’s deer fawns, and three scimitar-horned oryx calves. These offspring are as exciting for conservationists as they are adorable for all animal lovers. 

Visitors can choose to ride in a pick-up truck to feed giraffes or meet a rhino on a Wildside Tour or feel the breeze on an Open-Air Safari tour while snapping breathtaking photos.

Some of The Wilds’ newest exciting experiences include the Secrets of the Zoo Wildside Tour and WildNights at the Outpost experience. During the Secrets of the Zoo Wildside Tour, guests will enjoy a special variation of a Wildside Tour led by one of The Wilds’ Animal Management team members, who appear on the hit Nat Geo WILD TV series, Secrets of the Zoo.

Guests who opt for a WildNights at the Outpost experience will spend the night in the middle of The Wilds’ pastures with rhinos and other rare and incredible species nearby. From lounging around the fire pit, relaxing on covered decks and exploring vast, breathtaking views, this once-in-a-lifetime experience includes a pre-packaged cooler complete with camping groceries. 

Adventure-seeking guests can also opt to soar over animal pastures on a Zipline Safari tour, enjoy a relaxing Fishing Safari tour on one of nearly 100 lakes at The Wilds, or saddle up on a Horseback Safari tour through the quiet prairies.

To round out a perfect day, from June until September, The Wilds will offer additional tours at sunset:

The Sunset Safari Tour is a magical tour with picturesque views. The tour includes an Open-Air Safari tour for viewing the animals when the pastures are bathing in the late evening sun.

For guests looking to get closer to the action, the Sunset Wildside tour is a great option. This awe-inspiring tour takes guests off the beaten path and out into the pastures, and also includes a lovely dinner.

The Sunset Horseback Safari begins with dinner followed by approximately two hours of riding through grasslands and hillsides, as well as our butterfly habitat.

For thrill-seeking guests, booking a Sunset Zipline Safari tour is the way to go. Guests will gear up when the sun goes down on this breathtaking view of The Wilds above the animal pastures.

Guests are encouraged to sign-up for a membership to The Wilds to enjoy the wonderful perks that come with it.

Membership includes free Open-Air Safari tours from May through October, discounts on premium safari experiences, free parking, member benefits for Nomad Ridge, The Lodge, and The Wilds’ Cabins at Straker Lake, a subscription to The Wilds’ digital member magazine, discounts at The Wilds’ Gift Market and Overlook Café and more.

Members of The Wilds also receive a 50% discount on regular-priced Columbus Zoo and Aquarium tickets. 

A trip to The Wilds can also be extended by booking a getaway and staying at one of our overnight accommodations. Nomad Ridge is an adults-only getaway that includes a furnished private yurt overlooking animal pastures. For groups of up to 12 people, The Lodge is the perfect “home away from home,” as guests will stay in a private luxury cabin tucked away next to one of The Wilds’ most scenic lakes.

Looking for a great place to stay for the whole family? The Wilds’ Cabins at Straker Lake offers accommodations for up to six guests with comfortable living areas and kitchens. These overnight accommodations are perfect for vacations, corporate retreats, and honeymoons, too. 

From May through October, The Wilds is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (The last tour departs at 4 p.m.) Pricing varies depending on the tour and advanced reservations are required.

For more information or to schedule a tour, visit TheWilds.org and follow The Wilds’ social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About The Wilds

The Wilds, one of the largest conservation centers in North America, is home to rare and endangered animals from around the world along with hundreds of indigenous species. T

he mission of The Wilds, a nonprofit organization managed by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, is to lead and inspire by connecting people and wildlife. The Wilds is located at 14000 International Road in Cumberland, Ohio, about 90 minutes east of Columbus.

Normal hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day from May through September, and on Saturdays and Sundays in October. For more information, visit TheWilds.org.

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