Located in Moonridge next to the golf course, the “Big Bear Rescue Zoo” is open daily from 10AM to 5PM (weather permitting, Memorial Day to Labor Day). It was formerly known as the “Moonridge Zoo”, but changed its name last month. The Zoo was created in response to the devastating 1959 fire which left injured animals.
The Zoo now rehabilitates and cares for animals that can’t be released back into the wild. They have used some of the animals to create educational outreach programs, visiting schools and youth organizations. The “Traveling Exhibit” program reaches 900 students a week.
Recently a mischievous black bear made national headlines. He had been caught destroying bee hives and stole $8000 in honey. The bear was named “Pooh” and shipped from northern California to its new home at the Rescue Zoo.
Visitors to the park will enjoy coming face to face with the animals. They have 85 species of alpine wildlife in their natural habitat. Residents include mountain lions, bald eagles, golden eagles, wolves, mule deer, bears and raccoons. You can time your visit to include the animal presentation at noon and the daily feeding tour at 3PM.
If you’re interested in supporting the Zoo, consider a membership. An annual “Friends of the Moonridge Zoo” membership starts at $30 for an individual, $45 for couples and $65 for families (up to 3 children under 18 years old). A photo ID and a Zoo membership card will give you free admission to reciprocal zoos, including the California Wolf Center in Julian and the Santa Ana Zoo. Follow this link for details: http://moonridgezoo.org/fomz/reciprocal.html.
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