Zoo’Opolis Exotic Petting Zoo in Nashville, Indiana
Zoo’Opolis Exotic Petting Zoo is a wildlife sanctuary in Brown County, Indiana where you can feed, pet, and play with the animals.
Meet and greet animals in a unique way at this Indiana wildlife farm.
This location has now converted to a bird sanctuary
Zoo’Opolis Exotic Petting Zoo is open two times a day on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You definitely need to make reservations before visiting. Check the website for details, but you need to make reservations by TEXT: 812-764-4980.
At Zoo’Opolis Exotic Petting Zoo you select one of three levels of sessions for your visit:
BEGINNERS ($15 each) allows you to feed the animals over a barrier. They provide food to feed goats, sheep, donkeys, alpacas, geese, chickens, turkeys, ducks and peafowl. You can hand feed most, or feed them from the cup.
ADVANCED ($45 each) allows you to do everything the beginners do, and then interact closer with the “beginner” animals. At this level, you go into the nursery and feed babies like a goat, fawn, baby ostrich chicks and a zebu calf. You can also walk around and pet muntjac deer, wallaby, tortoise, etc. Advanced also get to participate in “Cuddle Time,” where you can interact with a ton of animals including chinchillas, leopard Bengal kittens, bunnies, guinea pigs, ferrets, hedgehogs, cockatoo, Sun Conure, leopard gecko, snake, Iguanas, descented skunks, etc.
AMBASSADORS ($85 each) is the most interactive package. Participants do everything the Beginners and Advanced do, as well as being invited to go right into the habitats and join some of the animals. See a timber wolf up close, go in with a red fox, play with Rocket and Trixie the raccoons, enjoy Eva the coatimundi, hand feed Nikko our Zebra, and take a selfie with lemurs.
What your visit will be like
My family attended a Sunday morning Ambassador session at Zoo’Opolis Exotic Petting Zoo. It was totally worth the cost, and truly felt like a once in a lifetime experience. We had the opportunity to pet, hold, and play with animals we have never been able to get so close to before.
When you first arrive at Zoo’Opolis Exotic Petting Zoo, you park, sign your waivers, pay, get your color-coded wristbands, and receive instructions for your visit. You can also drop off any donations of cleaning products, cat food, etc. Zoo’Opolis Exotic Petting Zoo provides food for feeding the animals (corn, grain, etc), but they recommend guests bring grapes or apples to feed the animals too.
Some of the Zoo’Opolis Exotic Petting Zoo animals view it as a special treat and may come to you over other guests. The staff will check the fruit over or cut them up as needed before entering the first feeding area, and let you know which animals can eat the special treats.
So many animals!
We first went to an area with ducks, geese, turkeys, chickens, and guinea fowl. The staff gave us a cup of food that we could pour into our hands to hand feed anything with a flat beak. We fed goats, a calf, llamas, and donkeys.
Next, we went to a different section where there were rays (they look like little white ostriches), muntjac deer, tortoise, and wallabies (I may have forgotten some!). It was really fun to feed the calf from a bottle of milk and sit down and pet the wallabies who seemed to love the attention.
Indoor animal encounters
We went inside one of the buildings where each family sat at a different table. The large room had different varieties of cages and habitats lining all the walls around the room, and kittens and puppies were roaming around the room. Zoo’Opolis Exotic Petting Zoo staff brought a different animal or set of animals to our table for several minutes for us to pet or hold.
After we had time with each animal, the animal rotated to the next table, and the animal from the table on the other side of us came to our table. It was great to pet the leopard Bengal kittens, watch a couple ferrets play, pet a soft Chinchilla, and pet a spikey, yet soft hedgehog, and more.
Next, most of the animals were put away, and the owner brought out a timber wolf. This timber wolf was amazing to see up close. Beautiful long legs, intelligent eyes, and soft fur. The Zoo’Opolis Exotic Petting Zoo owner spoke passionately about wolves and educated the attendees on misconceptions and truths regarding wolves.
One of the things I found most interesting is that the wolf likes to play with all of the beginner and ambassador animals outside when the animals aren’t working (interacting with families). But the timber wolf is not the alpha in the field. The donkeys and alpacas are higher in the pecking order than the timber wolf, and the timber wolf is submissive to them!
Animals in the Barn
After visiting with the timber wolf, the ambassadors went to the barn. This was our favorite part of the Zoo’Opolis Exotic Petting Zoo session. In the barn, we hand fed a zebra and then went into some of the habitats. The kids that were light weight enough were offered the opportunity to sit on the zebra.
First we entered the racoon and coatimundi habitat. The raccoons, being nocturnal, were just soft to pet, but didn’t do much. The coatimundi, Eva, on the other hand really enjoys climbing all over her visitors to check for things to steal. We emptied our pockets before going in, but Eva still likes to check everyone’s pockets just in case.
Next we went into the lemurs’ habitat. This was my absolute favorite part of the day at Zoo’Opolis Exotic Petting Zoo. The lemurs love to play with their guests. They will jump all around the room, including you as part of their obstacle course. I really enjoyed playing with them, and so did my kids.
Lastly, we went back outside to meet the red fox. We went into the habitat with the red fox. The fox is not as confident as his other ambassador friends. The red fox was rescued from a coat factory. It’s hard to believe he almost lost his life to be worn! It took a while for him to warm up to me, but then the red fox really enjoyed getting his head scratched.
Petting Zoo area
On our way out of Zoo’Opolis Exotic Petting Zoo we saw some peacocks, said goodbye to the friendly staff, and headed to more of Brown County (post coming soon!).
My impression of Zoo’Opolis Exotic Petting Zoo is that it is a loving home for a lot of animals. It’s a mix of rescues, exotic wildlife, and farm animals. The animals all looked well loved and cared for.
Some of the animals come into smaller enclosures for the time they are visiting with humans. But, other than the muntjac deer and wallabies larger enclosure, the animals do not live in these areas. They have a much larger field to roam with a creek and trees to run around.
In the large room with tables, multiple staff members watched out for the animals. They provided guidance, education, and made sure everyone handled the animals gently. It is very clear that the animals’ needs come before the humans’ wants at Zoo’Opolis Exotic Petting Zoo. I learned a ton, and felt very comfortable with our visit. I look forward to going back soon.
Also to note for 2020 – the owner requested if we felt comfortable, to remove our masks because they scare some of the animals. Being outdoors or in a large room at our own table, we did feel comfortable keeping our masks off, but it is your personal choice.
We also visited Brown County State Park – Read about it here
Looking for more fall fun? Click here.