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Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Sloth Encounter

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Sloth Encounter Experience

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Gulf Shores AL has a Sloth Encounter where you can hold a sloth. Located in Gulf Shores AL.

Sloths in Alabama can be seen at the Gulf Coast Zoo in AL and the Sloths at The Birmingham Zoo in Alabama.

In this article, we will discuss

  • AL Gulf Coast Zoo Sloth Encounter
  • Sloths at The Gulf Coast Zoo in Alabama
  • Meet The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Sloths
  • Hold a Sloth at this Alabama Zoo
  • Is Sloth Petting at Gulf Coast Zoo Allowed?
  • About The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo
  • AL Gulf Coast Zoo Animals
  • How Did This Alabama Zoo Begin?
  • Gulf Coast Zoo Membership
  • Events At The Gulf Coast Zoo
  • Gulf Coast Zoo Online Reviews
  • Discounts At The Gulf Coast Zoo
  • Contact The Golf Coast Zoo

Below you will find information about the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Sloth Encounter.

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Sloth Encounter

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Sloth Encounter Experience Pin

Are you planning to encounter sloths at the gulf coast zoo in Alabama?

During your visit to the gulf coast zoo in Alabama, you will encounter sloths and learn about their behaviors, diets, mode of life, and interaction.

An experience with these ‘lazy’ and slow-movers in this zoo is awe-inspiring and will leave you educated.

Gulf Coast Zoo the little zoo that could is a very well-known quote for this zoo.

The Gulf Coast Zoo AL is one of the best zoos where you can learn more about animals, especially sloths.

In this zoo, you will meet sloths which two-toed (scientifically called Choloepus).

Ideally, all sloths have three toes on their lower limbs, but the Choloepus sloths have two toes on both forelimbs.

At the Alabama Gulf Zoo, you will meet two pairs of adorable sloths named Sylvia and Sid, Sonic and Speedy get to feed them and socialize with them in an up-close-and-personal way.

In the past years, visitors to this beautiful home of animals have experienced grouped as sloth, tamandua, lemur, and kangaroo encounters.

Sloths at The Gulf Coast Zoo in Alabama

Just imagine meeting sloths in a way that makes it feel and seem like they are human! Call that, up close and personal.

Sloths metabolize really slowly, permitting their slow movement. Say you met a kangaroo here, you obviously get all the attention you want.

These furry animals are not interested in your greeting hugs, and the high-five hellos.

Sloths don’t enjoy any kind of human attention or entertainment.

That does not mean that you should not try to entertain them.

Sloths value their sleep and their meals so much that even your presence at the zoo will go unnoticed.

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Meet The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Sloths

The Gulf Coast Zoo in Alabama hosts four sloths. But according to the zoo director, the number has climbed to five because in April a baby sloth was born.

Surprisingly, this birth got them unawares although they had suspected the pregnancy. The gestation of sloths is about 8 to 12 months.

Where did the Sloths Come From?

Many people think that the sloths at the zoo were sort of purchased or abducted from the wild.

On contrary, the sloths here are normally born in the zoo.

Or in some cases, their survival in the wild was compromised for several reasons and were thus given a home in the zoo.

The Gulf Coast Zoo sloths have been raised from their baby stages.

They normally bring in sloths or other animals in their baby and young stages.

Without proper training and care, these animals can freak out or get stressed humans to interact with them.

Taking that into consideration, an animal specialist at the zoo pioneer for one thing.

They separate the new and baby sloths into a special cage.

Next, they are kept by qualified keepers who are very skilled at socializing with the baby sloths.

They also make the sloths get used to human interaction.

This is purposely meant to eliminate fear and anxiety that may come about when visitors socialize with these animals which may include veterinary care.

Currently, the existing sloths in this zoo can be seen and interacted with, in Sloth Encounter.

During this time the sloths can be touched, fed, and even taking photos of them.

The zookeepers always strive not to force these animals to do what they don’t want.

In the morning especially, the sloths don’t like to socialize, so the encounter is avoided.

Hold a Sloth at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

Can You Hold a Sloth at the Gulf Coast Zoo in Alabama? The quick answer is a yes. But as said earlier, caution needs to be practiced not to be a bother to them.

You see, these animals don’t even care whether you touch them or not.

Such can be explained by the fact that they are not good hearers or poor at catching sight.

The zookeepers here claim that with such poor eyesight, sloths do not take notice of humans.

Created with tender love and affection, we humans will always want to touch and hold an animal we have longed for.

And you will feel the same for sloth. Your visit and your Alabama Gulf Cost Sloth encounter will be under the supervision of the zookeeper.

They will recommend that you get only rub these animals on their hindquarters.

Touching any place other than that may make the sloth feel threatened.

The fur of Sylvia and Sid, Sonic and Speedy- sloths in this zoo, is surprisingly smooth and soft to touch.

The fur extends further to cover their legs and looks like wool but appears rather shorter as compared to the fur on other parts of their body.

To facilitate and ease movement on ropes and trees in the zoo, sloths have long pads that start from their paws and end at each limb.

Sloths spend 90% of their day hanging on trees.

Furthermore, sloths themselves don’t socialize that much with each other.

In the zoo, it is hard to see them interact. The only time that sloths can get close to each other, is when they are in the same tree simply to sleep.

The best time to encounter, touch and hold sloths is about mid-morning.

This time they are kind of sociable. But this does not guarantee that you get up-close and too cuddly.

Is Sloth Petting at Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Allowed?

Can you Per a Sloth At the Gulf Coast Zoo? Sloth petting is allowed in this zoo. But a lot of caution is needed.

Several sloth preservation organizations do not tolerate hands-on sloth encounters.

Some people after encountering sloths, or maybe take a selfie with them, will always walk out of the zoos to have more sloth interaction.

These organizations are seriously up against the poaching of wild sloths which currently has been rising at an alarming rate.

Such poaching is directly linked to the interaction that people have with sloths in other organizations of reputable names.

Petting of sloths has seen their rights abused and their freedom exploited.

Some sloth keepers had gone to the further extent of using sloths in fitness halls for yoga or sloth sleepover events.

Others even go steps ahead and use them for events such as ‘Slips with Sloths’, ‘After School Slime with Sloths’, and sloths swimming lessons.

The Gulf Coast Zoo Sloth experience in Alabama is one of a different kind.

With directors and zookeepers who are deeply care about animal welfare, individual sloths always have pleasant stays and encounters.

Sloth petting is allowed in this zoo. But a lot of caution is needed.

Sloths normally have an inbuilt internalized stress.

This stress can get even worse when they begin to experience abnormal blood pressure, especially to human contact.

The sloth keeper at the zoo knows one thing- that sloths will automatically feel uncomfortable when they are handled by people with who they are not familiar.

That brings us to the second thing observed by keepers at the zoo.

They reduce the number of sloth encounters, specifically petting, per sloth a day.

Ideally, sloths should be encountered only once a day.

Sloth keepers also do not move them from their enclosures as sloths do not like a change in their environment.

About The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

It is such an incredible zoo that has attracted much attention.

At one point, a television show Animal Planet staged one of their successful and most-watched series called The Little Animal That Could in the Gulf Coast Zoo.

The zoo was established in June 1989 as Zooland Animal Park, in Gulf Shores, Alabama, United States.

It is operated by a non-profit organization called Zoo Foundation, Inc.

Furthermore, for its funding, it relies on memberships, admissions, and contributions.

The zoo lies on a land 25 acres and is some blocks away from the beach at the north.

It has more than 300 and includes tigers, monkeys, macaws, wolves, Barbary lions, and bears.

For a start, two families, Robin Willis’ and Joey Ward collaborated to build it.

The Joey Family donated most of the land the zoo lies on today.

In 1994, Erie Meyer Foundation also helped by donating land for the zoo.

The Gulf Coast Alabama Zoo, just like any other project has suffered several damages caused by hurricanes.

Hurricane Danny hit the Alabama shores in 1997 causing less damage.

In the following year, Hurricane Georges severely hit the shores.

There was a flood and an evacuation process was initiated. All the animals were moved inland, some 24 km away to a raised ground.

The evacuation was quite expensive that in 1999 the zoo was nearly closed.

Thanks to fundraisers who came in to keep it open. Sadly, the zoo after evacuating animals was closed for about 14 months in 2004 following a devastating hit by Hurricane Ivan.

This was the worst hurricane to ever hit the zoo making it incur losses of about $500,000 as some animals were lost during the process. It reopened in October 2005.

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Animals

What are the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo animals? The Alabama Gulf Coast Alabama Zoo animals are many.

The Zoo hosts and is giving a home to more than 300 animals.

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Animals List

These include tigers, leopards, monkeys, macaws, wolves, kangaroo, lemur, tamandua, Barbary lions, and bears.

Reptiles such as snakes and crocodiles are also kept here.

The zoo has added and enhanced opportunities for guests to interact with these animals in an up-close-and-personal way.

Out of these activities, you will get to enhance your understanding and greatly learn about these animals.

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Animals Encounters

The zoo holds several animal encounters where you can get close and personal with them.

  • Sloth Encounter
  • Lemur Encounter
  • Tamandua Encounter
  • Kangaroo Encounter

You can read more about these animal encounters below.

Sloth Encounter

As mentioned above you can have a sloth encounter with any of the 5 sloths at the Gulf Coast Zoo in Alabama.

There are 5 now since one of them was born recently at the zoo.

You can feed them and if the sloth will permit hold them.

Be very careful though as these are very gentle creatures that can easily stress.

Lemur Encounter

Lemur Encounter is Madagascar’s cheeky primates. Lemurs close resemble primates such as monkeys and apes.

At the zoo, they commonly eat fruits and insects. Just like sloths, lemurs also spend most of their time in trees.

They are very social primates.

And at the zoo, lemurs will walk on your laps, nag you or even steal your cap.

Tamandua Encounter

Tamandua Encounter: they are ideally the ‘must see’ creatures in the zoo. They are beautiful and fascinating.

Believed to be related to giant anteaters only that tamanduas are somehow small.

Tamandua has small eyes with little vision but a very good sense of smell that helps them locate their food- insects.

At the Gulf Coast Zoo in Alabama, keepers will take you through Tamandua Encounter and make you learn more about these small-eyed creatures.

Additionally, you will get time to feed and play with them.

Kangaroo Encounter

Kangaroo Encounter: this encounter will give you a feeling of the Outback in Australia, the home of kangaroos.

Kangaroos are somehow shy and naturally retire.

They wholly rely on grass.

They have uniquely very sharp incisors that can chop the grass from the ground and also they don’t release digestive methane.

At the zoo, you will come close to a baby kangaroo get to pet, hold, and even take a selfie with it.

How Did the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Begin?

How Did the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Begin

In 1989, Robin Willis together with Joey Ward started a special project that became the Gulf Coast Alabama Zoo.

Robin Willis keyed in some cash and Ward donated 17 acres of land.

Some years later Erie Meyer Foundation expounded on the land by donating 13 acres.

Initially, Joey Ward as an entrepreneur in Alabama constructed a tiny, community zoo on a parcel of land which their family-owned some kilometers away from the beach.

He named Zooland Animal Park. Later in 1991, his family and Ward formed The Zoo Foundation, Inc as a charitable and non-profit organization to run the park.

In 1995, Patti Hall out of her passion for animals volunteered to work in the park.

Two years later Patti, was made the zoo director.

She encountered her first challenge in management in 1998 when Hurricane Georges hit the shores of the Gulf Coast.

She hired Cyndi Johnson as Head Zookeeper and Curator in 1999 to help run the zoo and keep it operational.

The Board of Directors together with Patti felt that what they had achieved was not enough.

In the interest of prestige and credibility, they renamed the zoo to today’s popular Gulf Coast Zoo.

They initiated numerous zoo activities such as visits to schools and libraries for educational purposes, promotions as well as community events.

All these were aimed at attracting tourists to the zoo.

When Hurricane Ivan hit the shores in 2004, the zoo was turned upside down.

Some animals were rescued while others got lost.

Several donations and contributions helped raise the zoo back to its feet.

A television shoot for the series ‘Little Animal That Could’ attracted further donations and funds to the zoo.

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Membership

Gulf Coast Zoo Membership

Can you become a member of the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo? The zoo’s Board of Directors has allowed visitors and guests to the zoo to register as members at their will.

The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo membership is a good choice one can make as a reward to the zoo.

It runs for one year counted down from the date of issue.

In this section, we will discuss the following topics…

  • Becoming a Member
  • Membership Price Options
  • Many Membership Benefits
  • Membership Rules

You can find more info about the membership options below.

Becoming a Member

To become a member, the following two conditions must be met and fully satisfied:

  • One must be 16 years old and above.
  • One must have and present a valid identification card.

Membership Price Options

Then, an individual has to visit the zoo’s website and select any of the following levels of membership options:

  • Individual: $54.00 plus tax
  • Friendship: $60.00
  • Grandparents: $70.00 plus tax (one adult plus one adult and up to 4 children under age 18 years.
  • Family: $90.00 plus tax (one adult plus one adult and up to 4 children under the age of 18 years.
  • Group: $140.00

Many Membership Benefits

The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo membership comes with the following benefits also grouped in levels:

  1.  Unlimited benefits to the zoo.
  2. 15% discount on admission of one adult plus one adult and up to 4 children under age 18 years per visit.
  3. 15% discount on goods purchased in the zoo.
  4. Exclusive member sticker.
  5. Entitlement to subscribe to a digital newsletter.
  6. One receives a discount to select any of the zoo-sponsored events.

Membership Rules

Once you are a member of the Gulf Coast Alabama Zoo you must adhere to the following rules:

  • An individual must present his/her membership card to receive benefits.
  • Different animal encounters are not part of membership.
  • In the case of a lost card, one must pay $2.00 for replacement.
  • All memberships are not transferrable. This means that the named individual must be present.
  • The company of an adult is a must for children below 16 years.

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Events

Gulf Coast Zoo Events

Are there any events at The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo? There are several events that happen every year at the zoo.

Some of the most popular events are:

  • World Giraffe Day celebration
  • Conservation Fund
  • Holiday Afternoon Tea
  • Animal Art Safari
  • Annual Charity Golf Tourney
  • GCAA Wild Things Zoo Art Fest

You can learn more about these events below.

World Giraffe Day celebration

World Giraffe Day celebration: this event is scheduled to take place on June 19, 2021, from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.

It is meant to celebrate giraffes and to carry out fundraising and donations to a target of $1,000. This money will be used for Giraffe care.

Conservation Fund

Conservation Fund: Zoo members enter freely but guests will have to pay for a regular admission ticket.

Also in the event people will feed giraffes, play with children, get to learn about African animals, and enjoy the paintings created by Benjamin and Akayla.

Holiday Afternoon Tea

Holiday Afternoon Tea: is an event scheduled for two days, that is, December 8th and 9th each year.

Has two seating each day 2:00pm to 3:15pm or 3:30pm to 5:00pm. Members do pay $25/ person for tickets to this event, same to guests.

Animal Art Safari

Animal Art Safari: is a one-day event each year on December 10th.

Annual Charity Golf Tourney

Annual Charity Golf Tourney: this event benefits the zoo. The Annual Golf Tourney is conducted yearly on June 5th.

GCAA Wild Things Zoo Art Fest

GCAA Wild Things Zoo Art Fest: conducted on 22nd May every year.

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Reviews

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Online Reviews

Here are samples of Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo online reviews that we found around the web.

If you would like to leave a review for the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo please post it in the comments.

Meredith R.

Meredith R. says, “Fabulous zoo! Very open and plenty of room! Great variety of species and well-planned habitats. It is clear they are well cared for and loved. The encounters are great and worth the extra investment. The staff is so friendly and welcoming. We will definitely be back!” – Source: Google Map Reviews

Logan E.

Logan E. gave a rating of 5/5 and said, “We absolutely loved visiting the little zoo that could in their new location. The giraffes are such a great addition to their already great facility. The new enclosures look great, and the animals seem happy and well taken care of. They have a broad array of species, so there is something for everyone. The animals come so close its absolutely thrilling. Definitely recommend taking the time out of your stay, or the drive down to visit this hidden gem. ” – Source: Google Map Reviews


Mabeswife Alabama gulf coast zoo reviews said, “My 11yo son and I visited last week and we were impressed at how many animals were in this small zoo. He loves all animals and was excited to see the bengal tigers, primates, camels, giraffes, big cats, and more. It was a little warm that day and we happened to visit during the hottest part of the day so the sun was shining right on us. There was some shade but not a ton (the animals all had shade though and many were napping, especially the cats!). We really enjoyed our visit here.” – Source: Tripadvisor Reviews


DCX gave them 4 stars and said, “We had a great time at this smaller zoo. I gave it four stars because you have to pay for everything above your admission cost of approx $20. You pay to feed the animals, ride the carrousel etc. it is a smaller zoo but very clean and easy to walk thru.” – Source: Tripadvisor Reviews

Sandy N.

Sandy N. Alabama gulf coast zoo reviews gave it 4 stars and said, “This is a tiny but cute zoo that small children would enjoy. It takes about 30-40 minutes to see everything. Not a lot of animals, but everything was clean and they looked very healthy and well cared for. There’s a small zipline, some carts to ride in on a short track, and some things to climb and swing on. Not much in the way of treats and vending, but appropriate for the size. There is however a restaurant that has very good food. We were impressed by the quality of everything we ordered. They have a nice little gift shop too. They are very Covid conscious, but not all patrons were. Luckily, we weren’t sharing the park with many people on our Sunday afternoon visit.” – Source: Yelp Reviews

Melody N.

Melody N. Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo review was, “We really loved this zoo! And while it could use some improvement overall it was really nice. We also came during covid and I’m pretty sure half the park was closed bc of that. We really liked the reptile room, the butterfly room (no live butterflies,) and the lions and tigers. The gift shop was real nice too. They have monkeys, parrots, i believe a camel ride option and some other animal encounters like lemurs and more. Check it out! Great for the family!” – Source: Yelp Reviews

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Discounts

Gulf Coast Zoo Discounts

Are there any discounts for the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo? There are discounts available for the Gulf Coast Zoo in AL from either the zoo or from other websites.

These are some that we have seen on the web.

  • Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Membership: By becoming a member of the zoo you automatically get discounts of 15% of Admission for nonmembers guests and 15% discount on all gift shop merchandise.
  • Competitor Deals: Get Up To 50% Off With These The Gulf Coast Alabama Zoo Competitor Coupons for Petting Zoos
  • Promo Codes: Get Up to 40% Off if Any of These The Gulf Coast Alabama Zoo Promo Codes Apply to Your Purchase

NOTE: These Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo discounts could expire at any time.  We are just listing the ones we found at the time of this post.

Contact The Golf Coast Zoo

Contact The Golf Coast Zoo

Below you will find Information about Contacting the Gulf Coast Zoo in Alabama.

In this section, we will discuss the following topics

  • Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Hours
  • What are the Gulf Coast Zoo Admission Prices?
  • Gulf Coast Zoo Address
  • Gulf Coast Zoo Map
  • Contact The Gulf Coast Alabama Zoo

You can learn some more information about these topics below.

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Hours

What are the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo hours? The zoo is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm.

During holidays they from 9 am and close at noon.

The Gulf Coast zoo is closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

What is the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Admission Prices?

What are The Gulf Coast Zoo Admission Prices? The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo prices are:

  • Adults (13-54) pay $19.95
  • Seniors (55+) pay $16.95
  • Children (3-12) $14.95
  • Children 2 and under have free admission.

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Address

What is the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo address? You can find the zoo at 20499 Oak Road East, Gulf Shores AL 36542

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Map

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Map Directions

We made this map to give you some general Alabama gulf coast zoo directions.

  1. New Orleans Louisiana (192 Miles)
  2. Hattiesburg Mississippi (176 Miles)
  3. Meridian Mississippi (183 Miles)
  4. Birmingham Alabama (278 Miles)
  5. Montgomery Alabama (190 Miles)
  6. Atlanta Georgia (349 Miles)
  7. Tallahassee Florida (235 Miles)

Alternate Route

You can always fly to the Jack Edwards National Airport if you are too far from the zoo.  The airport is only 6 miles away from the zoo.

Contact The Gulf Coast Alabama Zoo

Please help us spread the word about this amazing zoo. Share on Facebook or Twitter.

We have worked really hard to gather all this information. All we ask in return is for you to share the post. Thank you very much!

Email: info@algulfcoastzoo.org
Phone: 251-256-7008
Gulf Coast Alabama Zoo is the little zoo that could.

We Hope You Like Our Post About The Gulf Coast Alabama Zoo

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Sloth Encounter Experience

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