GarLyn Zoo in Michigan's Beautiful Upper Peninsula

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 ?

  • We started with animals we had as pets or in our possession for many years. Over the years some 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 May 1st to September 30th.
    7 days a week in October from 10 am until 5 pm.

  • What does it cost ?

  • Our 2016 prices :
    $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.
    New for 2016:  Pay just $1 additional per person at the time of admission and visit as often as you like for an entire week.

  • 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 1994 and opened for business that July. When we first opened we had only a fraction of the animals we now have. 2013 was our 20th year in business.

  • 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 males allow us to pet and get close but don't allow us to hold or hug them. The female is a bit more shy and on a rare occation will let one of us pet her.

  • 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. The new tiger enclosure was helped a lot by donations from generous people.

  • 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?

  • Miko and Katerina the two tigers were added in 2013. Millie the Syrian Brown Bear and her dog King were added in 2014 and Hutch was added in 2015. We would like to add Zebra and sloth as well as African lions in the near future.

  • 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.

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