One of Michigan's Best Kept Secrets!
Several years ago, I recalled looking for some excursions and events to introduce to my young children. One of the best-kept secrets in Michigan happened to be The Creature Conservancy, and it was located in Ann Arbor. Established in 2005, one of its first residents was Al (pictured above), who is significantly bigger today. Looking further into this nonprofit center, I was surprised to learn it relied exclusively on charitable donations.
The Creature Conservancy prided itself on being classified as a Wildlife Learning Center or an organization that provides public education that inspires people to care for wildlife. With that came the willingness to care for our environment, develop a deep interest in the life sciences, and give loving care and sanctuary to animals in need. In their own words and direct from their Facebook page:
*The Creature Conservancy is an up close and personal “hands-on zoo” right here in Ann Arbor! Many of our resident animals are rescued exotic “pets” or injured/non-releasable wildlife. We are passionate about making a difference in these animals lives by educating people of all ages about conservation.
So here are a sampling of the animals you can “experience” at this location. I apologize in advance as it is impossible to account for all animals you may encounter.
You might catch a kangaroo when they don’t want their picture taken.
You might find Harper the cougar/mountain lion/puma/panther frolicking in her living area. I am still perplexed by the several names associated with this large cat.
You will come across a Bald Eagle rescue with irreparable wing damage. Birds like this may not thrive in the wild, but they do remarkably well under the guidance of creature conservancy.
You don’t have to wait for Christmas to roll around to take in an educational presentation on the Reindeer. The people who care for these animals are well-versed in their history and provide insight into their care.
The Creature Conservancy is currently home to six Sloths, including JuJu (Forgive me if I got the spelling wrong). If you are lucky, you will catch at least one of them traversing their enclosure.
You will also see plenty of reptiles throughout the year indoors and, depending on the season, possibly outdoors. In addition to Al the alligator, they have additional American Alligators, giant tortoises, various tiny turtles, and an Alligator Snapping Turtle.
Not to be mistaken for a snake, you may also encounter a Legless Lizard.
Again, I couldn’t possibly account for all of these animals that call The Creature Conservancy home. My only regret is the length of time we stayed away during the pandemic. Wildlife Conservancy organizations such as this thrive on the public’s support, and when people were staying home, these places suffered. I implore you to seek out these establishments and visit them while learning about the animals they shelter. If you want to learn more about The Creature Conservancy, please use the link herein:
You might get the resident Peacock to give you a special greeting.