Petting zoo and boating at Agam Chai
Agam Chai on Kibbutz Yiron has a sizable zoo and a lake for boating, all set in lovely surroundings. This is also a zoo and a park with a mission.
ABOUT THE FARM
Directions: Enter “Yiron“ into Waze. Then follow the signs.
Admission: The facility is open 10.00 am to 4.00 pm Sunday to Thursday, Friday 10.00 am to 2.00 pm and Saturday 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. Admission is 50 NIS from age 2 years and above. A paddle boat is 50 NIS for 20 minutes and food for the animals is 10 NIS. The admission charge and boat rental is discounted through their website. Their phone number is 04 686 8304. This is their Hebrew website.
Public transport: Enter “Yiron” into Moovit. There are moderately frequent bus lines between Tel Hai and Gish and between Safed and Malkia.
Agam Chai is a fun place for kids. It has a zoo with caged reptiles, larger animals such as a camel, and peacocks roaming freely. Most of the exhibits have explanations, some in English. Boats can be rented, with up to 5 people per boat, but there is no swimming or wading in the lake. The kids can ride on the ponies. There is a shaded picnic area with picnic benches, and a playground with swings and bouncy castle. A kiosk sells hot and cold drinks and snacks. Older children who need action may get bored after a time.
This is a zoo with a mission. Many of the staff have disabilities or are youth at risk and their employment is designed to provide a rehabilitative experience. Similarly, many of the animals and birds are disabled and the intent is to attempt to prepare them for the wild. The pelicans, for example, were shot by farmers, have only one wing and would be unable to survive outside the zoo. This mission is supported solely by admission charges.