So many animals!!!!
That’s what we thought when we visited Sustainable Safari in Maplewood for the first time this past week. We could have spent all day here with the animals! There were so many!
And many animals were soooo cute. Like the baby goat that “baaaa’d” so sweet. And the baby kangaroo that actually wore a diaper (heehee). And the otters that made the cutest squeaks as they climbed all over us.
Sustainable Safari is an interactive animal experience in Maplewood Mall. It opened up 2 years ago and this was our first time here. It’s truly a unique experience here in Minnesota as nothing else offers an up-close and interactive
experience with animals from around the world. You can feed or hold almost all animals including red kangaroos, fennec foxes, and alligators!
We were invited to visit and share our experience on my blog, and I’m so glad we finally went! I had no idea what to expect but it was seriously hours and hours of fun. We were there almost 3 hours and could have spent many more here! It was a wild adventure but safely indoors so it’s perfect for year-round fun.
They have over 200 animals to feed and pet. Admission is $14.50 and includes a $3.00 feed cup and ALL-DAY Safari entry. (Seniors, military, first responders and educators get $2.00 off.)
They also have other experiences you can add on – where you can interact more with the animals. Or you can do the whole “Guided Safari Tour” where you get all possible interactive experiences with the animals!!!! You get tokens to exchange for an experience with each type of animal. (Note that there is a minimum age requirement for some experiences – kids have to be at least age 5 or 10 for some.)
We just started all brave by interacting with the alligator!
My kids were a little shy but I held it! It’s just a baby anyway… (Don’t worry, their staff stay nearby to help you!)
Next, on to the snake holding area!
My son held a pretty tame snake…carefully. We had a GREAT tour guide named Lynnea, by the way. She guided us through all the experiences and taught us so much!
I’m not sure I learned anything our tour guide was saying about the snakes though when I held one…I just tried to stay calm…
Okay, we had some good slimy fun. Now on to some kangaroo cuddling!!!
We got to hold a baby kangaroo, just like a baby! And the kangaroo wears a diaper, which the tour guide showed us.
And we got to pick out our own bay goat to bottle feed! This black one was soooo cute and made the cutest “baaa” sound, so we picked him.
As we sat with the kangaroo we had this view of the llama, goats and even chickens walking around!
Capybaras are animals you don’t think about often until you meet some! And yes, they look like rodents, because they are rodents! They are actually the largest rodents in the world. We fed them sweet potatoes and got to cuddle one!
We got to meet a Ring-tailed Lemur family! The boss is actually a female, so I like this family’s dynamics already…
These are very social animals from Madagascar and they loved the grapes and bananas we fed them.
An experience NOT to be missed is the Parakeet Experience! It’s included with admission, and a feed stick is $4.00 each. You go in to the aviary, hold a feed stick, and the birds fly around you and sit on your hand to eat off the stick.
They may even sit on your head if they feel like it.
This is for ages 7 and up and you have to be very careful with your feet as the parakeets will crowd around your feet the whole time.
We also did the porcupine experience, kangaroo feeding, we visited the guinea pig village, we fed the prairie dogs, and even got to feed an anteater!
These are just a FEW of the other animals we got to see!
We loved them all, but I think our favorite experience is the otter experience. We got to go in their playroom and they crawled all over us! They were so curious and friendly.
What else should you know?
I talked with one of owners, Safari Bob, and learned about the story of the place. It’s a family-owned business. They truly care about the animals and they all get to spend time in the sun and open air! They have a farm that animals get to go to.
They are very well-cared for!
They get fed of course by visitors, but also get fed regularly morning and night to make sure they get the nutrition they need. The staff know the animals SO well and the animals know them well too!
There are wildlife shows every day, and a mobile zoo that goes to schools and other places.
I could see that Safari Bob and his team of in-house educators and caretakers are super passionate about animals with a goal to create a place where people can learn and experience the animals, learn about sustainability, and how to support each species while also having fun!
Sustainable Safari also has many sustainable practices in place including biodegradable feed cups, repurposed cardboard bedding, and plush animals made from recycled plastic. So much here is truly designed to be good for everyone including the environment.
And they also accommodate birthday parties and large groups!
Check out my video:
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Check out their website here for more information!
And thank you to Sustainable Safari for hosting our family – we had a great time!
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(Disclosure: Our visit was complimentary in order to facilitate this honest review. All opinions are 100% mine.)