Noah’s Ark Animal Rehabilitation Center

Locust Grove, GA

Noah’s Ark Animal Rehab Center and Sanctuary in Locust Grove, GA on 11/9/2022 for failure to remove dead animals, rotten food and feces from cages. USDA Report

Staff and supporters of Noah’s Ark have visited Big Cat Rescue and seem to be working toward levels of animal care and financial transparency that would qualify them for accreditation as a sanctuary.  They say that they do not breed, buy or sell and it is believed that they no longer allow public interaction with big cats or cubs.

The following was from 2011 and may no longer be true of the facility.

Any place that allows public contact with wild animals, or their cubs, should be avoided as they clearly do not have the best interest of the animals in mind.  Check it out for yourself to determine if the animals have sufficient space, enrichment and seem to be in good health and spirits.

2011: Is Noah’s Ark Promoting Cub Petting?


A brief look at their website shows many images of people posing with tiger cubs.  Find out why posing with tiger cubs promotes abuse.

A playful American black bear cub, named Little Anne, and two equally active tiger cubs, named Doc and Leonard, are frolicking about their habitat, seemingly without a care in the world.

The three small cubs are the newest inhabitants at Noah’s Ark Animal Rehabilitation Center and Children’s Care Home, in Locust Grove, and they represent the non-profit’s continuous need for both monetary, and in-kind support, according to Diane Smith, assistant to the Noah’s Ark Founder and Director Jama Hedgecoth.

“We depend on God, and the many friends of Noah’s Ark, who give to help us feed and care for the animals at Noah’s Ark,” said Hedgecoth. “Like many non-profits, we’ve hit a rough spot financially and are having to ask for some extra help.”

Her assistant, Diane Smith, said she sent out an e-mail appeal to raise $16,500 to sustain the center over the next few weeks.

Special Photo: A young girl visits with Little Anne, a 5-month-old American Black Bear cub, at Noah’s Ark Animal Rehabilitation Center in Locust Grove.

Special Photo: This American Black Bear cub, named Little Anne, was found in a tree in North Georgia after being separated from its mother during last spring’s severe storms. The cub is now at Noah’s Ark Animal Rehabilitation Center in Locust Grove.

Special Photo: These cubs, believed to be around five months old, were recently rescued and delivered to Noah’s Ark Animal Rehabilitation Center in Locust Grove.

“We are looking for some funding to help offset the costs of feeding more than 1,200 animals,” said Smith, who noted a drop in donations this summer.

“Summer is traditionally a slower time for donations,” she continued. “We feel like the extreme heat has contributed; we’ve had to be closed several days due to high heat indices. Since we rely partially on donations in our donation boxes by visiting guests, that affects us.”

Smith said the non-profit received “a good response” to the e-mail appeal. Noah’s Ark receives support from individuals around the world, with hefty support locally. Recent donations, however, may only last a few weeks, she said, pointing to the depressed economy and its toll on non-profits.

“Our immediate need has been met. But, as we go into the fall months, we’re definitely going to be in more need,” she said. “The $12,000 a month for feed continues to be a need each month. And that is only the cost of feed — not salaries for a very small staff, habitat maintenance, vet care, etc. The need is on-going.”

Smith said animals at Noah’s Ark annually consume about 375 tons of hay, 4,300 pounds of monkey biscuits, 18,000 pounds of big cat diet, 275,000 pounds of dry dog food, 176,000 pounds of sweet feed, and 3,000 pounds of parrot feed.

“In addition, we require hundreds of pounds of fresh produce, reptile feed, ostrich and emu feed … ” she explained. “We could always use people that are hands-on too.”

Needed in-kind donations were identified as hay, sweet feed, produce, parrot feed, and dry dog food that is used as a supplement for animals.

Smith said the non-profit also needs to replace its old forklift, which broke down earlier this year. The forklift was used to unload bales of hay and pallets of food from delivery trucks at the habitat.