WHAT: RainForest Adventures, Discovery Zoo
ORIGIN: RainForest Adventures was started by businessman William Lucey in 2001, in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
WHERE: Located at 109 NASCAR Drive, Sevierville Tennessee 37862. RainForest is approximately 13 miles from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Gatlinburg, Tennessee
The Zoo is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. The Zoo is closed on Christmas Day.
ADMISSION: General admission: children under the age of 2 are admitted free; children ages two through eleven, $11.99; adults 12 and older, $18.99.
BACKGROUND: Since opening in June of 2001, RainForest Adventures has delighted millions of visitors. The zoo began as the brainchild of businessman William Lucey. Today, true to Bill’s vision and under his guidance RainForest Adventures has thrived and has become an exciting regional destination and one of the finest small zoos in the country with hundreds of animals representing 140 different species.
This first-class regional destination attracts numerous visitors each year, including numerous groups of school children, seniors, and other civic and special interest organizations.
RainForest is proud to be affiliated with several trade organizations including the Zoo and Aquarium Buyers Group (ZAG) which Bill Lucey serves on the board of, as well as a public facility with the ZAA
RainForest Adventures Announces 17,000 Square Foot Expansion. Breaking ground in September of 2007 Rainforest management expects new exhibits to be open by April of 2008.
With six full years of operation under their belts, the management team of RainForest Adventures decided it was time to really grow! Beginning September 17th, of 2007 the ambitious Aussie Walkabout expansion got underway.
Anchored by two major exhibits including a 5,000 square foot “Parakeet Paradise”, a walk through aviary that allows guests to feed and interact with over 500 Australian birds, and a “Wallaby Walkabout”
For Immediate Release 1/21/07
RainForest Adventures plans for the arrival of 500 Australian Budgies! RainForest Adventures confirms the impending arrival of 500 captive-bred Australian birds for inclusion in the new immersive Walk Through Aviary.
Today RainForest Adventures confirmed orders with their suppliers for 500 captive-born Australian Budgies. The birds are slated to arrive on March 15th, while the media will be allowed to participate in the release of the birds in their new habitat the general public will have to patiently wait their turn while the new arrival adjusts from a 1,200-mile plane flight from West Texas.
The baby birds will be approximately 12 weeks in an age when arriving at RainForest and will have been weaned from their respective parents for over 4 weeks prior to shipping. The little birds will leave the San Antonio International airport in Texas at approximately 8:00 A.m., weather permitting. The new arrivals should land in Knoxville at McGee Tyson airport at approximately 4:00 P.M. where they will be met by RainForest staff and checked for food and water.
A one hour van ride later and the birds will arrive in their new permanent home at RainForest!
1999, Bill Lucey Incorporates RainForest Adventures in Tennessee
2000, July – 2.2 Acres of land acquired in Sevierville, TN
2000, September – Ground Breaking on 15,000 square foot primary RainForest building
2001, June 16th – RainForest opens it’s doors for the first visitors
2002, November First Mammals arrive at RainForest, Ring-tail Lemurs!
2003, RainForest is joined by Nairobi, the African Serval
2005, Baby Coatimundis are born to two pairs of adults
2005, Giant Water Monitor Arrives in New Home
2006, RainForest announces intent to add new Australian exhibits, puts contracts up for bid.
2007, September 17th, ground breaking begins on New Smoky Mountain Resorts Aussie Walkabout! Expected opening date April 2008
2008, May 5th 500,000th guest visits RainForest!
2008, July 24th First baby Rhea hatched in the new Aussie Walkabout
2009, January 10th RainForest hatches clutch of over 50 baby reticulated pythons.
2010, April RainForest crew begins construction on new South American Monkey exhibit
2010, August 22nd RainForest welcomes six new Black Cap Capuchin Monkeys
2010, August RainForest welcomes Niles, male Serval from the Columbus Zoo
2010, September 17th Male capuchin monkey born to newly arrived troop. His name is Calvin.
2011, February 14th, Male capuchin monkey born, named Valentine
2011, March 15th, twin baby Ring tail lemurs born, named Batman and Robin
2011, June 14th, RainForest celebrates it’s 10th Anniversary
2011 July 20th, 750,000th Guest visits RainForest
2012 November, RainForest hosts 8th annual ZAA conference
2013 March, Cotton Top Tamarins arrive at RainForest!
2013 October, Baby Cotton Top Tamarin born at RainForest.
2013 November, Zoo and Aquarium Buyers Group hosts mixer at RainForest
2013 December, 1,000,000 guest visits RainForest!!
2014 January, Golden Headed Lion Tamarins arrive at RainForest