Last year, after moving from the Middle of Nowhere to a Dallas suburb, I was overwhelmed by all the amazing things to do practically in our own backyard!
Libraries, parks, pools and Starbucks were suddenly all within easy driving distance. It was like a family activity free-for-all for awhile!
But we got extra lucky – we moved to an area that not only offers the “typical” delights of Suburbia, but also a few unique little gems, as well.
One of those unique offerings of our town is the In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Education Center. In short, a big cat (lions and tigers and cheetahs, oh my!) sanctuary.
Up close and personal with a lovely lioness at the In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Education Center.
We visited the center in September. It was hot, and for the most part, the cats were rather unceremoniously lying around. But even in their peaceful states, it was clear that these cats are very large and very powerful animals – and at In-Sync, you are able to get close enough to the cats to almost (but not quite!) touch them.
Nothing but chain link fences separate you from the cats, and it’s a different experience than seeing them at the zoo. I’ve seen lots of lions and tigers at zoos, but until visiting the cats at In-Sync, I’m not sure I realized how incredibly powerful they must be. One of the lions had his paws pressed up against the fence as we were walking by, and I noticed it was probably three times as wide across as my own hand – those are some big paws.
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The cats are extremely well taken care of, and the place was bustling with volunteers when we were visiting.
It certainly tugged at my heartstrings to see these big cats living a caged life, but that’s what happens when people are irresponsible and think it’s okay to have, oh, a TIGER for a pet and then it doesn’t work out for them. These noble creatures have certainly found a blessing when they end up at In-Sync.
The facility is rather small and we were able to see all of the animals in about an hour (we might have spent more time visiting if it weren’t for the kids). I liked that each cage had a sign telling the name and story of the cat inside – these animals are clearly loved, and their stories are important!
In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Education Center is located in Wylie. They are open for visitors Thursday – Sunday, from 11 AM to 6 PM. Rates and information about public tours can be found here. You can also check out their blog for current updates and stories about their cats, as well as find them on facebook or twitter.
Looking for more fun things to do in Wylie?
Check out the library for story times and other kid-friendly activities.
And just down the road in Garland, you can sign the kids up for the Kidgits Club at Firewheel Mall.