We are excited for your upcoming trip to Oatland Island Wildlife Center. Here are a few tips to make the most of your visit.
Please do not yell at or tease the animals, tap on or hit their exhibits or throw any objects.
Respect all fences and boundaries. They are there for your safety and the safety of the animals.
There are many factors that affect the center’s environment, including weather and animal health.
Consider checking our social media channels or website prior to your visit to be aware of any changes in the daily schedule or exhibit closures.
The exhibits and trails are self-guided. However, if you are interested in booking a tour for your group we have many options available. Please click here for more information.
There are restrooms available in the Tony Cope Education and Visitors Center and near the Georgia Barnyard.
Remember, you’ll be spending the day outside! We advise that guests bring plenty of sunscreen, cold water, bug spray, good walking shoes and a hat.
Water fountains and a refillable water bottle station are available in the Tony Cope Education and Visitors Center.
There is a drink vending machine located near the Georgia Barnyard exhibit. Snacks and a limited assortment of drinks are also available for purchase at the Gift Shop located inside the Tony Cope Education and Visitors Center.
We love animals, but for the safety of ours, we do not allow pets (leashed or unleashed, dogs, cats, etc.) onto Oatland Island Wildlife Center grounds. Only trained and vaccinated service animals are allowed on property.
How big is the wildlife center?
Oatland Island Wildlife Center covers over 100 acres of maritime forest with a 2-mile nature trail walking loop featuring 5 main exhibit areas.
How long do we need to see the entire wildlife center?
We recommend approximately two hours to see the entire wildlife center, depending on the size and ages of your group and how fast you walk. Because we create exhibits that replicate the animals’ natural habitats, some animals can be difficult to see and visitors may spend more time in observation.
How many animals does Oatland Island have?
We have more than 95 animals from 39 different species on exhibit, including mammals, fish, invertebrates, birds and reptiles.
What can I bring for our visit?
You may bring your own food. Please no alcoholic beverages. Bug spray is also recommended.
What items are prohibited at Oatland Island?
Prohibited items include alcohol, balloons, drones, skateboards, roller skates, bikes, trikes, Segways, firearms, weapons, knives, fireworks, sparklers and pets. Smoking, electronic cigarettes and bare feet are also prohibited. Fishing poles/fishing are not allowed on wildlife centers grounds.
Do you have Wi-Fi available?
We do have Wi-Fi available for guests to use in the Tony Cope Education and Visitors Center.
Can I smoke on Oatland Islands grounds?
By Georgia State law, smoking is strictly prohibited at Oatland Island Wildlife Center.
Are my personal pets allowed to visit Oatland Island with me?
We love animals, but for the safety of yours and ours, we do not allow pets (leashed or unleashed) onto Oatland Island Wildlife Center grounds. Only trained and vaccinated service animals are allowed on property.
Can I leave an animal in my vehicle while visiting Oatland Island?
No animals of any kind, including service dogs, are allowed to be left in vehicles (cars, RV's, trucks, etc.) on Oatland Island Wildlife Center grounds, regardless of "dog set" car modes. There is NO exception and if you are found to have left an animal in a vehicle you will be asked to leave the center immediately without a refund.
Are Service Animals allowed at Oatland Island?
Yes, trained and vaccinated service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are permitted with visitors with disabilities.
While your service animal has been socialized for most public settings, touring the wildlife center - especially for the first time - can be an unusual experience. To ensure the safety of our animals and to provide an enjoyable experience for both you and your service animal, please read the following information:
- Service animals must be properly leashed, harnessed, or otherwise under the control of the handler as defined by law.
- Please notify the Admissions attendant upon arrival to Oatland Island that you have a service animal. Animal care staff will be notified for the safety of all of our guests and animals.
- Some species at Oatland Island have a natural instinct to view certain animals as threats or as predators, and these natural instincts can result in serious injury. Therefore, for the safety of the animals, there are some areas of the center where service animals are not permitted. These areas include the Georgia Barnyard and Cougar Crossing.
- Please watch for any indications that the animal residents are upset. These behaviors may include excessive flying, running, or vocalizing. Should you see any of these behaviors, please step away from the animal in question.
- Please also be aware that Oatland Island is not able to provide a rest area or supplies for service animals. Please come prepared with anything you think your service animal might need during your visit and please pick up after them.
Service Animals vs Emotional Support Animals: What’s the difference?
Emotional support animals are not permitted on the grounds of Oatland Island Wildlife Center. Service animals (such as dogs) are trained to perform tasks for the benefit of individuals with physical or mental disabilities. This includes, but not limited to, guiding individuals who are blind, alerting those who are deaf, protection individuals prone to seizures and various other tasks directly related to a disability. Pets and other animals whose sole function is to provide comfort, companionship or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Georgia State law.
Do you have picnic areas available?
Yes! We have covered and uncovered picnic tables available for use near the Tony Cope Education and Visitors Center, the dock and the Barnyard enclosure. The picnic pavilion is often rented to school groups from 11:30-1:00pm. Please check with staff if you have a large group looking for a place to lunch and you haven't registered to use the picnic area.
What bus route comes closest to Oatland Island Wildlife Center?
Route 10 with Chatham Area Transit (CAT) comes closest to OIWC. Check CAT’s website to see the latest service schedule.
Can I donate or bring a hurt animal to Oatland Island Wildlife Center?
We are not able to accept donations of animals. Nor are we a rehabilitation center for injured animals. Please see a list of Department of Natural Resources Approved Animal Rehabilitators in our area.
Can you send me feathers or other items from an animal for a project?
We do not distribute feathers or any other items from animals to any individuals or groups. It is illegal to have certain items due to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora Law.
Can I fly an Unmanned Aircraft System or drone in or around the exhibits?
For the safety and well-being of our guests and animals, the unauthorized launching and/or operation of a UAS (drone) from or above Oatland Island Wildlife Center property is strictly prohibited.