Wildlife Safari is a drive through safari park located in northern Oregon. The 600 acre park is home to lions, bears, cheetahs, elephants and camels, among others. Founded in 1972 by Frank Hart, the Wildlife Safari is a unique combination of wildlife preserve and family fun destination. The facility includes the Safari Village, featuring a petting zoo, an event center and a caf‚ and gift shop.
But there's more to the Wildlife Safari than a family fun zoo. Wildlife Safari is a research facility and educational facility that is renowned throughout the world for its work with endangered and threatened species. The facility adopted the C.O.R.E.S. (Conservation of Rare and Endangered Species) Program in 2005, but many of the programs that are included in C.O.R.E.S. have been part of the park since its founding in 1972. It participates in Species Survival Plans through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The SSPs are designed to help ensure the survival of specific selected species through captive breeding programs and education of the public. The animals in SSPs at Wildlife Safari include the cheetah, elephants, gibbon, white rhinoceros, hippos, ring-tailed lemur, red-tufted lemur, tiger, lion, cotton-top tamarin, scimitar horned oryx and the maned wolf.
The main attraction at Wildlife Safari is the one-hour drive through tour, where visitors drive their own cars through the safari area and view the animals in their naturalized habitats. Visitors can also choose a variety of up close and personal animal encounters with tigers, camels, elephants and other animals. There's even an Elephant Car Wash where trained elephants spray your car with water - it's guaranteed NOT to get your car clean. The drive-through areas include roads through the bear area, the lion drive through and the cheetah drive through.
Visitors can also opt to take a ride on camelback, get a picture taken with the cheetah ambassador or visit the Safari Village Petting Zoo. Safari Village itself features a caf‚, and daily talks by cheetah keeper and the maned wolf keeper, as well as tortoise walk and a Village Show every day.
Beyond the general tours, Wildlife Safari offers a number of "Get Inside'' encounters that are available to the public for a fee. Visitors might choose to get inside with a giraffe feeding either in the Africa section of the park or at the giraffe barn, or to get to know the cheetahs in a Cheetah Encounter or Cheetah Birthday Party. Other encounters include lion, cheetah and bear feeding, or special wildlife encounters and half day visits with park rangers and staff.
The Wildlife Safari also participates in education and outreach activities for local schools and home school families. The Education Department of the Wildlife Safari will arrange guided tours and enrichment for classroom groups and other youth groups.
The Wildlife Safari is open year round. Hours vary by season. Admission prices are based upon activities chosen. For more information on admission prices and hours, contact the Wildlife Safari at 541-679-6761.
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