“We are letting visitors come in and we’re just saying, pardon the dust we’re operating, but there’s still parts of the center that are not complete,” said Amanda Badger, one of the farm’s founders. “We still need to complete some of the insulation and install a few other systems. So, we are 93 percent done and I’m fundraising for that last 7 percent to help us get to the finish line.”
Badger says her goal is to have the grand opening of the Education Center open by May 2024, which marks the farm’s 10-year anniversary. She also addressed what guests can expect from the center currently and upon its full completion.
“One of the parts of our Education Center is called Basecamp,” Badger explained. “Basecamp is where visitors watch us prepare the food for the animals that are in our care. There (are) large windows and there’s a microphone, so the person that’s preparing the food can describe the diets our animals need to be healthy and the food they need to be nutritious. And then we have the area we’re still working on which is our veterinary room, which would be very similar. We’ll (also) have scheduled times where people that are interested in the animal husbandry side (can) watch our veterinarian (do) small animal checkups to our animals in our care.”
In addition, Wild Hearts African Farm offers a “glamping” tent, which opened in 2020. The tent, which includes a bed and electricity, is located near the park’s Wildlife Grove section where there are special viewing areas and interactive guided tours. Tent reservations are closed for 2023 but dates are available for early 2024. Badger also noted while there is only one tent available at the moment, the farm would like to open more in the future.
The farm will also celebrate the holidays throughout the winter like Cheetah Day in December and Valentine’s Day in February. The group is also available via their Mobile Teaching Zoo, where they take a selection of their animals to visit schools, churches, birthday parties and more.
Wild Hearts Animal Farm opened in 2014 and features many animals local to both the continent of Africa and animals native to Ohio. The park was the first zoo in Ohio to be officially Humane certified.
HOW TO GO
What: Wild Hearts African Farm
When: Walk-ins are welcome from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. The park is also open for reservations Sundays through Fridays.
Where: 7010 Jordan Rd., Lewisburg
More info: Email email@example.com or visit https://wildheartsafricanfarm.org/