Here at the Children’s Nature Retreat we strongly believe in the ethical treatment of animals and we are extremely passionate about the well-being of our furry friends!

Currently, we have more than:

  • 200+ domesticated livestock and exotic animals from around the world

  • 25 different species

  • 69 distinct breeds
Our animal sanctuary is home to about 200 animals mostly herbivores and omnivores, divided in 25 different species and 69 different breeds. Our smaller resident is a guinea pig and our largest would be one of our camels or the bison.
Many of our animals have been acquired from owners who could no longer keep or care for them because of illness, old age, financial hardship, relocation, or even death and some were unfortunately abandoned. These animals will now live out the rest of their lives in the serenity of the Retreat.

We are very passionate about bringing children and animals together, to allow for unfiltered happiness and joy for animals and children. To create a fun and teachable experience for the children there are six separate areas where our animals reside, each reflecting a different world in the animal kingdom.

Big Farm

Big Farm is where you will find our beloved Friesians horses, mules, cows, alpine goats and alpacas. Our stunning beautiful black Friesians have a long history with people. Hundreds of years ago soldiers used these great animals as war horses. They were big, strong and trained to charge into soldiers without fear!

We also have mules. The mule is the smartest in the equine family and is a cross between a horse and a donkey.

One of our most friendly and engaging animal is Neo, our young Alpaca born to Cinnamon (mommy). He was born at the Retreat and is so sweet.

Mini Farm

This is one of our favorite pastures for people to visit. We love all of our miniature animals. They are absolutely adorable! The five miniature horses are the leaders of this group. However, it is a dynamic place.

Let your guard down for one minute and there is a new sheriff in town. Our two female donkeys are best of friends and are always found together. Also true of the Scottish Galloway mini cows!

Our Belted Galloway mini cows also like to hang out like two peas in a pod. You won’t want to miss our precious miniature goats  just too cute for words.

African Animals

On your visit to our African Grasslands you’ll experience rolling hills that reach across the landscape and give you an incredibly peaceful feeling. As you gaze into the pasture you might see our Zebra or Watusi cattle grazing on the natural grasses and shrubs.

Oak trees dot the hills and create a natural canopy of shade attracting the animals in the afternoon sun.

Bison Prairie

Cheyenne is a 11 years old bison and was raised on the Sycuan reservation in Alpine. He’s been raised alone and therefore will remain alone in his big pasture. But he is surrounded with other animals and appreciate the company.

You will see him kick his ball from time to time or run around his pasture or taking a nap underneath the oaks. He started to graze on the wild grasses after a few months.

Mini Trio

Louie the mini horse, Dollie the Nigerian Dwarf goat and Oink the Julianna pig are sharing this wonderful pasture. They have been roommates for over 5 years and love each other. They are coming from Alpine, the Retreat was the only solution for them to stay together in a large pasture. They are doing fantastic, love to interact with our guests and students. It is one of the most thought after enclosure for the up close and personal experience.

We are introducing a new friend to the trio. Mel, a New Hampshire cross lamb will eventually join them while he is not taking a walk around the Retreat with one of our keepers.

Camel Oasis

While at the Camel Oasis you will feel the dry air gently blowing over sandy hills. Palm trees sway at the edge of the oasis where the camels calmly rest. If you are lucky, you might catch one wading through the water or drinking to rejuvenate their bodies.

Our Dromedary camels, also known as Arabian camels, originated in the dry deserts of Northern Africa and can drink up to 30 gallons of water at a time.


Come to Tortoise Landing and meet ‘Big Daddy’, our Sulcata tortoise.

We love him! He likes to stroll in the sunshine and he is so strong that he can push his way through almost anything, he enjoys playing with his friends. He’s a young 38 year old and weighs about 150lbs. The Sulcata tortoise is the third largest tortoise in the world. The largest is the Galapagos.

This enormous reptile has a lifespan between 50 – 150 years!

Barnyard Alley

Down on the farm… You’ll enjoy a great time with our potbelly pigs, our assortment of chickens, ducks (check out Donald!) and quails!
And don’t forget to take a stroll through the bunny yard!


The Retreat is home of many birds. We’ve built an aviary to house peacocks that were raised in a cage. They are learning how to perch and we hope to release them one day so they too roam around the Retreat with the others.

A green wing macaw, a curled crested aracari and two cockatoos are also calling the Retreat home. When funds will be available a second large aviary will be built so our guests will be able to view them when outside.

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