GarLyn Zoo in Michigan's Beautiful Upper PeninsulaCurrent weather at the Zoo


Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is the best time to see the animals?

  • The short answer is whenever you're in the U.P. However, the best time to see the animals active is early or late in the day. During the mid day especially if it's hot, they will be laying in the shade and not vey active. This isn't because they are bored or depressed but because they are content and have a full belly.

  • Where does the zoo get the animals ?

  • Some of the animals we have had as pets or in our possession for many years, others have been purchased from breeders, and several are rescues. The bear, cougar, wolves ,coyote, whitetail, bison, skunk, tortoise, alligator, fox and more have all been rescued.

  • What do you feed the animals ?

  • The animal diets vary as much as the animals themselves. Our animals are all on diets of that are monitored and special made for that species. Some feeds can be fed to several different animals because they belong to the same class of animal. carnivore for example can all eat meat (wolves, cougar, bobcat). Hay can be fed to ruminates (bison, llama, goats). Others like the river otter are fed a diet that isn't fed to any other animal at the zoo.

  • Is the zoo open in the winter months ?

  • No. This is due mainly to lack of interest in extreme weather and the difficulty of keeping the parking lot and walkways open and safe with the amount of snow and ice in our area. See Video

  • If I come in March or April are all the animals out ?

  • Most of the animals are out all year long even in the winter months when the zoo is closed, so they will be out. We are no loger open during March. The bear, wolf, cougar, camel, wallaby, patagonian cavy, bobcat, river otter and many more animals are out year round. The animals that require warm conditions like the tortoise, alligator, and lemur are house off exhibit in a heated building on the zoo grounds until the weather is warm enough to put them outside. This is usually in Mid-May until Mid to Late October. We hope to someday build a heated building that the animals can be viewed in even in cold weather.

  • What are the summer hours ?

  • We are open 7 days a week from 10 am until 6 pm starting from April 1st to September 30th.
    7 days a week in October and Weekends November from 10 am until 5 pm.

  • What does it cost ?

  • Our 2013 prices :
    $12.00/Adults
    $6.00/Children 3-13
    2 and under FREE
    $36.00/Family up to 6 people 3 years old or older.
    Group rates available for parties of 7 or more people.
    Yearly passes are also available.

  • Where are you located ?

  • We are located on US Highway 2, 40 minutes west of the Mackinac Bridge, 6 miles east of Naubinway. Right on the top of Lake Michigan.

  • Do the Llama spit ?

  • Sure do ! But normally only when provoked or teased. Our Llama have only spit one or two times in 12 years, with the exception of when they get shots or their toenails trimmed.

  • How long has the zoo been open ?

  • We bought the property in the spring of 2004 and opened for business that July. When we first opened we had only a fraction of the animals we now have. This year, 2013 will be our 20th year in business.

  • How much does the Black Bear weigh ?

  • This question is asked a lot. The answer varies some depending on the time of year. At his hibernation weight going into early winter (November - December) our best guess is around 500 pounds. His summer weight could be as much as 70 pounds less than that.

  • Are the wolves friendly ?

  • They accept us as members of their pack, but I wouldn't turn my back on them or ever fully trust them. The male (Nimkee) allows me to pet and get close but doesn't allow me to hold or hug him. The female (Wa-Wa-Watasi) lets me pet her if the male is close but will not come up on her own.

  • Are the animals domesticated ?

  • Some are, pygmy goats, donkey, llama, camel, reindeer and some others have been raised by man for thousands of years and are considered domesticated. All of the animals at the zoo are hand raised and people friendly but wolves, cougar, and such, even if born in captivity for generations, are far from domesticated. Just because they except us and appear friendly they can just as quickly turn and kill as is their nature.

  • Who funds the zoo ?

  • Visitors do. The zoo is fully funded by the visitor paying the admission price and shopping in the gift shop. The summer admissions have to support the zoo and the animals for a full 12 months a year. By adopting an animal you can also help us care for the zoo and animals.

  • Does the zoo except donations ?

  • Yes, when we get generous people that see what we are doing as being worth while, we occasionally get small donations. We are not tax exempt and therefore don't receive any large funding amounts.

  • Does the zoo ever sell animals ?

  • Yes, Occasionally some of our offspring are sold to good homes and to other zoos. Check here if interested in purchasing animals to see what is available.

  • Can we bring our dog in ?

  • You can only bring a dog or pet in if you can carry it. Due to liability we do not allow anything brought in on a leash.

  • Can we bring food or drinks in the zoo?

  • Sorry, but no food or drinks are allowed in the zoo or gift shop. It isn't a good idea to be eating and petting animals at the same time. We also encourage you to wash your hands after feeding the animals and before eating. Wipes and anti-bacterial gel is provided for this purpose.

  • What new animals do you plan to get?

  • In 2009 African Serval , Spotted Genet , and Kinkajou will be added so far. As well as an expanded Whitetail enclosure and hopes to open 3/4 mile of nature trail later in the summer. In 2006 we acquired 2 Ring-tailed Lemur and rescued 2 new alligator and 2 pot bellied pigs. In 2007 2 Coatimundi came to the zoo and we got a new baby camel. We are in the process of getting training on raptors (hawks and owls) so that we can apply to the US Fish and Wildlife for permits and hope to rescue a couple in the next year or so. We have plans for a heated building to get more warm weather animals and also may add tiger in the near future. All this depends on funding for the zoo. We depend on tourism and both Michigan's economy and tourism have been down for a few years making expansion more difficult. So if you know someone with more money than they know what do with, point them in our direction. In 2012 we add Emmit a rescued 12 year old capuchin monkey and a Macaw. So far in 2013 we have added 3 Rhea.

  • Are all the animals viewable all the time ?

  • Some of the animals that require heat are not viewable until the weather warms up and they can safely be brought outside for the summer, then once the weather cools off they are put back inside off exhibit. This time varies depending on the year but generally from mid-May until mid-October all animals are viewable.

  • What do you do with the animals in the winter?

  • The Alligators, Tortoise, Coatimundi and Lemur are housed in a heated building off exhibit during colder months. With a new building we hope to be able to keep them on exhibit even in the cooler months at the beginning and end of our summer season. All the other animals stay here right where they are.

    You can help us raise funds for a new heated exhibit building.

  • Is the cougar pregnant?

  • No, we have two neutered male cougar and I'm pretty sure they are not pregnant. Neutered cats (domestic or wild) as they get older develop loose belly skin that hangs down an makes them look as though they are expecting kittens. Our vet says this is normal for cats.

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ZAA (  Zoological Assosiation of America ) 
AZA (  Assosiation of Zoos and Aquariums )

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