Finally made it up to Bearizona in Northern Arizona. This the amazing wildlife park where you can actually drive your car through a number of wild animal habitats–safari-style.
We got to see black bears, white wolves, white and brown American bison, Alaska Tundra Wolves (giant white wolves that look like friendly backyard dogs), elks and mule deer–all right outside the windows of my Camry. It was amazing. The plains area where the bison roam had the most animals.
We were even more enraptured by the walk-around zoo area in the park. The very first animals we saw were cute little orange foxes. They were so playful and healthy looking. The trainers gave them marshmallows as a treat and they chased each other for fifteen minutes.
We went into the petting zoo and held exotic chickens and got to brush some sheep. They also have more bears (of course!), live peafoul roaming free, big healthy looking porcupines and bobcats. The bobcats are shy.
Last year (2016) they added jaguars. They have a beautiful male and I guess they have a female, too, but they don’t live in the same habitat. We overheard a trainer saying they don’t get along. The jaguar was amazing. If you stood at just the right angle you could see that its coat is not solid black, but has large round spots on its coat, kind of like a cheetah.
I’m looking forward to our next visit to Bearizona. They are expanding the park, they have a nice enormous restaurant, an outdoor food cart area where you can get beers, cocktails and ice cream, and an enormous gift shop. I heard they are working on building a hotel. Hopefully we can stay there next year.