Conservation is the name of The Wilds' game

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

The reason for the Wilds existing at all is conservation. It is one of the largest and most innovative wildlife conservation centers in the world.

Located on nearly 10,000 acres, it is home to rare and endangered species from around the world living in natural, open-range habitat, as well as home to hundreds of indigenous species. The mission of the Wilds is to advance conservation through science, education and personal experience.

There is concern for every species there. They are rated from "least concern" at best and "extinct in the wild" at worst. Below are species rated "endangered" to "extinct in the wild."

  • Scimitar-Horned Oryx Endangered. Formerly extinct in the wild since the 70s. In 2007, an oryx born at the Wilds was sent to Tunisia for a reintroduction project. The animal is a kind of antelope.
  • Red-Crowned Crane Endangered. Asia and parts of Russia. The bird's wetlands habitat is shrinking because of agricultural and industrial growth.
  • Bactrian Camel Endangered. The Wilds scientists are working Mongolia to survey the camel population. There are less than 1,000 left in the wild.
  • African Wild Dog Endangered. Fewer than 5,000 remain in the wild.
  • Cheetah Endangered. Habitat loss and poaching have driven the Cheetah population down to 10,000 in its native Africa and Iran.
  • Dhole Endangered. Conflicts with humans and infectious disease have severely decreased the fox-like creature's numbers in India and Asia.
  • Indochina Sika Deer Extinct in the wild, due to hunting, water pollution and habitat loss. Even reintroduction to preserves are threatened by poaching.
  • Pere David's Deer Extinct in the wild since the late 1800s. Almost 100 years later, the species was reintroduced into protected preserves in China, where they used to roam free.
  • Central Chinese Goral Endangered. This unusual species shares characteristics of the goat and the antelope. It has been over-hunted and suffers from habitat loss.
  • Greater One-Horned Asian Rhino Endangered. Poaching and human encroachment have decreased the Rhino's numbers in India and Nepal.
  • Southern White Rhino Near threatened in Southern Africa. It is a social animal and prefers to live in large groups. The wide-open spaces of the Wilds are well suited to the rhino. The Wilds is the only facility where third generation White Rhinos have been born.
  • American Bison Near Threatened. Bison populations are on the increase, mainly because of captive breeding. However, there is not enough room in this country for expansion to herd status. The only continuous herd of Bison is in Yellowstone National Park.
  • Banteng Endangered. A wild cow in Asia and Indonesia. Hunting and crossbreeding with domestic cattle are the primary concerns for their survival.
  • Grevy's Zebra Endangered. The largest of the three Zebra breeds living in Kenya and Ethiopia. The animals are hunted for their skins and number only 3,000 in the wild.
  • Persian Onager Endangered. One of six sub-species of wild ass. Fewer than 700 animals live in their native Iran.
  • Przewalski's Wild Horse Endangered. Hunting and competition with livestock led to the wild horse's extinction in the late 1960s.The success of captive breeding programs has made it possible to reintroduce nearly 400 to sites in Mongolia and China.

New at The Wilds

New Camping and vacation opportunities at the Wilds

Both adult and children camping experiences are very popular at the Wilds. There are also adult only weekend packages in the unique and comfortable yurts. You might also enjoy tented camp adventures. They are all pictured and fully explained in the Wilds' Web site: