Lake Tobias Wildlife Park

Saturday was my dad’s 58th birthday.  Instead of buying him a gift I decided to do an activity as a present.  A few months ago I told him and my mom to take a vacation day on Friday and we would all go to Lake Tobias Wildlife Park.  Despite being “in our backyard” at 1.5 hours away, my family had never visited.  I was able to buy discounted tickets through my work’s recreation office and Jason got in free as a veteran.

We left early in the morning and stopped at Subway to get sandwiches to take along in a cooler for lunch.  We were part of the first group to arrive which meant we were on the first safari tour of the day.  My mom was glad that they offered vehicles for the tour as opposed to safaris where you drive your own; she was concerned about animals damaging her car.  Animal food was sold at the concession stand to take on the tour, but we chose not to buy any.  The tour lasted between 45 – 60 mins and our guide was fun and informative.  We traversed parts of the 150 acres to various spots where the animals were.  It was to our advantage to be on one of the earliest tours as she said the animals are hungrier and more likely to come to the vehicle.  It was also cooler in the morning as opposed to taking an afternoon tour.

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After exiting our tour vehicle we set out to explore the exhibits.  All of the animals were active with a female gibbon being the most vocal.  She kept making a noise that sounded similar to an ambulance wail and could be heard across the park.  We were able to view a capybara, an animal from South American none of us had ever saw.  There was a section for newly born baby animals and we were jealous of the worker who was inside holding a baby bobcat.  We chose not to visit the petting zoo as many groups of school age kids were in there.

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The reptile and exotics building said closed until noon so we used that time to eat our lunch.  We had brought along Subway thinking that the prices for food within the park would be exorbitant.  Surprisingly they weren’t, and if we visit again we’ll likely buy lunch from their concession stands instead.  There were lots of picnic tables available and we wrapped up our lunch just as some of the school groups were arriving to have theirs.

We toured the reptile and exotics building and stayed for the show they offered.  A two-toed sloth, giant toad, snapping turtle, two types of snakes and an alligator were featured.  I did not take any pictures as I was more interested in listening to the facts about each animal.

We headed back home, our entire visit lasting about 3.5 hours.  My dad enjoyed it as his birthday present, and we were grateful for gorgeous weather to enjoy our time there.  There is a giraffe exhibit under construction; it seems like the park tries to add new features to keep visitors coming back each year.  I thought the park and safari tour prices were very reasonable and that we got our money’s worth which is sometimes hard to find nowadays.  It’s also very large so we never felt crowded by others who were visiting.  The animals seem to be very healthy and live in clean environments.  Lake Tobias Wildlife Park is a fun family activity no matter what the ages of your family members.

About Tracy

Runner. Writer. Reader. Environmental and Indigenous Peoples advocate. Work from home Workforce Specialist. NASM Certified Personal Trainer. Assistant Varsity Track Coach. Fascinated by the ocean, waterfalls and Christmas lights.
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9 Responses to Lake Tobias Wildlife Park

  1. Erratic Movement says:

    From the photos, it looks like the animals have a fair bit of space which is great. I haven’t visited a zoo or wildlife park for a long time. I’ve been vegetarian for more than a year and vegan for about nine months: the primary reason was health rather than animal welfare, but I have to admit I’m becoming a bit more conscious of things. I imagine a lot of it comes down to the individual sites in terms of how well the animals are treated.

    The one thing I am a little more conflicted about is aquariums: I visited an amazing one in Copenhagen last year and I loved everything about it, quiet environment and dim lights, bright colours and relaxed environment. But again, I don’t really know what that environment is like for the sea creatures. I really hope its a positive one as it was one of my favourite places visited in Copenhagen.

    • TracyNicole says:

      Jason is a very anti-zoos so I was hesitant to mention going to Lake Tobias initially. I did show him the website in advance and an animal loving coworker of mine said her family goes every year and she feels the animals are treated well so that helped. I did feel a tad sad seeing some of the larger animals such as the lion and tiger caged, but their areas were larger and nicer (such as having water features) than most I’ve seen at zoos.

      I enjoy aquariums as well. As a child I went to Sea World and thought the killer whale show was so neat. Then I saw Blackfish a few years ago and wanted all the whales freed. I think there’s a fine line between using facilities like zoos and aquariums as an educational and conservation facility and a money making entertainment driven one. Like my dad said at Lake Tobias, unfortunately some of those creatures we may only ever be able to see at places like that someday. It’s certainly a tough issue, but I try to not let it eat away at me so that I can still enjoy certain places.

  2. AJ says:

    I love doing experiences for gifts! I have a group of friends who do this and over the years we’ve done some interesting things that still provide great memories:)

    • TracyNicole says:

      Most years for my mom’s birthday I take her to a concert at a local fair rather than buy a physical present and it’s always a great time. One year for Christmas I bought concert tickets for my sister and her husband as well. I would much rather give an experience if possible!

  3. Great idea! I’m glad your dad enjoyed his birthday!

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