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Driving Your Car Through Six Flags Safari Ending Soon

Early closure for the safari park this season

Six Flags Great Adventure will not allow visitors to drive their own vehicles through the Wild Safari attraction after Sept. 30, the company announced on Monday. 

For many years guests of the safari have followed the path through the 350-acre sanctuary seeing all different animals they might have only seen on TV.

After Sept. 30, they will no longer be able to do that. "Six Flags Wild Safari has been an institution for many families whose first glimpse of exotic animals was with their faces pressed up against the car window," said Safari Director and Chief Veterinarian Bill Rives. "That chapter of our history is now drawing to a close."

The area has been described as the world's largest drive through safari outside of Africa according to the company. 

Park President John Fitzgerald said that while there will be changes, all the animals will remain at the Jackson facility.

"Animal preservation and education has been a cornerstone of Six Flags Great Adventure since we opened our gates in 1974," he said. "While significant changes are on our horizon, our veterinary and animal husbandry staff will continue to provide excellent care for the more than 70 species of exotic and domestic animals that live here at Six Flags."

Fitzgerald did not release any information about what changes were still to come, but said those announcements would be made on Aug. 30 when the park releases details about the 2013 season. 

Denise Di Stephan (Editor) August 20, 2012 at 07:03 PM
A shortened form of curse words is still unacceptable. Let's exercise self control. Thanks.
Cheri Clapp August 21, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Interesting...unless they are planning on making people pay to take park buses thru the safari (which i personally would never do) I don't see the point of keeping the animals. They should be released to a reserve where they can live in a larger more natural environment. When will people realize animals are not to be used for our entertainment. If you want to go on safari...go to Africa.
Da Poppa August 21, 2012 at 01:43 PM
I agree Cheri. Understanding of exotic species and their habitats have changed significantly since 1974. There are many other aminal parks and zoos throughout the USA that can maintain a proper environment for these animals. It's kind of sad, as I remember driving through in the late 70s and early 80s with my mom and dad and siblings, when even the lions and tigers roamed right up to the window of your car. Time marches on ...
David Daur August 21, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Da Poppa, I remember when the baboons and monkeys were all over our car but the lions and tigers unfenced and roaming around the cars, sadly is before my time. Really sad though is the fact that another privilege is being lost but it's just sign of the times... We humans ruin everything for ourselves! Name a time that you've driven through the safari without seeing a car with their windows open feeding the animals.
Charles W. Bogert August 21, 2012 at 05:13 PM
WHY?????
Charles W. Bogert August 21, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Can someone give me a reason for them closin down the "drive thru w/ private vehicles??? Did local gov't dictate closure or did the lawyers cite property & physical liabilities? Charlie Bogert
Da Poppa August 21, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Charles, I don't think it's anything as insidious as local government or lawyers getting there nose into someplace it doesn't belong. I just think it has to do with the cost of maintaining a safari park that is not as popular as it was even 10-15 years ago. High overheads, and probably some development plans for park expansion did it in. Disney's Animal Kingdom is probably to benchmark for safari parks, and you cannot drive thru the park on your own. Changing times. My guess is they will either have a bus/trolley system to drive you thru or they will do away with it all together, incorporating the animal displays into the park, which they have done already in some parts.
Charles W. Bogert August 21, 2012 at 08:27 PM
It's just that I saw no reason for the cessation of private vehicles in that particular part of the park - lack of reasons ALWAYS creates doubt. The answer "because" never seemed to satisfy me... or the lack thereof!!
Xavier August 23, 2012 at 11:30 AM
The new park president was brought in by management to be a hack and slash kind of guy. One of the first things he did was to cut and freeze salaries. If there are aspects of the park that don't directly contribute to the bottom line, they're gone. If the Safari does re-open in some new form next year I wouldn't expect it to be around much longer. Enjoy it while you still can.
Charles W. Bogert August 24, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Thanks, Chris - I guess the "bean-counters" have a place.... just it seems they are paid to see no one else except top mgt. gets paid and all others PAY FOR LESS. Of course if I were the bean-counter I most likely would view otherwise... Charlie Bogert

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