African Safari Wildlife Park reopens following COVID-19 delay

PORT CLINTON, Ohio (WTVG) - A lot of parents are no doubt looking for ways to entertain the kids, and because of the pandemic there are limited options. But a popular northwest Ohio attraction is open again, and families don't even have to leave their cars to enjoy the experience.

The African Safari Wildlife Park, which has been a part of the Ottawa County community for more than fifty years, opened to the public Thursday. People from all over the region made a trip to the park, and the staff was excited to once again share the place they love with the public.

The wildlife park had been closed for about two months because of the pandemic. Despite the rain, there was a steady stream of visitors Thursday. People were even lined up waiting to get in before the gates opened.

"We've been cooped up since the beginning of March, so coming here and being able to drive around and see all the animals has been fantastic. We've loved every minute of it," said Ashley Harmon, who brought a van full of family and friends from the Cleveland area.

The owners say the park is perfectly positioned to help provide smiles during the pandemic.

"We've been set up as a drive-thru for 52 years, so our infrastructure has really helped us be able to keep people safe and still provide them something fun and educational to do with friends and family," said Liz Hunt, the third generation of her family to operate the park.

In addition to feeding and caring for the animals, the staff also planted 60 trees, 800 pounds of grass seed, and built two new exhibits during the time the park was closed.

The African Safari Wildlife Park is open weekdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and weekends from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Only the drive-thru is open at this point.

The owners are working to set a date to open the walk-thru portion of the park.