Lions and tigers and — next year — bears. Oh, my!
If you also see lemurs, giraffes, zebras and a host of other creatures, you might be at Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain.
Admission to the park includes both the Drive-Thru Safari and the Walkabout Adventure Zoo.
You can enjoy the 2½-mile drive in your own car or by renting a park vehicle if you don’t want to risk damage to your ride.
Along the way, you’ll get upclose and personal with more than 75 species of animals, including American bison, watusi, emus, ostriches, zebras and more.
If you drive your own car, you can explore the safari at your own pace. You are allowed to feed the animals, but only feed you bought at the park for $5.25. “Animal diets are specific and important. We want to avoid giving them anything which may cause them harm,” Wild Animal Safari wrote on its website.
If a bison headbutting your Buick worries you, rent a safari vehicle from the park. Each SUV holds 5-6 people, and drivers must be licensed with valid insurance and be at least 21 years old.
Walkabout Adventure Zoo
When you need to stretch your legs, head over to the Walkabout Adventure Zoo and make friends with peacocks and other exotic birds, lemurs, monkeys and more — 150 species in all.
At the Pavilion, you can feed giraffes. You can buy people food, too, at the nearby food trucks.
The Animal Barn houses a variety of birds and reptiles. There is also a petting zoo, and all exhibits can be explored at your own pace, so take your time getting to know the animals.
The park suffered damage, and lost some animals, during a March tornado, but it is rebuilding in three phases.
Phase One is the reopening of the Drive-Thru Safari, which began April 15, so you can enjoy that right now.
Phase Two is the partial reopening of the Walkabout Adventure Zoo, which should happen later this month. There will be two new exhibits — an aviary featuring macaws and budgie parrots, and the another with ring-tailed Madagascan lemurs — and the expansion of the squirrel monkey and singing dogs of New Guinea habitats.
Phase Three will be the full reopening of the Walkabout, including a reimagined hyena exhibit and enclosures for wolves and bears. The completion of this phase is slated for spring 2024.
As a thank you for supporting the park during its rebuilding, visitors who buy a ticket online and join the mailing list will get ticket to return any weekday from June 15 until the end of September.
WILD ANIMAL SAFARI
1300 Oak Grove Road, Pine Mountain, Georgia 31822
Phone: (706) 663-8744
Tickets: $29 for adults 13-64, $26 for ages 3-12 and seniors 65 and older. Season passes available for $50.
Hours: Hours of operation change throughout the year, but you can see them on this handy calendar.
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