If you are fascinated by animal life and enjoy close encounters with these interesting creatures, Niagara Falls has some wonderful places on both sides of the border. Niagara Falls itself does not have an official zoo. However, animal lovers are still able to visit and view animals. Here are four of the top Niagara Region Zoos (or Zoo alternatives).
Niagara Falls Region Zoo Alternatives
Located a short distance from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Safari Niagara provides a delightful opportunity for nature enthusiasts to look at several species of animals, birds and reptiles. There are more than 750 different creatures at this nature park spread over 150 acres. Some of the fascinating species from the animal kingdom include:
African lion, America red fox, Bactrian camel, black bear, blue and gold macaw, green anaconda, Canada lynx, capuchin monkey, emu, giraffe, hippopotamus, red kangaroo, red panda, Siberian tiger, white rhinoceros, zebra, etc.
Free, educational guided walking tours as well as narrated tram rides/tours help you to get better acquainted with the inmates of the park. Hippo and Giraffe Encounter, Primates Tour and the Big Cat Tour are some of the tours available here. If you want to get really close to the animals, head to Papa Steve’s Family Farm, a petting zoo, for some great encounters.
For those captivated with creatures of the feathered kind, Bird Kingdom in Niagara Falls, Ontario is the place for you. 400 birds belonging to 80 different species from all over the world are housed at this bird paradise. It is one of the largest indoor free flying aviaries in the world where in addition to birds, you can also take a look at other creatures such as tortoises, snakes, bearded dragons, chameleons and more. Bats, owls and other night creatures can be viewed during the daytime in a specially created environment.
The Buffalo Zoo
Watch in wonder as animals move around freely in large enclosures at the Buffalo Zoo, the third oldest zoo in the United States located in Buffalo, New York, a short 30 minute drive from Niagara Falls. There are several different animal species at the 23.5 acre zoo including rare and endangered ones. The Zoo has a new large scale Polar Bear exhibit.
The zoo has a natural feel to it as the enclosures have trees, streams, pool and other elements. Siberian tigers, rock hyrax, Polar Bears, Asian elephants, and pigmy zebu are some of the mammals that you can spot here. Reptiles at the zoo include pancake tortoises, Egyptian spiny-tailed lizards, and American alligators. Some of the amphibians found here are tomato frogs, Puerto Rican crested toads, and various species of poison arrow frogs. Birds also make their presence felt with the Lady Ross’ plantain eaters, cinereous vultures, and waterfowl like tufted teal and smew.
Aquarium of Niagara
If you enjoy watching marine life, head to the Aquarium of Niagara in Niagara Falls, New York. There are over 1500 marine creatures including sea lions, sharks, turtles, seals, penguins, sea stars, sturgeons, sea horses, etc. Watch the Spirit of the Sea show that showcases diving, swimming and soaring with human and animal performers. Interactive sessions include Pinniped Encounter with sea lions and seals where you can get a playful kiss from one of the animals. There’s more fun in store with penguin feedings and an encounter with Humboldt Penguins.
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