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TEXAS SAFARI

TEXAS SAFARI. The Texas Safari, billed as the world's largest exotic animal drive-through park, was located four miles west of Clifton on Farm Road 220 in Bosque County. It opened on May 2, 1981. Andrew Clyde Parsons owned the 800-acre Safari Ranch, which was enclosed by an eight-foot fence. More than 3,000 animals of some seventy species lived there, and visitors drove along 7½ miles of paved roads through five main sections to see them. The section called International Plains contained thirty different species of animals from the entire globe. Mount Kilimanjaro Preserve had scenic hills and exotic species, including the wildebeest, Pere David deer, white rhino, and black bear. The last three sections included the Tonkawa Indian Cave; Texas Plains and RV park, where animals native to Texas roamed; and the Safari Camp and Western Town. Endangered animals found in the Texas Safari included Pere David deer, tigers, panthers, black bears, and jaguars. The safari served as a retirement home for older animals from the Wild Life Station in Hollywood, California, and for the retired Baylor bears, mascots from Baylor University in Waco. The park is no longer in business.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Bosque County History Book Committee, Bosque County, Land and People (Dallas: Curtis Media, 1985). Texas State Travel Guide (Austin: State Department of Highways and Public Transportation, 1990). Wildlife Conservation Vertical File and Scrapbook, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Elizabeth Torrence

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Elizabeth Torrence, "TEXAS SAFARI," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/dut02), accessed April 19, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.