Driving through the Wild Animal Safari

Driving through the Wild Animal Safari park near Springfield, Missouri, I never expected the animals to run right up to the car, but that’s exactly what they did.

The rule in the park is don’t open your car window as you drive the five mile road through the 250 acre park. However, if you take the complimentary bus tour you can toss food (that you purchase at the park) out to the animals.

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Either the animals don’t know the difference between a bus and a car, or a lot of people break the rules. I tend to think it’s the latter. And yes, I broke the rules, too, when we were driving through areas where the animals aren’t particularly dangerous. The problem was I didn’t have any food with me. I was only trying to take pictures. However, as soon as the zedonks saw us, they practically stormed our vehicle.

Zedonks at windowzedonksDo you remember pressing your nose against a window as a kid? That’s exactly what this guy did, making me feel guilty that I didn’t have any food for him.

zedonk at Wild Animal SafariOther animals stayed their distance. Thank goodness, because I would want any of these pouncing at my car.

Wild Animal Safari, Strafford MOOver 70 species of animals live at the Wild Animal Safari. I was familiar with most of the animals, but I don’t ever remember seeing a zebu before. The zebu originated in south Asia.

zebuOther animals, like bison, are indigenous to the United States.

bisonI admit that having the animals come right up to the car was a lot of fun, but we were a tad nervous about the car injuring them as we moved on. They seem to know, though, that when the car starts moving they need to back off.

Be sure to check out our new road trip blog, U.S. Long Cuts.

The strolling path

Besides the driving portion of the Wild Animal Safari, you can see other smaller animals like lemurs, as well as some not-so-small animals in the zoo-like portion of the park near the gift shop.


If you go

Wild Animal Safari is located in Strafford, Missouri, about 18 miles from Springfield. The park is open every day of the year except Christmas, weather permitting. Check the web site for exact hours, admission rates and other details.

Disclosure: Our visit to Wild Animal Safari was hosted by the Springfield Missouri Convention and Visitors Bureau and Wild Animal Safari, but any opinions expressed in this post are my own. Photos by Skip Reed and Connie Reed.

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5 thoughts on “Driving through the Wild Animal Safari

  • September 9, 2015 at 5:43 am

    Haha, they’re so cute! What characters

    • September 9, 2015 at 8:49 pm

      They were fun, and I felt so guilty that I didn’t have any food to feed them.

  • September 15, 2015 at 2:18 am

    I had no idea about the Zebu too! I wander how they control how much food the animals eat: are they fed solely by the visitors and does everyone get their fair share?

    • September 29, 2015 at 8:09 pm

      I didn’t ask how they control the food, but that’s a good question. I wouldn’t think they could rely on just the visitors feeding the animals. That’s probably just a treat.

  • September 22, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Back when it was Exotic Animal Paradise, I visited a time or two. The most memorable was when the dog jumped out of the car right in the middle of the park! I guess the window was open just a little too much. He chased the deer, and then I managed to cram him back in the car. It took a while for me to recover, I gotta say. I suppose it was pretty entertaining to the car behind me….


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