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Flora (that’s plants) and Fauna (that’s animals)

Girl feeding deer at Wisconsin Deer Park

Wonders of Nature

It’s one thing to look at animals, it’s another thing to interact with animals. We choose the latter for greater appreciation of the world’s wildlife. Some examples will surely help explain.

Let’s start with Wisconsin Deer Park, and not just because it is a classic attraction but because it is a beloved attraction too. Established in 1952 and still family-owned, this 28-acre wooded park is home to some 100 deer from a variety of countries. Pet and feed the animals as you stroll along paved trails. From May until mid-June, there are fawns born nearly every day. In late July and August, the bucks’ antlers make for outstanding “Instagram shots”.

Timbavati Wildlife Park is an immersive experience open year-round. It’s home to more than 400 animals representing some 70 different species. Here’s you’ll see exotic birds, mammal, reptiles and large felines. Move from the woodland area to the waterfall area to the grasslands area. Take a ride on the Safari Train – it’s actually Engine No. 9 rescued from the “Old Fort Dells” attraction of days gone by – with stops along the way to feed the animals. Professional animal handlers give wildlife presentations on animal care, habitat and life cycles. For a personal guided interaction with the animals, reserve a VIP Behind-the-Scenes Tour.

At Circus World in nearby Baraboo, the animals are respected and revered members of the Circus World family. In the ring this summer you’ll see dogs, pigs, tigers, and elephants. This is the site of the original winter quarters of the Ringling Bros. Circus where 25 structures once stood. Today 10 buildings remain all national Historic Landmark, making this the largest grouping of circus structures in America. The spring season starts March 19th and summer kicks off mid-may.

Finally, there’s Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue and Educational Center on the outskirts of the community. This non-profit organization, run on donations, shelters animals that have been abused, abandoned, seized, or just left in need of a home. Here you’ll see lions tigers and leopards in environments as close to natural as possible. There are self-guided tours, morning feeding tours, even night tours, each providing visitors with a chance to learn about these extraordinary animals.

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