All white tigers are inbred to some degree, and can suffer terribly from genetic deformities including visual impairment, misshapen skeletal structures, missing teeth, misplaced and bulging eyes, autoimmune diseases, skin sensitivities, and mental retardation. It takes generations of breeding and hundreds, if not thousands, of cats to get that one perfect white tiger, and the deformed or orange ones created along the way suffer terrible fates from euthanasia, life in circuses or as backyard pets, or in canned hunting facilities. Although it is inhumane and irresponsible to create unhealthy animals solely for human profit and entertainment, people continue to be fascinated with white tigers until they discover the price these animals pay to meet the public's desire for something different and rare.
Emus are the second largest bird in the world and stand around 6 feet tall. They are opportunistically nomadic and may travel long distances to find food; they feed on a variety of plants and insects, but have been known to go for weeks without food. Emus ingest stones, glass shards, and bits of metal to grind food in the digestive system. They drink infrequently, but take in copious fluids when the opportunity arises. Emus will sit in water and are also able to swim. They are curious birds that are known to follow and watch other animals and humans. Emus do not sleep continuously at night but in several short stints sitting down. Where as ostriches have 2 toes on each foot, emus have 3, and like the ostrich they can run at speeds up to 30 miles per hour.
Spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) are native to the forests of Southeastern Mexico and much of Central America where they live in large groups of 20 to 40 members. They have prehensile tails which act as a fifth limb and help them maneuver through the tree tops where they spend most of their time foraging for edible fruits and leaves. Females only have one baby every 2 to 4 years and this, combined with habitat loss, hunting, and capture for the pet trade, has made a decline in the species and they are currently listed as “endangered”. Average life expectancy for spider monkeys is 40-45 years old.
The silver fox is a melanistic (black) version of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and is native to much of the Northern Hemisphere although they are not as common as the typically colored red fox. There are over 40 sub species of the red fox with weights ranging from 5 to 30 lbs. although most weigh around 15 lbs. They are omnivores and in the wild prey on a variety of animals but also consume plant material. At Noah’s Ark they eat organic, grain-free dog food as well as a variety of meats, bugs, and some fruits. Commercially, foxes are produced for their fur or for the pet trade although they are illegal to own as a pet in Georgia.
Patagonian cavys are native only to Argentina and prefer areas with dense shrub cover. The temperature in their native range is very close to that of Georgia, but Tootsie is moved indoors during long bouts of extremely cold weather. They are monogamous and can run nearly 30 miles per hour to avoid danger.
Did you know that nearly 50% of pet pigs will be re-homed within their first year of life? Noah's Ark is home to 40 pigs (also known as "swine") of various breeds and histories. We have everything from the smallest pot bellied pig (75 lbs) to the largest standard meat pig (600+ lbs) and numerous breed crosses. Most were unwanted pets after they grew too large, while some were saved from slaughter, and others were brought to us by animal control as strays! They are very intelligent animals (more intelligent than dogs, actually), and love to make a bed for themselves every night out of straw, or anything else soft that they can find.
Did you know that Noah's Ark is home to over 50 reptiles, from tiny snakes to massive alligators? Although certain species of reptile can be good companions for the right person, many species of reptile should not be kept as pets. Those animals include giant pythons, venomous snakes, giant tortoises, and large lizards such as monitors and crocodilians. Our rule of thumb at Noah's Ark is "if you can't buy a cage it can live in forever, or if it will outlive you, then you probably shouldn't own it". We have to turn so many reptiles away each year simply because we don't have the resources to care for them and although some people don't love our cold-blooded friends as much as we do, all animals need respect, compassion, and protection!
Black bears are native to many parts of North America and are skilled at foraging, hunting, climbing, and swimming. Despite habitat loss and the increasing number of human/bear conflicts, they continue to have a conservation status of “least concerned”. They are omnivores and although they are named “black” bears, they can sometimes have brown or blonde coats. American black bears have a lot of variability in their sizes, ranging from 150-800 lbs depending on their geographic location and the availability of food sources. The average adult weights are 250-400 lbs for females and 400-550 lbs for males. Their claws are shorter than most bear species, but are extremely sharp and perfectly designed for climbing trees.
Baloo the American black bear (Ursus americanus), Leo the African lion (Panthera leo), and Shere Khan the Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris); known as "The BLT" came to Noah's Ark in 2001 after they were discovered by police officers in a basement of an Atlanta home during a drug raid. At only a few months old, all three cubs were frightened, malnourished, and infected with internal and external parasites when the Georgia Department of Natural Resources brought them to Noah’s Ark.
Picnic/Playground/Visitor's Center: Tues - Sat: 9 am - 4 pm