Thursday, June 19, 2008
Southwick's Zoo: More Fun Than a Barrel of Monkeys
Article and Photo by Eric H.
If you're feeling "caged" in to a dull summer routine,
we suggest escaping for a day trip to Southwick's Zoo
in Mendon, MA (east central Massachusetts, 20 minutes
east of Worcester).
Along with Roger Williams Zoo in Providence, RI, Southwick's Zoo stands as a premier New England zoo. More than just a zoo with caged animals, Southwick's has committed itself to environmental and animal ecology issues through the educational, on-the-premises, non-profit EARTH Limited. Southwick's overall mission is "To provide environmental and conservation education with an emphasis on animal ecology, endangered species and threatened habitats."
Earth awareness and betterment is in style and quite necessary these days, but what about going to a zoo to see animals? Isn't that the point of a zoo? Well, the news is good on that front --Southwick's houses hundreds of animals, including giraffes, lions, tigers, monkeys and kangaroos, as well as lesser-known species like pygmy goats, ankole bulls and Nilgai antelope. There's also many birds and reptiles at Southwick's.
Southwick's also features an area where children can ride elephant's, camels, and ponies. The "non-animal" rides includes a long slide and a recycled play structure made from 2,424 plastic containers, 27, 608 aluminum cans and 10 car tires!
Southwick's is the only zoo that has kept my attention for a few hours. Usually, I take the Homer Simpson route by getting excited about a day at the zoo, and then lose my attention span within five minutes of arriving. Here, it was different, perhaps stemming from Southwick's commitment to animal care, creatively laid out, free-range cage areas, the scenic land, actually interesting exhibitions, a nice staff that answers questions and makes education fun, and...mmmm... good junk food at the zoo's Zebra Cafe!
If you're a fan of zoos, then we strongly recommend with confidence that you'll have a great experience at Southwick's.
Southwick's Zoo, 2 Southwick Street, Mendon, MA. Tel.: 508-883-9182
Outside MA (800) 258-9182
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