Ottawa has no official zoo and it's quite tragic. For those of us who are animal lovers, we're oftentimes left having to travel to Toronto or the States in order to get a close encounter with our favourite animal. This sucks because zoos can be the perfect date spot, a mini trip with your best friends, or it can be a way for you to just learn more about the environment.

However, not all hope is lost because Ottawa does have some animal friendly spots. From animal sanctuaries to safari parks, this city actually has a lot to offer; here are the best spots in Ottawa to check out your favourite animals:

Parc Omega

Where: 399 Route 323 North

via @kristaalyynn

Why you should go: Parc Omega is a safari zoo where you're able to get really close to a whole bunch of animals! From Arctic wolves to bison, you'll honestly have such a blast here. They also sell carrots that you can feed to the animals and at one point of the route, there's the opportunity to rent a golf cart and explore some smaller trails.


Little Ray's Reptile Zoo

Where: 5305 Bank St.

via @xomartine

Why you should go: Not only do they have some of the biggest snakes, some alligators, and all types of bugs, but they also have some mammals! They've got raccoons, sloths, and so many more animals. Head down and get to know their most popular attraction; Stewart the alligator who's been living there since 1996.


Canada Agriculture Museum

Where: 901 Prince of Wales Dr.

via @stacieha

Why you should go: You'll get a super close interaction with cows, goats, pigs, horses, and so much more! Although the petting of some animals is off limits, you'll get to pet baby cows, goats, and learn all about agriculture when you visit this museum.


Valleyview Little Animal Farm

Where: 4750 Valleyview Rd.

via @leahrobertsonn

Why you should go: You'll get to run into farm animals who are just living their lives, roamin' around! This a great family activity or something to do with your friends, either way, it'll be a great time!


Captiva Farms Riding Stables

Where: 189 Chemin de la Montagne

via @leng_.jing

Why you should go: If you love horses and have always wanted to go horseback riding, this is the spot to head to. They've got a bunch of friendly, beautiful horses that you can take on private or group tours and it's totally inexpensive!


Big Sky Ranch Animal Sanctuary

Where: 810 Pelton Rd.

via @amatullahyousif

Why you should go: The second you get out of your car, you'll be greeted by so many dogs! This is a rescue sanctuary that is no kill and they have a whole bunch of farm animals, and adoptable animals. Admission is free which is a plus but they do accept donations!


Wild Bird Care Center

Where: 734 Moodie Dr.

via @sneakylotus

Why you should go: If you're looking for a more peaceful and tranquil experience, why not visit this bird sanctuary? All the birds here have been rescue and the surrounding area is just a bunch of beautiful trails where you'll be able to discover even more wildlife and birds.


Canadian Museum of Nature

Where: 240 McLeod St.

via @olliiie.xu

Why you should go: Although most of the animals are mock animals, you still get to learn a whole bunch about animals that aren't native to Canada and a lot that are. Additionally, they have a section dedicated to all things bugs so if you like bugs, you'll get a real close up experience with them. Unfortunately, I'll have to pass on that part...