North Georgia wildlife preserve rescues exotic animals - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

North Georgia wildlife preserve rescues exotic animals

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

The Chestatee Wildlife Preserve and Zoo is the only exotic animal rescue and wildlife preserve in north Georgia, and keeping it all together takes plenty of help.

C. W. Wathen has been the curator of the exotic animal preserve for decades, and he says his fascination with animals started in his native Kentucky. He used to collect animals on his family's farm.

"Then I moved to Georgia 30 years ago and I saw there was a big need for rescue, people having animals that didn't have homes for them or shouldn't. So, I got into rescue and when I done that, it became more than a hobby," said Wathen.

He says he and his family put in over 12 hours a day, seven days a week to care for the animals. His wife helps him, and even their 4-year-old daughter Bella helps out.

"Every afternoon until it's time to go to bed, she's out here feeding and helping care for the animals. And she knows almost every diet that every animal eats," said Wathen.

There are currently more than 200 animals on the preserve, and it's expensive to care for them.

One meat locker has about $30,000 worth of food in it. Wathen says he's grateful to donors but has to make up the difference with his construction business. He says he honestly doesn't have a favorite, not even the new tiger cubs.

"Even though it's a snake to a grizzly bear, they've all got their different personalities," said Wathen.

There are plenty of long days, no vacations, and often animals are simply dropped off at their gates. Wathen says giving all god's creatures a chance at a happy life makes it all worth it.

Want a chance at naming the white tiger cubs? You can vote on these five names: wild women, Twilight stars, Hunger Game stars, royal women and Shakespeare. Click here to vote, and you'll be entered in a drawing to receive four tickets to the wildlife preserve and a private encounter with the tigers.  
         
The winner must visit the preserve by Sunday, November 4.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Good Day Atlanta

    Recipes: A healthy take on Southern favorites

    Recipes: A healthy take on Southern favorites

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 12:39 PM EDT2014-09-16 16:39:34 GMT
    We challenged chef Curtis Aikens to lighten up two Southern classics, starting with sweet potato pie.Which usually involves a couple of sticks of butter, loads of sugar and buttermilk.
    We challenged chef Curtis Aikens to lighten up two Southern classics, starting with sweet potato pie.Which usually involves a couple of sticks of butter, loads of sugar and buttermilk.
  • FOX Comedies Return To Tuesday Night

    FOX Comedies Return To Tuesday Night

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:36 AM EDT2014-09-16 13:36:32 GMT
     Two of the hottest comedies on FOX return Tuesday night, so get ready for some new laughs with old friends!   First up, "New Girl" is
    Two of the hottest comedies on FOX return Tuesday night, so get ready for some new laughs with old friends! First up, "New Girl" is back for a fourth season, and cast members say expect a bit of a "reboot" of the series. What does that mean? Star H
  • Get Ready To "Rock" At Johns Creek Music School

    Get Ready To "Rock" At Johns Creek Music School

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:01 AM EDT2014-09-16 13:01:43 GMT
    It's a unique music school where kids jam out to The Beatles and Green Day, and learning to play an instrument also means learning to play with others.
     It's a unique music school where kids jam out to The Beatles and Green Day, and learning to play an instrument also means learning to play with others. There are nearly 150 School of Rock locations around the world, and now there's one in Johns Creek.
Powered by WorldNow

1551 Briarcliff Rd., NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

Main Number: (404) 875-5555
News Tips: (404) 898-0100

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices