You Don’t Have to be in Africa to Hear Lions Roar

Posted by: Kristen Calhoun in Uncategorized

JavaAngryAs you may know, I live in Grovewood – a family-friendly neighborhood tucked in the back of a beauitful golf course community also known as World Golf Village.  My family and I absolutely love it, especially now that the weather is cooling off. One of the best qualities of fall is the ability to enjoy the outdoors. You know fall is in the air when you pull into Grovewood because the streets are lined with children running, riding their bikes and you think you are in the Indy 500 with the power wheels that are cruisin’.

I got off work thirty minutes early which I feel is a reason to celebrate! Celebrate we did with a bottle of Pinot Noir and our beloved neighbor, Betty Gaylor. We pulled up some chairs in the drive way and began our “catch up” ritual. As we were sipping our wine, we heard lions roar. Yes, that is right! Many of you probably do not know this but very close to the King and Bear, there is a wildlife rescue called “The St. Augustine Wild Reserve”. The Founder of the Reserve, Deborah Warrick, has dedicated her life to working with exotic animals.

Betty told us the funniest story about the first time she heard the roars. She was putting mail in her mail box late at night. When she heard the loud roar, she ran so fast into her house, that her feet didn’t touch the ground. Shortly after, Betty went to the reserve. Betty was very impressed by her dedication of all of Deborah’s volunteers that donate their time to the animals. Betty said, “It is an amazing place to take your family and to support.”

The Reserve is on 7 acres of land. The experienced tour guide will give an introduction to each species, basic biology, and how the animal arrived at the sanctuary. Guests will get close interaction with the exotic animals. On the tour, you will see an African lion named Mufassa, a black leopard named Onxy, a white tiger, Angel, several orange tigers, cougars, caracals, servals, bobcats, cavies, coatimundis, and a host of wolves ranging in color from black to white.

If you are interested in visiting the Reserve, you can make an appointment for a tour. Tours are guided by an experienced wildlife professional, so advanced reservations must be made by phone (904) 940-0664 or e-mail, at as far in advance as possible. Donations are $20 per person, $10 per child, which is tax deductible.


3 Responses to “You Don’t Have to be in Africa to Hear Lions Roar”

  • Michelle Berry says:

    Thank you for writing such a wonderful piece about our fabulous neighborhood (Grovewood) and our exotic neighbors.

  • Kim says:

    We moved to Heritage Landing at World Golf 3 years ago and I remember being outside one night and hearing our exotic friends for the first time (though j didn’t know what it was) and I was terrified! For months I would hear them and ask my neighbors if they had heard the strange sounds but they denied any such craziness! Then in one of the Creekside issues they featured the wildlife preserve and it all came together! For months I was horrified thinking some wild bear or tiger or lion was going to be standing at my backdoor any moment! Haha

  • Ricke Ricciardelli says:

    What a terrific article. Hope we read more from this informative lady. Good reading.

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