Henry's Ark is a 600-acre farm located in Prospect, Kentucky about 10 miles from Louisville, and is home to over 100 animals. Many people have never heard of this wonderful, private zoo, even those who grew up in Louisville. Henry's Ark is a little-known Kentucky treasure.
Some farm residents roam freely amongst visitors. The parking lot attendant may be an emu, sometimes a donkey. You never know who may greet you when you first park your car.
On our visit last week an ostrich peered impatiently, as we climbed out of our van. Luckily, this feathered friend is always behind a fence. He is very demanding when it comes to carrots. He shoos all rivals away, the moment he sees a hint of orange peeping out of a visitor's bag.
This guy displayed his magnificent horns to the kids, lowing gently as they 'oohed and 'aahed'. Henry's Ark charges no admission fees, but donations are gladly accepted.
Visitor's are encouraged to feed the animals, but a strict diet of carrots only is allowed.
This zebra came over to the fence eager for a few of his favorite treats.
We sauntered out onto a pier with a gazebo overlooking the farm pond. Ducks, geese, and lo and behold, some swans greeted us. A few weeks ago I posted about how I miss Irish swans at autumn time. To my delight, I not only found swans in Kentucky, but a black swan paddled straight over to us. A deep crimson beak was highlighted by darkest black plumage.
White swans looked on approvingly.
We saw a wide variety of ducks displaying deep, rich hues of greens, blues and purples.
This little quacker shimmered in the light of the setting sun.
A small flock of sheep eagerly feasted on our carrots.
I love this photo, especially the big buck lurking in the background, just keeping an eye on everything. The animal enclosures are spacious, with oodles of wide open space to roam freely.
My children's favorite animal was this large, lumbering camel. Despite his size, he poked his snout through the fence, accepting outstretched carrots, with soft, gentle lips. Everyone enjoyed his munching feast, and sweet-tempered eagerness.
A capybara is a South American tailless rodent. You can see his partially webbed feet in the photo above. They live near river banks and are good swimmers. They are the world's largest, living rodents. Not exactly a pretty picture!
No shortage of carrots for this little piggy!
I believe every farm needs a few chickens. Henry's Ark boasts clutches of many breeds of hens and roosters.
Other animals we saw included geese, goats by the dozen, free-range turkeys with no fear of Thanksgiving, rabbits, turtles, bison, water buffalo, and llamas.
The visiting area is relatively small compared to a traditional zoo, but is the perfect size for toddlers and children. Roaming geese and ducks delight young visitors, but never let a child wander off unattended. In springtime, an unsuspecting mother goose can quickly grow flustered around energetic kids, especially when she is focusing on her own young.
Henry's Ark is located at 7801 Rose Island Road in Prospect, Kentucky. Opening hours are year round from 9 am to 6 pm Tuesday thru Sundays. The farm is closed on Mondays. Here is a link for the Henry's Ark facebook page, where more details and directions are available.
Henry's Ark gets two thumbs up from my troop of animal lovers. Don't forget carrots for the animals! Remember baby carrots are perfect for little fingers feeding nibbling goats.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and Blessings)
Irish American Mom
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