BY D’ARCY PATRICK EGAN
When Director Kelsey Keller of African Safari Wildlife Park said the brand new Dinosaur Takeover trail of of prehistoric creatures would be surprisingly life-like at the spacious park, and a unique treat for boys and girls and their families, she wasn’t kidding.
Owner Holly Hunt and Keller and their crews and contractors burned the midnight oil in putting a myriad of components together that made each creature a sight to see — and hear — as the Dino bunch authentically moved heads and tails, their eyes blinking, and let out a roar.
Even the stubby arms and snaggletoothed jaws of the huge Tyrannosaurus Rex, a 48-foot-long, 3,000-pounder, moved in a very realistic way.
The Dinosaur Trail contains a wide range of types of about two dozen dinosaurs, and each one had its very own look and feel, and surprisingly smooth animatronics.
The displays were user-friendly for visitors, too. That included a T. Rex. head that allowed a selfie of anyone willing to climb into its gaping maw, to a pair cracked dinosaur eggs that can each hold a youngster for family photos.
“It took more than a dozen park employees and contractors a few months to put the dinosaurs together and make sure they were working properly, and the results have been amazing,” said Hunt. The dinosaurs were created in China, and we had plenty of work to do to put the whole show together.”
When park visitors, media and local officials visited the special section for the first time on Thursday, June 8, for a special ribbon cutting, all were impressed.
That was no surprise, since African Safari Wildlife Park has. Been entertaining families for more than 50 years with real, live, African wildlife and exotic critters from around the world. More than 800 exotic animals roam the park. Its free-range Drive-Thru Safari and Walk-Thru Safari feature such wildlife as giraffes, zebras, alpacas, deer and kangaroos. In special, spacious pens are macaws, lemurs, black swans, wart hogs, alligators, Black Ibis and African Crested Porcupine, to name just a few.
There are a wealth of educational programs, as well. The park Gift Shop has the perfect foods to offer wildlife that are allowed to be fed, as well as refreshments for the whole family.
For more information on pricing, directions and the many ways to make the most of the adventures found at the park, visit africansafariwildlifepark.com. African Safari Wildlife Park is located at 267 S. Lightner Rd, Port Clinton, a few minutes north of the State Route 2 Highway.