The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is tucked away just blocks from the beautiful white sandy beaches in Gulf Shores, Alabama and is home to more than 290 animals. Lions, tigers, bears, monkeys, and macaws are just some of the amazing creatures that inhabit the Gulf Coast Oasis. There’s also a petting zoo, reptile house, aviary and daily animal shows throughout the summer. The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo relies solely on admissions, memberships, and contributions to remain in business. The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo’s incredible struggle against three hurricanes in 14 months attracted the attention of Animal Planet, as this battle with nature was the prime time reality television series called “The Little Zoo That Could.” The show, which was shot on location at the Gulf shores, Alabama facility, featured zoo director Patti Hall and her staff as they evacuated the animals first for Hurricane Iv
an, only then to repeat the entire process ten months later for Hurricane Dennis and finally about seven weeks later for hurricane Katrina. The show profiled these evacuations and the staff’s efforts to rebuild and reopen the 17-acre facility. From time to time, the zoo will have baby tigers on display and available for special encounters. Theses beautiful and unique tigers are from the Marcan Tiger Preserve in Ponce De Leon, Florida, which is run by the foremost leader of Bengal Tiger breeding, Dr. Josip Marcan. Also, Each year nearly 200 children invade “The Little Zoo That Could” for the annual Zoo Camp, which is typically held the last week of June. Campers are divided into two groups. Preschool children (ages 3 to 5) enjoy half-day sessions while elementary school age children (ages 5 to 11) have full day sessions. Zoo camp is conducted by licensed teachers and trained volunteers who help gather a larger understanding and respect for the animal kingdom. In addition to meeting the animal care-takers and greet a few animal residents, the children participate in age specific games, arts and crafts projects, and other zoo-related events. This camp features numerous hands-on education and fun activities. Visit the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo during your stay in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach so you too can grab a sense of wildlife action and enjoy these beautiful creatures up front and personal.