Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation in Gainesville, Florida, currently houses over 70 animals, including 28 rare and endangered species. But make no mistake: Carson Springs is not a zoo but an exotic animal refuge.
Carson Springs was founded in 2003 with a mission to house and rehabilitate abandoned and abused exotic and native animals. What makes their efforts stand out is how their facility goes well beyond the minimum standards set by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
You won’t see listless creatures in drab concrete spaces at Carson Springs. Here, all the enclosures are spacious and natural looking with grass, trees, bushes – and a daily cleaning. The animals also receive individual diets specially tailored to their needs. The facility’s efforts have paid off with bright-eyed, active, animals that seem considerably happier than most.
Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation is home to a great variety of exotic animals. There are hyenas, rhinos, tortoises, jackals, warthogs, and many other beautiful creatures. Given the facility’s rescue mission, you never know what you’ll see. One thing is for sure, though: there will definitely be big cats!
Carson Springs is known for their big cats. Lions, tigers (no bears at the moment, unless you count “Sugar Bear” the lemur), cheetahs, cougars, leopards, jaguar, bobcat, lynx, and caracal. They even have smaller cats like Geoffroy’s cats and fishing cats.
Carson Springs Wild Adventure Open House
Wild Adventure Open House will have warthog races and an opportunity to watch or even join in feeding some of the big cats. You’ll also have a chance to meet and share lunch with Henry, the oldest male Indian rhino in the world!
Tickets for Carson Springs’ Wild Adventure Open House will be available at the gate for only $10, $5 under 12. Carson Springs receives no State or Federal funding and is independently owned and operated. 100% of all donations go directly to caring for the animals, so you can feel doubly good about your visit.
Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation
8528 E. County Rd 225, Gainesville, FL 32609
Guided tours are available with advanced booking: firstname.lastname@example.org. Open Monday through Saturday, closed Sundays.
Gainesville Area Lodging
Hampton Lake Bed & Breakfast is only 6 miles from Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation. Come relax on the shores of our natural cypress lake, then get out and explore! Our convenient location near Starke, FL puts Gainesville, Jacksonville, the University of Florida, and more within easy reach! Choose your room now at Hampton Lake Bed & Breakfast!