New River Zoo

New River Zoo

The New River Zoo is an up close and personal encounter with animals from around the globe. New River Zoo is home to over many different species of mammals, reptiles and birds, including endangered species such as ring-tailed lemurs Oscar and Tate to five difference species of large cats including leopards and lynxes.


Reptiles at the New River Zoo include several different kinds of snakes such as a boa constrictor and Burmese python to spectacled caimen.

Several school groups from region have visited the zoo on different occasions to learn about the different animals on a first hand, up close experience. Other groups like Appalachian Christian School have visited the zoo to volunteer and help Stroud with various chores or activities that need to be done at the zoo. Hands-on educational tours are available for groups of ten or more with an extra discount for groups booking their visit two months in advance.

Stroud continues to be very excited about the animals and how they can help promote awareness and education for people. The snow macaques came from a zoo in Mississippi and are a young, healthy pair of monkeys that Stroud hopes will have a baby after the male reaches his sexual maturity.

The most northerly nonhuman primate in the world, the Japanese macaques like Tiki and Meeka, live on three of the four main islands of Japan and on a few small outlying islands. Stocky and heavily furred, the species has earned its common name, snow monkey, by surviving in areas with harsh winters, according to the National Wildlife Federation’s website found at

New River Zoo’s mission is to provide the best possible care for the animals. Many of the animals were rescue cases will live out the rest of their lives at the New River Zoo. Some were unwanted pets of private owners that were no longer able to provide care for the animal while others like Marie were research animals that found their home here.

The New River Zoo was opened to the public in the fall of 2001 by naturalist Keith Stroud. Stroud started building the facilities for the zoo in the summer of 1997 after moving to Ashe County from Charlotte where he worked as a zookeeper at the Concord Zoo.

Prior to working at the Concord Zoo, Stroud attended school at Lees McRae College where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a naturalist concentration. Through working with zoos and nature preserves, he realized the ongoing need for homes for unwanted or displaced exotic and wild animals.

Hours and Location:

Hours of operation are Monday thru Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and on Sundays from 1-5 p.m. The zoo is located at 3581 Big Flatts Church Road in Fleetwood and signs to the zoo are posted. For more information, call (336)877-9219.

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