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Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge, Orlando

(4.7/5 based on 30+ reviews on the web)
Back to Nature was incorporated in June 1989 by Founder, Carmen Shaw, in Bithlo, FL. It is now managed by 3 paid staff and a board of directors.

Debbie Helsel(Executive Director), Kelly Verduin(Administrative Manager), Trenna Englemann(Animal Care Specialist),

Senior Lead Volunteers:

Alissa Himelfarb(Animal Care Technician), and Lindy Williams(Animal Care Technician).

Open to the Public for Injured and Orphaned wildlife intake and visitation Tues.-Sunday 9am-4pm. Wildlife is, however, also accepted on Mondays. Closed Major Holidays. Wildlife Walk $5 admission (donation)
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We spent our last morning in Orlando here. Our little boy loved seeing the different animals especially the lemurs and squirrels. Well worth the $5 admission. Please consider visiting and supporting t...  more »
  • Off the beaten track and quite hard to find, We arrived in the car park at 12.15pm in march and had no idea where to go! Walking towards a hut there was a sign on the door saying to phone a number-we ...  more »
  • This is a really fun place to visit. Not big so it doesn't take much time but it is well worth it. Some great birds and animals here to see and great place to take kids. Easy access and good parking. ...  more »
Google
  • An amazing organization that rehabilitates, raises and releases native Florida wildlife. Visiting the refuge and seeing the resident animals is a great time for all ages. Foxes, bobcats, an emu and lemurs are among many other awesome animals to see! The $5.00 donation for the Wildlife Walk is well worth it!
  • Good place to go and spend an hour. The animals have all been saved, meanin you're not buying into an animal mill or anything. Go!
  • Very very interesting very well preserved
  • visit their website for event schedule. A small but well maintained animal area ( like a zoo) lets you see rescued Florida animals (such as tortoise, squirrels, fox, bobcat). Available: Gift shop, restroom.
  • The Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge is a "must-see" destination! Nestled in a quiet corner of southeast Orange County at the edge of the Split Oak Forest and Lake Hart, the refuge boasts a beautiful atmosphere for observing natural Florida as well as the native and exotic animals who call the refuge home. The goal of Back to Nature is to rescue, rehabilitate, raise and release native injured or orphaned Florida wildlife. There are both a clinic and animal housing on site for this purpose. However, in some cases, even after the rehabilitation has proven successful, the animal may not be fit for returning to a successful life in the wild. In these instances, the animals are provided with a residence at the refuge and will serve as educational ambassadors, providing visitors with species awareness and the opportunity to see them up-close. Furthermore, with regard to education, the refuge has an educational center for hosting school and community groups. They also offer complimentary programs such as the Junior Naturalist series in which kids are introduced to topics pertaining to conservation and the environment as well as adult workshops highlighting topics such as container gardening, composting, and rain barrel construction. Aside from all the activities and sites the refuge itself has to offer, the area itself is a treasure and is teeming with wildlife. A breeding pair of eagles has nested near the site and makes regular appearances. Deer are often seen grazing in the fields and cranes meander throughout the property. At the lake, baby alligators can be seen in basking in the sun just offshore in the wetlands and the dock makes a great location for birding. A trip to this site is sure to provide an amazing experience for the entire family! A $5 per person donation is appreciated as Back to Nature is a non-profit organization relying on your generosity to continue their mission!