Litchfield, CT --
Contact: Janet L. Serra
For Immediate Release
No need to travel far to give the family a taste of faraway places. Animals from Africa, India, Asia and the Arctic, along with American beauties, are a short drive away at the Action Wildlife Foundation, a unique 116-acre facility in Goshen, in Connecticut's Litchfield Hills that includes a new museum complex.
Amid fields of green surrounded by a picturesque stonewall; visitors can climb aboard a hay wagon any weekend for a thrilling view of some 32 species of exotic animals, from African Aoudad to the Zebu of Asia. The friendly wagon driver (who often turns out to be owner Jim Mazzarelli) introduces the animals and answers questions. For those who prefer to tour by automobile, a new Safari section allows for self-guided drives.
American bison and elk and ibex goats have their own grassy area, and little ones can touch and feed smaller animals in the petting zoo. Miniature donkeys and horses, pygmy goats, Shetland ponies and potbellied pigs delight all ages.
The new Museum and Exploration Center opened last spring adds to the learning experience at Action Wildlife with realistic animal figures displayed in their natural habitat settings. The museum also includes a live reptile center, an iguana habitat and a hands-on educational center.
One man, Jim Mazzarelli, is responsible for the transformation of this one-time dairy farm into a non-profit organization dedicated to making exotic animals accessible to the public and to provide education about nature and animals. He carefully selects animals able to adapt to varying climates and landscapes. Many have the ability to develop thicker coats during colder months; those that cannot adapt are sheltered in a barn during the winter. A full time veterinarian sees to the health and well-being of the residents and some 10 different types of grain and feed mixtures are used so that each breed has the proper diet needed to thrive.
Action Wildlife, located on Route 4 halfway between Goshen and Torrington, is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in spring and fall, weather permitting. Phone 860-482-4465 to check conditions. The Museum is open daily year round. Admission is $8, $6 for children under 12. Hayrides offered on Saturday and Sunday are an additional $3 per person. See www.actionwildlife.org for more information.
For information about other family activities and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in the Litchfield Hills write to the Northwest CT Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, call (860) 567-4506 or check the Internet at www.litchfieldhills.com.