Oaklawn Farm Zoo, located in Aylesford, is the largest Zoo in Nova Scotia. Originally a family farm, it was converted into a zoo in 1984. The zoo features many animals that you would not expect to find in a rural Nova Scotia setting, but at the same time houses animals that are familiar to the region.
When you first enter the zoo through their admission and gift shop, you can go upstairs and take a peek at their reptile display. They have a number of different types of snakes, some lizards and cute little turtles as well. Making your way out of the gift shop immediately takes you to a pony ride for children. Although not included in the zoo admission it is only a small fee to allow the kids to take a ride around track.
One of the more interesting animals that are at the zoo is their Zonkey named Zena. If you haven?t guessed by the name, Zena is a cross between a zebra and a donkey. Looking mainly like a donkey until you see her black and white stripped legs. Zena lives in with the other zebra's at the zoo.
When it comes to creatures that are native to the region, the zoo has often received animals as orphans or injured and nursed them back to health. Some of these animals are released back into the wild while others like Sky the bald eagle make their permanent home at the zoo. In the woods around the property also lives a pair of owls. One was released back into the wild but chose to stick close by. He can still be seen soaring around from time to time and will come visit the zoo's owners.
Gail and Ron Rogerson, the owners, seem to have an incredible bond with the animals. If you are at zoo around feeding time this is very evident. Gail will enter the pen with the lions, hand feed them, and give them a little affection. In 1997 Rutledge the lion received the Guinness world record for being the heaviest lion in captivity. Gail then moves around and feeds all the big cats they have at the zoo. She also gives children the opportunity to hand feed Smokey the black bear mints through his cage.
At anytime you are able to feed some of the other animals such as the deer and goats from the corn dispensing machines. Spring time is always a good time to visit the zoo, so that you can see some of the little babies who are born that time of year. The llamas offer another hands on opportunity at the zoo. You can enter a large fenced area where some llamas roam free. They are very friendly and you are able to go up to them and pat them or even give them a big hug.
Oaklawn Farm Zoo offers many other animals as well, including a nice selection of monkeys and other primates. With all these animals it is no wonder the zoo is one of the favourite stops for tourists and residents of the valley alike.
For more information visit the Oaklawn Farm Zoo website www.oaklawnfarmzoo.ca