Here at DAPS MAGIC, we talk (a lot) about the big destinations around us, like the Disney Parks and Knott’s Berry Farm.
As fantastic as these places are, we know variety is the spice of life, and enjoy exploring the unique and wonderful outside the big gates. Using our local expertise, we invite you to consider a stop by some of our favorite places, in a series called DAPS Travel. Get the insider info, tips and tricks, and truly special experiences added to your next vacation, all from the folks here at DAPS MAGIC in the know!
Location: America’s Teaching Zoo (Moorpark College)
Love animals (and really, who doesn’t)? Looking for an adventure that’ll make your friends and family jealous? Then you simply must visit America’s Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College, just a short road trip away from the resort area of Orange County.
Why You’ll Want To Go
What this special teaching location lack in size (which is growing, by the way), easily makes up for in the uniqueness of opportunity. On our recent visit, we got closer to their gorgeous creatures than we ever imagined possible! Now, it is worth noting that we were given a special look at the zoo, for sake of getting the video and pictures you’ll see in this article, but the majority of the experiences we had are things the general public can see and do as well!
Their crecent-walk campus takes visitors along the several animal enclosures, with easily-accessed info on each inhabitant. Shows are offered (we got to see a couple of New Guinea singing dogs training for the spotlight!), but the real fun is in encountering the locals as you wander along.
What Makes Them Special
As amazing as some of the things we got to do are, highest praise for this facility goes to what we weren’t able to do. There were a couple instances where we headed to see an animal interaction, and the animal was giving indications of not being up for the attention. As soon as that happened, that was it. No creature was forced to perform at any point, and their safety and happiness was paramount. The cruelty of captive creatures is highlighted a lot these days, and it was a wonderful breath of fresh air to see these animals so well attended to.
Speaking of the animal caregivers, most of the folks you’ll see around on your visit are actually students, learning the ins and outs of proper animal care and interaction during an intensive two-year program. They are assigned specific animals and work to build relationships and understanding. Every student we encountered, from our gracious host Julie, to the bald eagle caregiver Tim radiated enthusiasm for their work. And the diversity of animals around was astounding! Big cats, several primates, reptiles, birds, and more. We particularly enjoyed meeting Clarence, a 95-year-old turtle with a penchant for cactus, Ghost, a bald eagle not letting a severe wing injury slow him down in the slightest, and Sweet & Low, a pair of adorable sugar-gliders.
You’ll get a lot of bang for your buck too, as weekend entry costs around ten bucks total!
The DAPS MAGIC crew would like to sincerely thank Moorpark College and America’s Teaching Zoo for sharing their wonderful facility with us.
**DAPs Magic received a complimentary product or experience to facilitate the writing of this article. It did not influence the opinions of the author. Opinions are wholly the views of the author. View the DAPs Magic Disclosure Policy for more info. Link for Disclosure Policy can be found at the bottom of this page.**