Lions, tigers, and zebras? We grabbed our safari hats and took the Adventure Subaru to the Wild Wilderness Drive-Through Safari in Gentry, Arkansas. Exotic animals have filled the 380 acre family business for nearly 50 years.
Charles Wilmoth, the animal care manager, says that "A lot of the monkeys, the primates, the giraffes, and kangaroo petting parks are all in the walk-through area, where a lot of the big cats, and the rhino and hippo, and the big herd animals are down in the drive-through."
Between the drive-through, petting parks, and walk-through area, there are over 900 animals with almost 80 different species.
"We have such a variety of animals, because everybody likes something different."
To explore the natural home of hundreds of animals, we first hit the gravel road. The animals are often more social when it's morning or late afternoon.
Charles says "A lot of times they're just laying around like that group of deer back there just laying around. They're just chilling out in the middle of the day. We encourage people to go through a couple of times, because you go through one time and you might see some animals in one area and you really don't see some of the others. You go through again and you see something different or they've moved.
As you drive slowly along the 4-mile long road, keep your windows up, stay in your car, and take in the sights.
"A lot of the animal interaction you get, you get up kind of close and personal with a lot of animals. Even in the drive-through, you'll be driving through in your car and they'll come right up to the car and you can see them through the window. And then in the walk-through area, you get a lot of close-up interaction with them."
Kids to grandparents to college students come to explore this family friendly safari all year long.
"And then some people bring a picnic lunch and spend all day and make a day out of it.
Covering the safari where you live, I'm 5NEWS Meteorologist Sabrina Bates.
- The safari is open 9AM-5PM, 7 days a week.
- Children under 2 years old are free.
- The safari has been open since 1976.