It's not your typical zoo. There aren't any bars, cement floors, or paved pathways. The variety of animals is more limited. However, the animals are in an environment that more closely resembles their natural habitat. In my opinion, it was just as good if not better than some of the bigger typical zoos. It isn't even called a "zoo". It is the Oatland Island Educational Center.
You follow animal footprints on asphalt to the start of a 2 mile path through the woods and over a marsh. There are wooden plank bridges and walk ways that appear throughout. On some of the planks, you will notice writing. People can donate money to the center for animal care and receive recognition on a plank. The marsh view is beautiful. Their lake is breath-taking with a water fountain in the middle.
The cougars are actually hybrid panters/cougars. They were very playful the day we were there. Jumping up into the tree for their close ups, they could turn as if posing.
I have seen several dogs that were half wolf, but have never seen the real thing up close. As soon as we got close, a wolf began walking right up to the fence to see us. I did not realize how large they really are. They are so beautiful and intimidating at the same time. The one wolf actually took a liking to us and was following us around the fence. When we were out of sight, he began to howl and then the rest joined in.
They had two beautiful bald eagles there as well. Again, I had never seen one up close. They are really large birds as well. Their wingspans were huge.
The cost of admission was $3 per person over 4 years old. I was amazed that this place was so affordable yet so gorgeous. If you have a chance, you should stop by. My kids loved the trip. We are planning another trip this weekend.