Bear Hollow Zoo: A Wildlife Sanctuary in Athens, GA

Nestled within Memorial Park in Athens, Georgia, Bear Hollow Zoo is a wildlife sanctuary that offers visitors a unique opportunity to connect with native Georgia wildlife. As an educational and conservation-focused facility, this zoo is crucial in promoting environmental awareness and wildlife preservation. This article will explore the history, exhibits, educational initiatives, and significance of Bear Hollow Zoo in Athens, GA. Discover more about Athens, GA here.

History and Founding:

Bear Hollow Zoo was established in 2004 as part of Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services. The zoo’s primary mission is to provide a safe and enriching environment for native Georgia wildlife that cannot be released back into the wild due to injuries or other factors. It serves as a rehabilitation center for injured or orphaned animals and a sanctuary for those deemed non-releasable by wildlife authorities. Click here to read about The State Botanical Garden of Georgia: A Horticultural Gem in Athens, GA.

Exhibits and Animals:

The zoo is home to diverse native Georgia wildlife, showcasing black bears, bobcats, owls, deer, reptiles, and amphibians. Each animal exhibit is thoughtfully designed to replicate the animal’s natural habitat while ensuring its well-being and comfort. Visitors can observe these fascinating creatures up close, fostering a deeper understanding of their behavior and their challenges in the wild.

Conservation and Education:

Bear Hollow Zoo is dedicated to wildlife conservation and education. Through its programs and exhibits, the zoo strives to raise awareness about the importance of preserving Georgia’s natural habitats and protecting its native wildlife. Educational initiatives include wildlife talks, hands-on activities, and interactive demonstrations that allow visitors to learn about wildlife ecology and conservation efforts.

Rehabilitation Center:

In addition to its educational role, Bear Hollow Zoo operates as a rehabilitation center for injured or orphaned animals. Staff and volunteers work tirelessly to nurse injured animals back to health with the ultimate goal of releasing them back into the wild whenever possible. For animals deemed non-releasable due to permanent injuries or disabilities, the zoo provides a home where they can live comfortably and safely.

Community Engagement:

Bear Hollow Zoo engages with the local community through various outreach programs and events. The zoo hosts family-friendly activities, workshops, and interactive experiences that allow visitors to connect with animals and gain a deeper appreciation for wildlife conservation. The zoo also collaborates with schools and community organizations to promote environmental education and foster a sense of stewardship for Georgia’s natural heritage.

Conservation Efforts:

As part of its commitment to wildlife conservation, Bear Hollow Zoo participates in breeding programs and supports research initiatives to enhance our understanding of native Georgia species. By collaborating with other zoos and wildlife organizations, the zoo plays a vital role in conserving endangered and threatened species.


Bear Hollow Zoo in Athens, GA, is more than just a traditional zoo; it is a sanctuary for native Georgia wildlife and a hub for wildlife conservation and education. Through its exhibits, rehabilitation efforts, educational programs, and community engagement, the zoo is a valuable resource for visitors seeking a closer connection with nature and an opportunity to contribute to wildlife preservation. Bear Hollow Zoo’s dedication to protecting native wildlife and promoting environmental awareness makes it a cherished destination for locals and tourists, inspiring future generations to become stewards of Georgia’s natural heritage.

Would love to help you with your next project! Schedule your Free Assessment today!

Scroll to Top