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McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary

ATTRACTION: McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary.

WHERE: 12943 61st St. North, West Palm Beach, FL 33412.

AGE RESTRICTIONS: None.

PRICE: $20.00 per adult, $10.00 per child.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Tours are by reservation only. Monday-Saturday 11:00am-3:00pm. Call (561) 790-2116 or email info@mccarthyswildlife.com 

The facility was built for the animals and not for tourist so please keep that in mind. Dress appropriately closed shoes and long pants are advised and hats and sunscreen are also suggested.

This year, McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary has treated hundreds of native animals that were sick or injured. Everything from foxes to bobcats, Sandhill Cranes to pelicans, hawks, owls, and many others have received veterinarian care by their staff and then were released back into the wild.

Many of the exotic animals have been donated to them by wildlife officers who confiscated these innocent creatures from the previous owners because of neglect, abuse, or illegal possession. Some were pets that owners could no longer care for and felt McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary would provide the animals a safe haven.

With over ninety permanent resident animals at the sanctuary, the cost of housing these magnificent creatures is staggering. Twenty-two of the animals are large cats and, being carnivores, they consume one thousand pounds of meat each week.

Mark McCarthy has worked professionally with animals since 1972. His past experience started at the famous venom research lab, the Miami Serpentarium of South Miami, Florida, as a reptile keeper. Taking care of reptiles and conducting tours of the facility was his main job, but he also assisted the director, William E. Haast, with venom extractions on stage. This was also where his first encounter with exotic cats started. Naia Haast had a pet lion named Leonard.

He then worked with several animal dealers and private collectors in the Miami area for the next several years. This was where he gained a vast amount of knowledge in animal care. He has worked with everything from jaguars and cheetahs to cobras and orang-utans. Over those years, Mark studied wildlife throughout the south-western and south-eastern US, Mexico, Panama, Columbia, Galapagos Islands, and his all time favourite place, Tanzania.

Upon arriving back in Miami, Mark purchased a couple of acres and started to receive many animals from wildlife officers. He then began doing commercials and fashion shoots with countless models, as well as film work. It really started to take off. His animals have appeared in hundreds of film and print ads .

They do not allow visitors to roam about the sanctuary unescorted …why? Well,  the majority of  people are polite and courteous however a small percentage are rude and harass the animals and that is not tolerated one bit.  

While on tour you will see everything from White Tigers to the Black Leopards,  Ruffed Lemurs to Kinkajous, Scarlet Macaws to Black Palm Cockatoos, Red tail Hawks to Great Horned Owls and Albino Burmese Pythons to Green Mambas! Tours last about an hour to an hour and a half.

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