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May 28, 2011
East Berlin, Pennsylvania
July 17, 2005
To begin, The Wilds is a long way "out there" - which is great for having large spaces for wild animals. Plan on 40 minutes or so to get there from Cambridge, where we stayed. The park has plenty of room for expansion - and plans to expand. You finally reach the gate - and if on an "open to the public" day, you park at the bottom of a hill, taking a shuttle up to the top. There is a parking fee, but since it didn't apply to us (a group on our own day), I don't remember how much it was.
At the top you can buy your tickets for various tours - Safari and Behind the Scenes were the two we had prearranged for our group, and both are recommended. Once you board their air-conditioned buses, the driver/guide takes you behind the fences (Jurassic Park-style) and gives you an extremely detailed explanation of both the park and all the animals you see. They are also excellent at answering any question you might think of - ask away. The animals were often extremely close to the bus - great for picture-taking - and it was a great feeling knowing they didn't have small, confined spaces like in many zoos. Each trip takes about an hour.
On the safari, you see more animals. On the Behind the Scenes tour, they take you to their large animal houses and/or vet areas and show you how they take care of so many animals. Any personnel you see there are also quite willing to answer questions. The Behind the Scenes tour is recommended for ages 8+. All ages loved the safari.
Back at the main building, they have a cafe/restaurant with a nice overlook of the area, as well as restrooms and a gift shop. We had a deli-catered lunch for our group, which we enjoyed.
From youngest to oldest, everyone enjoyed this place, and many said they would never go to a "zoo" again. The animals just seem far more content with far more space. We'd very gladly return - and probably will.
From journal Exploring The Wilds - in Ohio