Barn Hill Preserve brings animals to you in “Car-E-Safaris”
FRANKFORD, Del. – A Delaware animal preserve is letting people connect with animals while social distancing. “We just started doing a Car-E-Safari event where you’re able to purchase a sponsorship kit, and then you can participate and see some of our animals,” said Barn Hill Preserve co-owner Josh Mueller.
The preserve says you can get up close and personal with their animals at these events without even getting out of your car. “We set up five different animals along the parking lot, and then people drive along in their cars and they get to see the animals and learn about them from a safe social distance,” said animal care manager Sam Prestia.
Mueller says focusing on the Car-E-Safari events while they’re unable to travel has helped the preserve to strengthen their bond with locals. “It’s definitely a huge change for us. We’re used to just sitting at a school and then going back to wherever we’re staying, and now we’re kind of more local, which is nice because we usually don’t get to see all the local people in the area,” said Mueller.
Prestia says that the events have been a hit, and in some cases are completely sold out. The animal care manager also tells 47ABC that the events are helping her and the team to share happy moments during these difficult times. “We’ve just gotten to spend all day talking about these animals again. I didn’t really realize how much I had missed that, since we hadn’t been going to schools but the first one we did, I felt like I could just talk about these guys for days,” said Prestia.
Not only does the money from the events help to support the animals at the preserve. It also helps to educate people about how they can help to better the lives of animals in the wild. “Our passion everyone that works here, we all love animals and we want to try to make it a better place for them in the wild, and so our goal is to educate people about them and the funds that we get, we’re able to re-allocate to all the different places that need it,” said Mueller.
Barn Hill Preserve says they’re planning to move to a brand new location some time next year. Mueller says the new location will be about 40 acres, and that the preserve is waiting for approval from the county.
Meanwhile Barn Hill Preserve has started a non-profit organization called Global Wildlife Support. The organization helps to support animals in the wild that have gone through natural disasters by raising funds for medical care and food. Mueller says they were inspired to start the organization after visiting Australia during the wildfires earlier this year.