Gulf Shores Zoo
The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is tucked away just blocks from the beautiful white sandy beaches in Gulf Shores Alabama. The zoo 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. From time to time, the zoo will have baby tigers on display and available for special encounters. These beautiful and unique tigers are from the Marcan Tiger Preserve in Ponce De Leon, Florida. This preserve is run by the foremost leader of Bengal Tiger breeding, Dr. Josip Marcan.
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. This battle with nature was the prime time reality television series called “The Little Zoo That Could.” The show, was shot on location at the Gulf Shores Alabama facility. Zoo director Patti Hall featured on the show. Patti Hall and her staff evacuated the animals first for Hurricane Ivan. Secondly, they had to repeat the entire process ten months later for Hurricane Dennis. Finally about seven weeks later, they had to repeat the entire process for hurricane Katrina. The show profiled these evacuations and the staff’s efforts to rebuild and reopen the 17-acre facility.
Each year nearly 200 children invade “The Little Zoo That Could” for the annual Zoo Camp. Zoo Camp 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. They help the children understand and respect for the animal kingdom. In addition, the children meet the animal care-takers and greet a few animal residents. The children also participate in age specific games, arts and craft 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. You can enjoy these beautiful creatures up close and personal.