Stare a Leopard in the Face at the Oakridge Zoo
There is an Illinois zoo that has the world’s most exotic animals. The Niabi Zoo in the Quad Cities has some of them, but the Brown’s Oakridge Zoo has just as many.
The zoo has two leopards in a cage. One is black and the other one is spotted. You can also get just feet away from the leopards there.
“This is the most dangerous cat in the world,” zookeeper Nancy Brown said.
Brown and her husband Ivan own the zoo in Smithfield, Illinois. The zoo is right on their family farm.
Brown has two Barbary lions, two Siberian tigers, and black bears as well. She says her zoo is accredited just like the Niabi Zoo. The big animals are off limits to touching, but Nancy allows visitors to hold baby lions and cubs until they’re 12 weeks old.
The zoo is located 50 miles west of Peoria. It’s only about an hour and a half from the Quad Cities. Admission is $3 for children and $6 for adults. The zoo is open daily until 4 p.m. After Labor Day though, the zoo is only open on the weekends.