How long is the tour?
The walking tour of the Sanctuary will be approximately 2 hours long.
How much does it cost to go on the tour?
We suggest a donation of $20 for an adult and $10 for a child. This is, as said, a donation. Some people happily pay more, and some pay less.
When can I come on the tour?
Tours are only offered at the scheduled times. Every day at 11 A.M. and Saturdays at both 11 A.M. and 3 P.M.
Can I bring my kids?
Children must be AT LEAST 7 YEARS OLD to go on the tour. This is for insurance reasons and exceptions will not be made. Children under the age of 7 will NOT be allowed on the tour.
Do I have to call ahead to get a tour?
It is not absolutely necessary that you call ahead. We will always have someone ready to give a tour at the daily scheduled time. However, we do prefer that if you know you will be attending, you call and let us know, particularly with large groups. Also, if you are not going to call ahead, be sure that you know WHEN the tour is. We will not give tours to people who show up at the wrong time. Tours are only offered at the scheduled times. Every day at 11 A.M. and Saturdays at both 11 A.M. and 3 P.M. You can also fill out a Tour Request Form to let us know you are coming! Also, there is no need to call if you booked your tour online! We will already know you are coming!
You can also fill out a Tour Request Form to let us know you are coming! Also, there is no need to call if you booked your tour online! We will already know you are coming!
How many people can go on the tour?
The Sanctuary has welcomed up to 200 people on a given day for tours. However, this takes advance preparation, so we require you to call ahead with groups of that size. Also, keep in mind that if you have a group of over 20 people, it will be necessary to separate your group into two separate tours. While the cats and bears are very comfortable with tours going by, groups that are too large have the potential to make them nervous, and we avoid this at all costs.
Do I walk around on my own?
No. Walking around unattended is not permitted. Your tour will be guided by an IEAS staff member or intern.
What will I see on the tour?
A whole lot! On the tour, your guide will bring you past a large number of the animal habitats, including the ten acre Bear Orphanage, a naturalistic habitat for American black bears. Tigers, lions, bobcats, servals, a cheetah, a caracal, a jaguar, Grizzly bears, white-nosed coatimundis, a lemur, and American black bears are all on the tour. It is not a guarantee that every animal you pass will be visible. At IEAS, we are here 100% for the animals’ safety and comfort. If a particular animal is more content hidden in its house (which it always has access to), then we will pass by the habitat without seeing that animal on the tour. However, most of the IEAS animals are comfortable and secure in the presence of tour groups. Many even love to come over and say hi! You will learn a great deal about the animals, their histories, how the Sanctuary works, and much more.
Can I take pictures on the tour?
Of course! However, tripods are not allowed and we do not allow you to use a flash on your camera as both have the potential of startling the animals. Your guide will let you know if pictures are not an option for any particular cat.
What kind of shoes should I wear?
As mentioned, the tour is a walking tour that lasts approximately two hours. It is on gravel paths and there are often small, hilly areas. As such, we highly recommend that you wear very comfortable walking shoes. Sneakers are always a good idea.
Can I touch any of the animals?
Absolutely not. On this tour, you will be closer to most of these animals than you will be anywhere else. That being said, IEAS and your guide will be extremely strict about tour guests remaining the required distance from the habitats. Intentionally trying to get closer to the habitats than allowed will result in your tour ending immediately.
What if I can’t walk for that long?
The Sanctuary does have small utility vehicles that tour goers unable to walk for the entire length of the tour can be driven in. However, the number of these vehicles is very limited, so if this is something you would require, please call in advance to schedule your tour.
Are restrooms available?
Yes, there are restrooms both in the gift shop and the Nutrition Center (which is a stop on the tour).
What if it rains on that day of my tour?
In the event of rain, a tour CAN take place. Keep in mind, we do not allow umbrellas on the tour, so you have to be okay with getting wet if you choose to tour during the rain. However, if there is any lightening at all, the tour will be cancelled. If thunderstorms are in the forecast, it might be a good idea to think about coming a different day.
Anything else I should know?
Bring a water in the summer time! It WILL be hot!