Animal Adventure is an interactive educational
animal park that is home to over 250 animals representing over 100 species. My background is in business and my passion
is the animals. So, as a high school student, I started keeping
and breeding reptiles and then some exotic animals. As I graduated college, I actually
opened a pet store. And while I enjoyed connecting people with animals, I more enjoyed the educational
side of it with the birthday parties we were doing. And I knew that’s what I wanted to
do the rest of my life. Is to communicate this passion and appreciation for animals
with others. It was very humble beginnings. We started
with 20 acres of empty field and a handful of exhibits, a handful of structures. A camel
named Max, a couple wolves, a Kangaroo named Boomer, some farm animals and that was really
it. And over the years, our collection grew, and so did our team. We are now bringing in
professional zoologists that have backgrounds in working with large carnivores and even
penguins and rhinos now as we envision what’s coming in the future. I want the area’s youth to experience what
I wish was around when I was a kid as an animal lover. And everything that goes into the park,
every exhibit design, every way that our guests interact with those animals comes from that
inside experience of what can we do, how can we make it better, and how can we make it
memorable? Individuals can go to just about any animal
facility and encounter animals. What we are doing here is different in the sense that
we are allowing them to literally immerse into our environment. You are able to literally
hand feed or get hands on with (sic: the animals). You don’t get that at other facilities.
You can go to any park, any zoo, look at an exhibit and say “wow, that’s nice.”
But here at Animal Adventures, you get to say “wow, that’s nice AND look, he’s
coming over to me.” When Animal Adventure opened 7 seasons ago,
we were thankful to see 23 thousand visitors. Now we welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors
annually to the hills of Harpursville, NY. On a given day here, seeing a thousand to
fifteen hundred people is not far off from normal. Summertime in Binghamton is full of life.
We have Animal Adventure, we have the Discovery Center, we have a ton of parks, we have carousels.
But the neat thing about our community is there are festival and fairs and cultural
events literally going on every weekend in Broome County. So, no matter when you visit,
there is something to do. You just have to scratch underneath the surface to find it
to see why we all love Binghamton.