If you ever make it to North Alabama and are ready for an adventure, you need to check out Tigers for Tomorrow. It is most definitely in the boondocks just getting there is an adventure, but where else can you hear a lion roar so close you can feel it. It is an amazing place with amazing people. They have made it a life’s work to save animals particularly the big cats from unsafe environments while providing them a safe haven to live out the rest of their lives.
Even though they primarily provide homes to Big Cats – tigers, lion’s, bob cats, etc, they also have rescued birds of prey, wolves, bears, etc. They seem to be open to just about any animal that needs a safe haven.
If you have a large enough group, you can schedule a tour. I definitely recommend that if you can. The tours are chockfull of information. They share the history of the individual animal to help inform you of the issues they faced. They also have an amazing wealth of information to share on the animals habitats, lives in the wild, population threats, etc. The kids were absolutely spellbound. The guide was amazingly patient. There was no question too dumb or simple for him to answer. He did a wonderful job dealing with the wide range of questions and ages of our kids.
It truly was amazing to get up close to the animals. We really were literally up front and in person with them.
With several of the animals, our guide actually reached out and scratched their bellies. He was very careful to tell the kids that he had years of experience with the animals and knew when they could be touched and when they couldn’t. As he said, he had the scars to prove lessons learned the hard way.
Along with the wild guys, they also had a petting zoo. The kids could go in and meet more domesticated creatures like chickens, goats, llamas, and cows. They did warn the kids not to annoy the lama or he would spit…that definitely got the kids attention.
It is well worth the drive to check them out. There are also several local cafes to eat, so you can check out the local fare.
If you want to learn some more, here’s a link so you can check out their website. http://www.tigersfortomorrow.org