Photo by Brianna Sumpter

As the semester progresses, the amount of stress we have progresses as well. Sometimes it is necessary to take some time to yourself, put the textbook down and have some fun. Lazy 5 is the perfect place for that! Lazy 5 is an exotic animal ranch located in Mooresville, NC. Mooresville is about 40 minutes from campus, right outside of Charlotte. Created by Henry Hampton in 1993, the ranch has been a popular attraction to many people of all ages since it has opened. When visiting the ranch, you have the option to either drive your car through the ranch, or go through the ranch on a wagon ride.

Every time I go to the ranch, I drive my car through it, because I feel safer in my vehicle. The wagon rides are supervised by employees of the ranch, and you wont be harmed when getting in the wagon, however, the car is just my personal preference. Also for the wagon rides, they are available by reservations. Regardless of which form of transportation you use, you are going through the same paths of the ranch and you see the same animals.

When you are traveling through this ranch, you see animals such as zebras, pigs, deer, goats, giraffes, antelope, ducks, llamas, and various forms of large cattle. These exotic animals are roaming free through the ranch, and every animal that I have come across is very friendly. When you first get to the ranch, you pay and you are given the option to buy buckets of food to feed the animals with as you go through the trails. I recommend that anyone who goes to this ranch buy at least one bucket of food because if you stop to pet the animals they are going to be highly disappointed that you do not have any food for them. I would also like to recommend that you hold onto the bucket with a strong grip because the large cattle like to try to take the buckets of food from you.

Also, when you enter the ranch, one of the employees at the entrance will tell you specifically not to touch the zebras, and not to feed the zebras. The rest of the animals are allowed to be fed, but you cannot feed the zebras. It is also prohibited to exit your vehicle or the wagon while on the trail. This is for your safety, although these animals are very nice, they are also exotic, wild animals. You are also not allowed to bring any other animals in your car with you, due to safety purposes. As far as paying, it is $11 to enter the ranch for adults, and it is $8 for children as well as for seniors. If you decide that you want to do the wagon ride, it is sixteen dollars for adults, and eleven dollars for children and seniors. Each bucket of food is $3 per bucket, and Lazy 5 Ranch only accepts cash. Monday through Saturday the ranch opens at 9 a.m. and closes an hour before sunset. On Sundays, they open at 1 p.m.

Photo by Brianna Sumpter

Throughout the year they have birthday parties, school field trips and holiday activities, such as their Fall Festival. Starting September 30, Lazy 5 is having a Fall Festival that lasts until October 29, which includes pumpkin picking, interacting with the small animals and playing in the corn box. Personally, the Fall season is my favorite time to go because the weather nice and they have many pumpkins. I would not recommend this ranch to anyone who is scared of animals because these wild animals get very close and personal when you stop throughout the ranch. When you open your window to feed them, they will most likely stick their head in your window. I have been to this ranch seven times, and I have never had anything happen to me, but as previously stated they are wild animals, so always be sure to take precaution. For further questions and concerns, please check out the Lazy 5 Ranch website at