WINDSOR, N.C. (WNCT) – After a concerned citizen contacted us about a mini-zoo in Bertie County, we did a little digging to make sure the facility was safe for visitors and the animals that call it home. What we discovered may surprise you.
The facility is completely funded by the Town of Windsor and is free to the public. We went to the zoo unannounced to ensure nothing was changed for our visit. When we arrived, the enclosures were clean, the animals were healthy, the water buckets were full, and the zoo was well maintained overall. The donkey the viewer contacted us about had been treated.
“We have a vet come out a couple of times a year just to walk through and check to make sure, if he sees anything we need to get something done about he’ll come talk to us about it,” says facility supervisor Wayne Hill. “If I see anything, I’ll call him.”
Hill says the animals’ health and well-being is top priority.
“We do the best we can out here,” says Hill. “I treat these animals like they’re my own. I’ve been here almost 28 years and they’re more than just an animal. They’re like my kids.”
The park costs the town almost $200,000 a year to upkeep. Children from across the East visit the zoo annually but because the park is free, no income is generated.
“They (The Town of Windsor) have been able to afford the funding for it all these years and haven’t run in to any problems funding it,” says Hill. “I think it’s something that they just want to give to the community. You’d be surprised how many towns come here to visit.”
Luckily, this 9OYS Investigation resulted in a positive outcome of a hidden gem right off Highway 17 in Windsor. The mini-zoo will continue to be free to the public so everyone can enjoy the facility. To learn how you can help the facility or to visit it yourself, click here.