Tucked away all the way back in horse country in Wellington, Florida is a little slice of farmland home to some of the most exotic animals in the world. You’d never know it was there, unless you were looking for it and lucky for me and my family, I had my eye on the Wellington Conservation Center for quite some time now. I truly didn’t know what to expect and I can honestly say my family and I were blown away. It’s a place where rehabilitated animals go to get a second chance at life, a place where unwanted, abandoned and injured species find their second home and a sanctuary where each sweet soul has a truly unique story to be told. From orphaned birds, to mammals and everything in between their website says they “specialize in conservation of South American exotics who are endangered from habitat loss and poaching,” a truly commendable feat.
If you ask my 4-year-old daughter Vera, her favorite animal on property was the unnamed little kitty, the horse we were able to feed apples to and the little bunnies she was able to snuggle up with. My son was thrilled by the lemur who grabbed bananas off a stick with his lefty hand and my husband thought the pot belly pigs were a sight to see. I especially loved getting up close and personal with the Brazilian Porcupines named Bonnie and Clyde and the 2-toed sloth family, especially the momma and baby duo. Feeding the sloths lettuce was an incredible experience, we won’t ever forget! I still have fomo that we never were able to get a front row seat to see the sloths while on our honeymoon to Costa Rica ten years ago and now I can finally say I was able to interact with them right in our very own backyard! How cool is that?!
From wallabys to foxes and even a crab-eating raccoon that bunks up with a Patagonian Cavy, the amount of animals we encountered exceeded our family’s expectations and I’m sure won’t leave you on the side of disappointment! Cole was an exceptional and knowledgeable host on the farm and we can’t wait to come back soon!
Sloths and lemurs are one of the primary focuses of the center due to the fact that these animals are an endangered species. The Wellington Conservation Center is a non-profit organization and they receive all of their funding through donations from their tours, grants, trusts and local sponsors. Tours are by appointment only taking place Wednesday through Monday and offered three times daily. Adults are $20 and kids 6-10 are $15. Those 5 and under are only $5. To book a tour call 954.448.1044. For more information visit their website at wellingtonconservationcenter.org.