Visiting the animals at Georgia’s free zoo

The most famous animal around Athens is the bulldog, of course — but that doesn’t mean it’s the only animal in town.  In fact, a drive over to Athens-Clarke County’s Memorial Park reveals a long list of fascinating creatures just waiting to be discovered by visitors.

Bear Hollow Zoo is located inside the 72-acre county park and is home to several animal species native to Georgia. Open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, the zoo’s residents include the North American river otter, the great horned owl, white-tailed deer, and — of course — the American black bear.  

Each of the animals is non-releasable in the wild; Bobbles the otter, for example, was orphaned in the wild and came to the zoo from Alaska last year, and black bears Athena and Yonah were also orphaned and have lived at the zoo since 2010.

So, who’s ready to visit with an alligator and behold a bald eagle? Bear Hollow Zoo is located at 293 Gran Ellen Drive in Athens, only about a mile from the campus of the University of Georgia. Printable animal guides are available here. Oh, and best of all?  Admission to the zoo is free to the public.

It’s been several years since we visited Bear Hollow Zoo — and with so many people searching for fun, outdoor activities right now, it seemed like a perfect time to make a return trip.  Click the video player for a peek at our morning hanging out with some of Georgia’s most beautiful residents!

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