While in Arkansas this past summer we spent a day at “Wild Wilderness Drive-Through Safari” in rural Gentry, about an hour from Fayetteville. In my 20 years growing up in Arkansas we never visited the place. I’m not sure why. It’s an amazing place that allows for a certain closeness with animals that is totally unheard of at regular zoos. But it’s also probably a horrible place to be if you’re an animal and I’m sure zoologists and zookeepers disaprove. They’re out to make money, not educate folks on animals or provide animals with ‘enclosures’ that resemble their natural habitats. At one point I remember seeing a cage with a weird assortment of animals on a concrete floor (porcupine, monkey, something else). I asked a caretaker if they ever get out and he said no. The goal there seems more to see as many wacky unusual animals as possible and not to learn about them in any substantial way. So there’s that.
Lots more photos after the jump…
They actually let you get close enough to touch and interact with monkeys! Something the kid in me has always wanted to be able to do.
You can actually PET the giraffes. It was so spectacular to see how tall they really are in person.