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Roer's Zoofari lets visitors learn face-to-face with wild animals | Get Up Getaways

Hands-on learning is at the heart of Roer's Zoofari in Vienna, Virginia.

VIENNA, Va. — Roer’s Zoofari is home to more than 50 species of animals in Vienna, Virginia. Visitors have an opportunity to get up close and personal with llamas, donkeys, kangaroos, goats and more. The facility is divided into two parts: The petting zoo and the safari tour.

The petting zoo lets people observe, play with and feed different animals. Kids can be face-to-face with goats and other barnyard animals in an outdoor enclosure. Lisa Barber, a Roer’s Zoofari member, said she’s seen a transformation in her daughter since they started coming to the zoo.

“When we joined the zoo last year, she was afraid of animals,” said Barber. “And now, she thinks it’s the greatest thing ever. She wants to be a zookeeper when she grows up.”

For an additional cost, visitors can have a special one-on-one encounter with animals including an armadillo, parrot, rabbit or snake. Zookeepers will give fun facts about the animal and species.

Credit: WUSA9
Michelle Logan bottle-feeds an 11-month-old red kangaroo named Mauve during an animal encounter.

Those who work at the zoo see the positive impact animals have on people. Eliott Hamblin, an animal manager, said he thinks we can all benefit from connecting with other living creatures.

“The lesson is the world is larger than what’s outside your front door,” said Hamblin. “If we have that conscious awareness of the world around us, we might be able to see our problems a little differently and have a different perspective.”

Just a short walk from the petting zoo is the safari side of the park, where guests take a 20-minute tram ride through a park. Complimentary feed comes is included with the price of admission, so guests can stop along the safari route to feed animals like donkeys and llamas.

Credit: WUSA9
Cups of animal feed are provided to guests. Visitors are not allowed to bring in food from outside the park.

Other animals, including zebras and ostriches, can be observed from afar from the zoofari route.

Roer’s Zoofari is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. expect on major holidays.

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