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fjphil t1_je8n7rz wrote

York resident here, please don't give them any money. The sooner that place goes under, the better for everyone (including the animals)


Snoo_96358 t1_jeaomdw wrote

Also local to York area and came here to say just this.


sirsimon2244 t1_je7qxwb wrote

I have only been once and it made me really sad.


sirsimon2244 t1_je7r4h5 wrote

Maine Wildlife Park could be a better option!


TRBullMoose1912 t1_je7rmwa wrote

That’s such a fun place, and since it’s Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife it’s more than on the up and up and the money goes to a good place!


SameProfession254 OP t1_je7z5db wrote

We have been and loved it. She wants to see more exotic animals however...


MrsMaine14 t1_je99xh7 wrote

There are some great zoos in Massachusetts. An easy day trip or one night trip and much better.


wintersicyblast t1_je7wzbs wrote

I have family in southern Maine and have visited. It's a hard no. Sad small dreary little cages.


MoistLobst3r t1_je80ymz wrote

Its a run down disaster. Went down to some york fair last fall and you had to park on one side of the wild kingdom, walk through it to the other side where the baseball diamond is.

We saw the whole thing and I wouldn't go there for myself nor trust my kid there for any reason.


MacTechG4 t1_je7uy9y wrote

I grew up in York (the actual town) and YWK has always been sad, it’s a tourist trap, nothing more.

I’ve always referred to it as a “amusing” park, only thing marginally entertaining were the go-karts.


MrsMaine14 t1_je99v23 wrote

Yes it’s like tiger king of the north and the rides are very distopian. We did it once and won’t be back.


AmbitiousInitial8961 t1_je9r13o wrote

It's the only place I've ever felt sick on the Merry-Go-Round. I swear they have all the ride speeds turned up and keep you on for an unreasonable amount of time.


MrsMaine14 t1_jec539l wrote

When I went it took 3 staff pushing the “roller coaster” to start it every time and we only went on the merry go round. I stood with my daughter on the horse and the floor was buckling so bad I really expected it to just fall apart- terrifying


hunterofhunters7 t1_je9f1y8 wrote

Even as a kid it was very clear to me that the animals are in terrible conditions. I begged my mom to take me there once and then never wanted to go again. It's really sad and if your child is perceptive, they will notice it. Not a good time.


hunterofhunters7 t1_je9fdfv wrote

Oh! To follow up, have you ever taken her on a whale watch?? There are some great ones around, I went out of Kennebunkport recently and it was phenomenal. Seeing a whale in it's natural habitat beats a zoo any day.


RudeAd2140 t1_je9ddi5 wrote

Duck pond so dirty you could almost walk on the water. Goats in the petting area with untrimmed hooves to the point a few couldn’t walk properly. The tiger had a bunch of bald spots. Papier-mâché fake rocks the were crumbling apart. The only part that was ok was the butterfly enclosure.

This was a few years back, but I can’t imagine it’s improved.


AvocadoRude4369 t1_je9igjw wrote

I once went as an adult because I had friends from away visiting and I had always wanted to go but my family never brought me as a kid. It was incredibly, massively depressing. When I told my grandmother about it a few days later, she said now I knew why they never brought me and we instead went to Gray Animal Farm when I was little (which I loved).

Please don’t bring them. Educate them about how animals should be living and maybe promise to bring them to a better animal park for a big, fun family trip.


Asheby t1_je99udk wrote

Go to Maine Wildlife Park (formerly known as 'Gray Animal Farm'):


bellarexnalajon t1_jea578m wrote

Is it any better ? We went 2 years ago and all the animals looked miserable and pacing trying to get out of their enclosures


Asheby t1_jeawc01 wrote

I believe they are a rehab facility, so animals are released when/if well. Last time I went, it looked like some improvements had been made. (Used to go annually when I taught summer school.)

I could be wrong, though.


FeedGlittering7069 t1_je94owr wrote

Go to Dew in Mount Vernon Lions, Tigers, Bears, kangaroos, monkeys, wolves, panthers. They were on Animal Planet. My camp is in the area. Close interactive with the animals. Way better for kids. My son loves it! Animals are well taken care of


AmbitiousInitial8961 t1_je9qf1k wrote

Won't ever go to DEW again. We have been multiple times, used to live near the area. I find the enclosures - while bigger than York - to be too small and just dirt. It basically looks like a run down farm that somebody put wild animals at without cleaning up the place. The owner comes across as unbalanced and doesn't know how to properly relate with customers. Was on a tour with a group of young girl scouts and had him going off on this experiences in war (sounded like he was talking about Vietnam) and interactions with "stupid animal lovers" (which turned out to be scientists with animal behavior degress) who don't actually know anything they are talking about while he knows how to take care of all his animals. I'm not saying he doesn't love them or he is intentionally treating them badly, but loving something and doing the right thing do not always go together.


eljefino t1_jecm4dr wrote

I went there with my 4 year old kid and his preschool. Good enough time-- saw a tiger pee through the fence on a tourist-- but the staff were a bit rude. I was standing by the "exit" while waiting for the rest of our party to come out and they yelled at me for reentering (by a few feet). It was obvious I had paid along with everyone else.

Also depending on when you go (or not) you'll want to wear mosquito netting. The bugs, not necessarily mosquitoes, are insane.


knupaddler t1_je9anbl wrote

that surprises me, it used to have the reputation i'm learning york's has now


They_said_Maine t1_je9v9tv wrote

Dew Haven has worked to scrub that reputation by marketing themselves as an animal rescue sanctuary, when in reality they actively breed and buy/sell the exotic wildlife that they display.

They have been repeatedly investigated and cited for the conditions at the facility. I wouldn't recommend Dew Haven or York's.


Kangabolic t1_je9el2j wrote

Been going to Dew for well over a decade. I’ve never heard nor would affirm a rumor the animals there were unhappy/treated poorly. It’s a great place. The owner can come across a little coarse but he definitely cares about those animals more than anything.

York has always been underwhelming.


knupaddler t1_je9kwff wrote

i've never been there myself, so anything i think i know about the place is secondhand. but i grew up nearby (before they moved and before they had a tv show) and heard unsettling stories from people with personal experiences, including volunteers. i know they used to get raided by game wardens and eventually were forced to relocate because of health hazards. and then there was this:


dr0wningggg t1_je7zt94 wrote

i had fun there as a kid. as a vegan adult i would definitely not give them my money. there are plenty of more ethical sanctuaries in maine. there’s a bird sanctuary in ellsworth that i personally really enjoy; if your kiddo thinks owls n vultures are cool i’d definitely recommend checking it out.


purplepoohbear1021 t1_je9gh4y wrote

I went once as a kid and loved it. Went again a few years ago and was so depressed to see how the animals are being mistreated. I can’t imagine it’s gotten any better. Please find somewhere else to support.


Snooper2323 t1_je9qqhl wrote

I am from York and I will never go there.


glofig t1_je82yf3 wrote

I've heard from York locals that it's a rundown mess and there isn't anything to do (aside from looking at the animals, of which there aren't many). I haven't been since I was a kid but apparently it's gotten worse over the years.


happyMLE t1_je9aysc wrote

I used to take my kids there each year as a mini fun town but with animals. They have an area where you can feed the deer and the butterfly house is wonderful. After COVID they changed the price structure so that you can't get an all day ride bracelet, you have to buy tickets for each ride individually. I don't like that so we stopped going.


DEW kingdom seems more like a Joe Exotic type place than York's. That said, now we go to DEW or Gray instead of York's and Smiling Hill Farm for the interactive animals. (We always went to Smiling Hill Farm before, too.) DEW and Gray do not have the same variety of animals as York's.


WalkerBRiley t1_je9l4ha wrote

DEW works as an animal rescue and sanctuary whereas York's works as a zoo and amusement park.

I'll take DEW over York any day of the week.


They_said_Maine t1_je9rrpu wrote

Though DEW Haven markets themselves as an animal rescue sanctuary, they actively breed exotic animals and buy/sell animals from other similar facilities to display. They have been investigated and cited for the illegal importation of exotic animals into the state and for the mistreatment and poor conditions at their facility.

From a moral standpoint, neither Dew Haven nor York's Wild Kingdom should be in possession of the animals they currently display.


Bigchungus-vore t1_jeb5hcw wrote

Take them to Maine wildlife park instead. While York isn’t “bad” compared to Joe Exoitc’s zoo it is run down. They have a few rides that are rusty and are legit falling apart. The animals don’t look like the are abused but the park definitely does not have the money to keep them safe or healthy compared to other zoos in New England. I’ll always assume that the owners have the animals best interest but because of how little money they might have from being open in the summer that the animals aren’t being treated the way they are supposed to.


Ok_Kick_1710 t1_jecfpci wrote

A better alternative would be the DEW Haven Maine zoo and rescue in Mt.Vernon. It’s much smaller, but they actually help animals, and treat them right.


Swimming-Surprise-50 t1_je9ez4x wrote

It’s fun. Been going there for generations and used to take my grandkids there when they were young every year, then you’ve got the beach right there!


Hankarron44 t1_je87j96 wrote

I live here and i think it’s fine. Plenty of animals good staff and it’s safe.


kubabooba t1_je8ca16 wrote

It's great animals are well taken care of and most are rescue. It's a great experience for the kids ! I would focus more on people issues in this country than animals in the zoo. Most of these animals suffer more at their local habitat than they do in spas