COPPERAS COVE, Texas (FOX 44) – The Drive-Thru Safari is one of many attractions at the Topsey Exotic Ranch that brings the zoo straight to you!
The Friedel family has made the incredible wonders of the animal kingdom available curbside ever since 1988.
The Ranch is a conservation wildlife park which is home to over 600 animals of 50 different species. The Friedels have designed their facilities to be mainly comprised of free-range safari – allowing guests to experience wildlife in a natural setting.
Stephanie Friedel is a curator at the Ranch. She says the main attraction of the park is the three-mile drive-thru safari.
“You get to see those animals that you see at the zoo, that you see on television, but then they’re coming right up to meet you so you can feed them and make some friends,” Stephanie said. “And that’s what makes it really special.”
Stephanie says what makes this park different is getting to see the safari from the comfort of your car, “You’re getting to interact with animals in a very real way.”
During the summertime, the drive-thru safari expects to see about 100 cars without much delay.
“It’s not super packed, not super busy,” Stephanie said. “We’ll get everybody in. Maybe five, ten minute wait.”
There are two other portions to the 350-acre park – the Petting Zoo, and the walk-around portion consisting of animals they have to keep in enclosures.
“Our animals are very up close and personal,” Stephanie said. “My personal favorite is Mikey the Camel, as you saw. He’s going to get right in with you and make some friends.”