A few months ago, I had the idea of an epic birthday present for my sister. As a lover of sloths, I thought it would be amazing if I could find a place where she could meet and interact with a sloth. So after a googling session, I found a facility somewhat near where we lived in Orange County!
After some planning with my parents, we had everything set to happen right before the big move and we kept this a secret for my sister until the day of. We went to the Wildlife Learning Center in Sylmar, CA and went on the Safari Tour. This tour is a 1.5-hour tour where a biologist will guide you through a few animal enclosures to get up-close and personal with some amazing animals. Amongst the wild animals we saw were a serval, some porcupines, a tawny owl, a fennec fox, and a two-toed sloth!
So, in this week’s post, I’m sharing some of the highlights from our experience 😊
Obviously, we had to get a picture in front of the main sign! The Wildlife Learning Center provides life-long homes for wild animals who were either once owned as pets, injured, or zoo-born.
Their mission, as stated on their website, is
To provide public education that inspires people to care for our wildlife, to care for our environment, to develop a deep interest in the life sciences, and to give loving care and sanctuary to animals in need.
The Wildlife Learning Center was founded in 1993 and has given more than 22,000 educational presentations to hundreds of thousands of people!
In the area where you go to check in for the tour, the first animal you meet is Merlin the blue and gold macaw. He is a beautiful bird and on this hot day, he was enjoying the shade.
The first animal we got to interact with was a serval. It was only a photo opportunity but it was still pretty amazing to be as close as we were to such an amazing cat!
We also got to feed some porcupines! They were easily one of my favorite animals because they were so curious and really hungry for some snacks! 😋 There was even an extremely cute baby that was only a few weeks old when we visited!
Our tour guide gently woke up this nocturnal tawny owl so we hold it and take some pictures. My sister and I are both in the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma so this was a great experience since our mascot is an owl!
And for the main event! We got to meet both of the two-toed sloths they care for at the Wildlife Learning Center. The one that fell asleep on the food bowl is named Lola. She is a local celebrity who appeared on Ellen! Remember that video of Ellen surprising Kristen Bell with a sloth? This is the sloth she brought on the show!
The other sloth, who was sleeping and hanging on with one arm is named Sid. These guys recently got a brand new enclosure and they are loving it!
Here are a few of the animals we learned about as well. The bald eagles are so regal and are so much bigger than I thought they were! And the squirrel monkeys were the hardest to photograph because they NEVER stopped moving! I managed to snap the pic on the bottom right but it took so many tries to get a clear photo.
The final mammal we met was one of the fennec foxes that lives onsite. He is also nocturnal so he just continued sleeping while we listened to the tour guide and took photos. This animal reminds me a lot of our family dog Gracie except much fluffier.
The tour ended in the reptile room where various reptiles and insects live. I was not the most comfortable in this building but our parents (especially our mom) were brave enough to hold a hissing cockroach! I dislike all things creepy crawly so I could never willingly hold a hissing cockroach.
I hope you enjoyed reading this week’s post! I highly encourage learning more about the Wildlife Learning Center and stopping by next time you’re in LA County!
Until next time,