HOPE HULL, AL (WSFA) - There's something wild happening about 20 miles south of Montgomery in Hope Hull.
As you drive down a dirt road into the facility it almost has the feel of Jurassic Park. Thankfully what's inside isn't that wild, but still pretty cool. It's the brand new Alabama Safari Park. It opened at the beginning of March.
"We have about 30 species on the property and over 400 animals," said Chris Mogensen with the Alabama Safari Park. "It is very unique. You'd be surprised at how many animals will come right up to your window,"
So why Hope Hull? Well, it just seemed like a good fit. The company who runs this has two other animal parks, one in Florida the other in Virginia. That's where all the animals came from.
"The land here is great for grazing opportunities. The land has rich soil so it grows all the grass they can eat," Mogensen said.
You drive through with your own car, windows down, and you can even feel a lot of these animals along the way. Just hold on tight when you get to the camels.
"They get very excited with the grain. They will actually take the buckets from you," Mogensen said.
They sure will. It happened to me.
It's still fascinating to get up so close to some of these animals and you're learning stuff along the way. There are a lot of babies out in the spring. The baby zebra has brown stripes.
"They are brown when they are younger, then the stripes start to darken but when you get up close you can see they are all brown," Mogensen said.
You can get out of the car by the entrance and visit the petting zoo. They have a variety of animals there including a young giraffe. That dude has a long tongue! You'll see it if you feed him.
You can check out their website for directions and ticket information. They say they're always planning on bringing in new animals and by the fall they hope to have a wagon ride through the park so you can leave your car behind if you want.