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Destination Texas: ETX drive thru safari offers up close experience with animals

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JEFFERSON, Texas (KTAL) – Among the animals you’ll meet at Lonesome Dove Safari Park, is Aggie, the camel. He’s the largest resident at the park, and one of the most beloved.

Aggie resides at the park just outside of Jefferson, Texas, along with bison, deer, zebra and llamas. Park Manager Dina Carroll said business has boomed since the pandemic. “Before the pandemic, I think people didn’t know that we were here. I tease that we’re one of the best kept secrets in Jefferson.”

People driving through can see over 100 animals from the comfort of their vehicles. Windows can be up or down. Feeding the animals is encouraged, but Carroll said, you have to be smart about it. “The animals don’t know the difference between their feed and your fingers. So, if you’re feeding them outside of the window, you need to make sure your hand is kept flat … some people, that’s a little too much interaction …. so it’s fine if you throw the food away from the car as well, they’ll get it off the ground.”

Also at the park, you can see the affectionate camel, Steve, and Jack, the kangaroo. “It’s hard for them (kangaroos) to regulate their body temperature in the heat, so they tend to stay either in the little shed or the igloo during the heat of the day,” Carroll said. She added that the animals are most active in the morning, when they’re hungry. 

The park has also added a train, with even more surprises for visitors around every corner.

For more information, visit @LonesomeDoveSafari on Facebook or https://www.lonesomedovedrivethrusafari.com/ on the web. Lonesome Dove Drive-Thru Safari is located at 1782 Hwy 59 N, Jefferson, Tx. Children are $10, adults are $16, and buckets of feed are $4. 

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