Places Where They Will Let the Exotic Animals Taste You

About a month ago I highlighted a trip report written by Sunset_Sammy in which he described a trip to Thailand, and a visit to Tiger Kingdom – “a place where you can get in pens with live tigers.”

I bring this up because MichelleOx over on the TripAdvisor forums is wondering:

if anyone knew of places around the world to interact with animals, particularly where the animals are well taken care of. I already know of some elephant sanctuaries but I am wondering if there are any with monkeys, orangutans, lion, tiger, cheetah, or panther cubs

Tiger Kingdom is the only place that I have ever heard of that fits the bill. CrystalVancouver describes a sanctuary for orphaned bears in Vancouver, and here in the Colorado Springs region we have a wolf sanctuary and a big cat sanctuary, but none of these allow visitors to interact directly with the animals.

And so I put the question to you readers.

Are you aware of, or have you visited, exotic animal sanctuaries that allow guests to physically interact with the animals? I would have to imagine that for liability reasons these types of facilities would be exceptionally rare. Then again, there are always waiver forms that can be signed I suppose.

And if you have visited such a facility, please tell us about your experience. Did it feel safe? Would you recommend it?

Read the thread in its entirety: Animal Interactions around the world.

African Serval” by JasonParis. CC BY 2.0.


  1. Hey,
    I went to Monkey Forrest, in Bali. Monkeys live there and are not captive. You can buy (cheap) bananas to feed them. You just have to hold them up and monkeys will climb on you to eat them.
    I have interacted with elephants, baby and adults, both in Bali (seemed druged) and in Sri Lanka (seemed well taken care of).
    Swiped with dolphins in Dominican Republic (seemed unhappy) and in Cuba (seemed happy).
    Interacted with a sea lion in Atlantis in the Bahamas.

  2. In roatan honduras, you can go inside the monkey’s cages. They jump around on you and you can feed them. It was a very cool experience and totally worth it imo. The animals seemed cared for, but it was definitely not a sanctuary…

  3. All too beautiful, but note that some of these places keep the animals doped all the time so people can approach them.

  4. There is a zoo about an 1.5 hours from Buenos Aires that let’s you in to pet the Lions, tigers, bears… They supposedly do not use drugs. The place was not beautiful, or very well kept… It was a fun experience nonetheless.

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