|Date opened||October 1972|
1790 Safari Road|
Winston, Oregon, U.S.
|Land area||600 acres (240 ha)|
|No. of animals||600|
|No. of species||80|
Wildlife Safari is a safari park in Winston, Oregon, United States. It is home to hundreds of animals that wander freely over the 600-acre (240 ha) park, which guests can drive through. The park also includes a walkthrough exhibit displaying some of the park's smaller animals. It has Oregon's only African elephants and maned wolves as of 2009.
Frank Hart, a frequent visitor to Africa, created the safari park, which opened in October 1972 as World Wildlife Safari, on a 600-acre (240 ha) site. "World" was dropped from the name in June 1974, at the request of the unrelated, non-profit World Wildlife Fund, to avoid confusion. Wildlife Safari became a non-profit organization in 1980, and is overseen by the Safari Game Search Foundation.
Between the drive-through area and the village, Wildlife Safari features over 600 animals including bears, capybaras, South African cheetahs, African elephants, giraffes, hippopotamuses, lions, and ostriches.
More than 600 of these animals are given free rein on the grasslands, and are accessible for viewing by driving on a 4.5-mile (7.2 km) road. Visitors can stop to view the animals and take pictures anywhere except in the bear cage. Besides both black and brown bears, other animals in "protected contact" include tigers, lions, and cheetahs.
About 90 of the park's animals are in the Safari Village, which includes a petting zoo, restrooms, a restaurant, a playground, and gift shop.
The Safari Village includes a narrow gauge railroad, White Rhino Event Center, Frank Hart Theater, Safari Cafe and Gift shop. The village area is a traditional zoo setting with smaller exhibits from animals from around the world. The newest feature to the Safari Village is the Wells Fargo Australian Walkabout exhibit. The Australian Walkabout immerses the guest into Australia allowing guest to go in with the Wallaroos, Black Swans and the Budgie Aviary.
Wildlife Safari has a well established cheetah breeding program which, as of 2012, has produced 171 cubs. In cooperation with the AZA's Species Survival Program, the cubs are sent to other accredited zoos across the United States.
At least one animal rights organization endorses Wildlife Safari for its animal-focused conditions and care.
The two tigers at Wildlife Safari stay behind a 12 foot fence and don't roam free as some of the other animals do.
"The safari has a black bear collection that has been managed by what's called free contact," park curator Dan Brands said. "As of today, our method of managing them will be protected contact, and we are making immediate modifications to the exhibit to make sure this doesn't happen again." The safety improvement has been done to the lions, the cheetahs and most recently the brown bears. The black bears were the last ones to be improved for protected contact.
...instead visit a wildlife reserve that focuses first and foremost on the welfare of the animals under their care, and on rehabilitating threatened and endangered species. If you are in Oregon, try visiting the Wildlife Safari in Winston. Wildlife Safari is a drive through safari where the animals are free and the visitors are enclosed. The park is dedicated to helping save rare and endangered species from around the world. Wildlife Safari is an AZA-accredited non-profit wildlife park dedicated to education, conservation and research.