Learn About Rescued Exotic Animals at Kira’s World Mini Zoo
As with any island, importation of exotic animals into Puerto Rico needs to be controlled in order to prevent the disruption and displacement of native wildlife. The Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales (the DRNA or Department of Natural Resources) is tasked with regulating the importation of exotic and foreign animals into the island. If the DRNA finds someone importing animals, or keeping animals without the required permits, the animals are confiscated. If there is no where to safely house the animals, they may have to be destroyed.
This is where Kira’s World Exotic Mini Zoo comes in. They work with the DRNA to house and keep these animals safely out of the wild of Puerto Rico. They also rescue some sick or injured local pets and animals, and give them the care they need to have better lives. They offer tours of their facilities to teach people about the animals, the importance of not taking animals out of the wild, and proper care of animals.
Kira’s World Exotic Mini Zoo is located in Vega Baja, on the north coast of Puerto Rico. They do really mean “mini zoo” — the animals are housed in the yard of a home in a residential neighborhood. This is a family-run operation. They share their home/yard with all these animals who need them, and they offer tours of the property. Through their arrangement with the DRNA, the animals get the shelter, food, and health care they need to have good lives. It is wonderful that there is a place where the rescued and maltreated animals can find a safe home.
Personally, we love animals and are very active in animal rescue. So when I saw this little place, I knew we had to go check it out. They opened the gates promptly at the tour time, and you park in the neighboring parking area. You go to their covered driveway, fill out the required paperwork. And then your guide will introduce you to the zoo, explaining who they are and what they do.
They take you around to each cage, and tell you about each animal, where it is originally found in the wild, how they ended up with it, the problems or special needs of the animal. Many of the animals were rescued from poor living conditions, so they may have lasting health problems. They want to teach people not only about the animals, but also about why taking them out of their natural habitat is bad, and why before getting any pet, one needs to know how to properly care for it.
The guides know each one of the animals personally, they know their personalities, and as we walked around, you can tell that every person who works there really cares for the well-being of the animals. They make sure the animals are getting the stimulus they require. While the cages may be small, the animals were all clean, healthy, and well cared-for. They really were blessed to find this second chance at life.
They have about 100 animals in their care. There were many exotic birds, and their colors were bright and beautiful. But they also had some birds that were bare or hurt, and they are trying to educate people that birds have feelings, illnesses, and need special care. There were a number of mammals, big and small, but all rare and exotic animals that should never be kept as pets. There are lemurs, wallaby, ant eater, bobcat, and zebra, just to name a few. They are all beautiful animals. It was pretty neat to be able to see all these animals in one place, but it was just sad to know why they were there.
All in all, it is a really wonderful place. I highly recommend it for everyone, especially kids. Education is the key to saving our planet.
The cost of admission is $5.50 per person. You can have your photo taken with some of the animals for an additional charge.
They are open Thursday through Sunday, from 10am to 5pm. The last tour starts at 4pm. Reservations are required.
The tours are usually conducted in Spanish. If you need a tour in English, let them know that when you make your reservation and they will try to accommodate you.
Allow about 1 hour for the tour.
To make a reservation, contact them via text message or WhatsApp at 787-675-2431, or send them a message through their Facebook page.
You can call them at 787-675-2431 for more information.
You can get more info on their Facebook page.
From the San Juan area, take Route 22 west to Exit 42 (toward Morovis). At the end of the exit ramp, turn left onto Road 137. Turn right onto Road 670. Turn left onto Calle A. Turn right onto Calle D. Take to the end. Park on the street.
Kira’s World Exotic Mini Zoo is about a 45-60 minute drive from the San Juan area.
We are in the process of updating the maps we use on our web site. While we're working on that, you can click on the GPS coordinates below to view the location on Google Maps ...
- Kira's World Exotic Mini Zoo: (18.429720, -66.431100)
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