Photo Credit: Chris Tillman via Flickr

Are you looking for a crazy wildlife experience without leaving the continental United States? Established in 1968 as a humble roadside attraction with a few deer, fast forward 50+ years and West Coast Game Park Safari in Oregon is king of the jungle. 450 animals are available for viewing and interacting (most free-range), affording you a hands-on experience with 75 exotic species.

Photo Credit: OCVA via Flickr

Family Values

The West Coast Game Park Safari is not only a great experience for the entire family, but it's very existence is rooted in family values. Ever since 1968, the park has emphasized the importance of conservation and education about these beautiful creatures. In 1972, Bob and Mary Tenney made it their mission to expand the walk-through area with improved treatment of the animals the primary intention. Upon retirement in 2009, they passed the park on to their son, Brian, who kept up the tradition. Several of these animals were born into this park through the extensive all-natural breeding program with the purpose of revitalizing endangered species—including the majestic snow leopard.

Photo Credit: Chris Tillman via Flickr

Make a New Friend

While all of these stunning creatures are available for viewing and photography in their respective habitats, many are roaming freely and available to be fed and pet by visitors. Purchase a cone of food from the gift shop, and you'll quickly learn just how friendly alpacas and raccoons can be. Whenever you come, you're guaranteed a remarkable and memorable experience with an assortment of animals!

Photo Credit: Chris Tillman via Flickr

How to Do It

80 miles south of Eugene in Bandon, West Coast Game Park is open seasonally. Various animals are brought out throughout the day to interact with the guests as "ambassadors." These may include Lexi, the Canadian lynx, Honey, the black bear cub, Catniss, the frisky African serval, or baby ferrets, skunks, opossums, foxes, coatis, and lambs from the nursery. Stop by for the unexpected experience of feeding a bottle to a baby tiger!