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Chestatee Wildlife Preserve & Zoo, Dahlonega

Categories: Zoos & Aquariums, Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks, Outdoor Activities
Inspirock Rating:
2.9/5 based on 110+ reviews on the web
Chestatee Wildlife Preserve & Zoo is located in Dahlonega. Chestatee Wildlife Preserve & Zoo is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our world travel planner, Dahlonega Edition.
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  • It was just too depressing seeing the larger animals in enclosures smaller than you see at major zoos. :( They need more room to roam. 
  • This zoo, will only take you an hour to 2, as is rather small. The animals appear well cared for, and there is a nice variety. I was glad that we were able to help care for these animals with our entr...  read more »
  • The "zoo" is very small. Took us less than an hour to see the animals from afar, as most were not arranged so our 3 year old could catch a glimpse. Staff seemed nice. Just not what we were expecting.....  read more »
  • I went there recently and didn't like what I saw. As I was walking around the zoo, they had facts about the animals that weren't even in the enclosure, or they didn't have facts at all. I had asked about training and enrichment (activities that keep the animals stimulated by doing natural behaviors, such as foraging, etc) and they informed me that we don't do any of that. They proceeded to say that we work with the animals. Also at the zebra enclosure, they didn't have any barriers between the animals and people and I saw somebody petting a emu without any staff or volunteer present and that seems like it could be a liability issue!!! The emus could potentially peck your face or dig its nail right into you and the zebras could kick and people are close enough to get kicked. I also didn't see anywhere where the big cats would shift (move the animals to another area) so that staff and volunteers could safely keep them out while they cleaned, fed, etc. The only enclosure that I saw that they could potentially shift was the lion's enclosure and that didn't look like they could shift them safely without potentially losing body parts. I made my way to their reptile area and didn't see any heat source for them. i asked about that and was told that they keep the room at 80 degrees. snakes have to have a hot spot and cold spot in their tanks so they can move around when they get to hot or cold and they didn't have that ability there. As i was walking around, i saw the elk in a pasture with big cats in their enclosures in that same pasture!!! If they were to ever get out, the cortisol levels of the elk would probably go up because he is a prey animal while the big cat is a predator and they could kill the elk if they got out! This facility has also had numerous USDA violations in the past, with the most recent having to do with the lions and vervet monkey. I'm expecting this facility to respond to this review like their other negative review from others, saying that I've never visited their facility and that I have no idea what I'm talking about. The animals at least looked like they were healthy weights but it seemed like this facility was more for profit than education.
  • This place is great and affordable. I went today with my fiancee and our son we had a great time everyone was friendly. All of the animals were beautiful and very healthy looking. Idk what that lady down there is talking about. They all had shade from trees and other things that were built in there habitat's. the monkeys had toys it was so cute. i saw water for every animal. all of their living areas were clean and roomy. The bears were out playing with each other and I took many pictures. I was impressed with the wolves den. The best was the Siberian tiger. All of the animals appeared to be relaxed healthy and happy with there home. Thank you guys for stepping in and helping these animals and giving them a second chance. You will see us again.
  • Went to the wildlife preserve yesterday for the first time and had a wonderful time. The people and animals were both very friendly. The animals seemed happy and well cared for. It is a beautiful place and very affordable. Felt like being on a farm with some parts more like a zoo.
  • Thank you Chestatee Wildlife and Preserve for rescuing animals who have come from neglected and abused conditions. I lived in Dawsonville from 2002 to 2007 with my son who was a young child at the time. I would take him to the preserve at least twice a month during operations while living in Georgia. We loved it! As a single mom I took pride in the donations I contributed to visit the zoo and the quality time I was able to spend with my son. We learned so much studying the animals and met many of the wonderful volunteers who enjoyed sharing their knowledge with us. Our country needs more facilities like Chestatee to help other animals in bad situations. My son is almost 18 now and we still reflect about our times at the zoo, the wonderful memories and the beautiful animals we fell in love with. I hope to one day visit again and am happy to see you are still in operations. Thank you for all you do to rescue animals and to the volunteers that have sacrificed their time for the care and well being of the animals.
  • I had read a poor review on TripAdvisor and wanted to see for myself. With my camera in hand, I headed to the zoo. What I saw was heartbreaking, regrettably the review that I had read was true. As I started down the narrow path to the left, I spotted a large black bear in a tiny round cage pacing back and forth. I stood there and watched for at least 15 minutes, and he just continued pacing. He was distraught, caged like a criminal, with no drinking water in sight. I proceeded down the path and things did not get any better. I saw wild animals caged in small concrete pens, with very little protection from the brutal summer heat and most without water. When I approached the alligator pen, I was in shock. Alligators live in freshwater lakes and swamps. These poor alligators were literally baking to death in the hot summer sun with no water. They could barely move, and their bodies were covered in the orange Georgia sand. There was about an inch of hot dusty water in the bottom of an aluminum boat, that one of the alligators tried to cool himself down in with no luck. There is no doubt in my mind that the boat was extremely hot from the heat and sun, but the poor gator was desperate. At the end of my sad journey, I see two brown bears, pacing back and forth. Their fur was dirty and dull, and bare in many places due to the concrete floors that they live on. You could see the sadness in their eyes and desperation as they paced back and forth. This place needs to be shut down. It is an injustice to the animals.
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