The Wilds

14000 International Rd.
Cumberland, OH 43732-9500

May through September open daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Last tour leaves at 4:00 p.m.)
$30 Dollars, Wildside Tours $125, and Winter at the Wilds tours $125 ($60 for Lodge Guests).

The Wilds

Enjoy an African Safari in the rolling hills of eastern Ohio at the Wilds.

With the expressed goal to lead and inspire by connecting people and wildlife, The Wilds is an animal-focused odyssey that transports visitors from the rolling hills of Ohio to the African Serengeti and back. The vast open pastures of The Wilds are home to dozens of rare species from around the world. Bison herds and Trumpeter Swan, once plentiful in much of Ohio and the Great Plains, share the picturesque scenery with Greater One-Horned Asian Rhino and Przewalski wild horses. Zebra, Giraffe, and Ostrich can also be found near the lakes throughout the park. The speedy Cheetah and the rare African Painted Dog each have their own enclosures that allow for unsurpassed viewing this side of the Atlantic. As North America's largest wildlife conservation center, The Wild's bridges local ecological history with international conversation.

The Wilds came to be thanks in part to the environmental protection efforts of the 1960s and 1970s. The land where The Wilds sits today was first used as a strip mine between 1940 and 1980. Big Muskie, once the world's largest excavator at twenty-two stories tall and 13,000 tons, lifted millions of pounds of coal from the ground between 1969 and 1991. When Big Muskie finished, the land more closely resembled the surface of the moon than a wildlife preserve. In the early 1970s however, the Ohio Legislature passed mining regulations that stepped up reclamation efforts in the state while providing a model for later federal laws.

By the late 1970s, the concept of The Wilds was already being proposed by the Ohio Departments of Natural Resources and Development, Ohio zoos, and contributors from the private sector. Preparations took more than a decade with fencing for the first enclosure completed in 1990. Park workers introduced the first animals into The Wilds in 1992, one year after Big Muskie made its final cut just east of the park. The center has expanded its geographic footprint and its scientific significance steadily since the early 1990s making it one of the most important wildlife centers in the world.

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Notes for Travelers

Pets are not permitted at The Wilds.


Melvin Barnes