Wild Animal Safari has a long history here in Strafford, Missouri, reaching back all the way to 1971. It was in the spring of that year that J.W. “Pat” Jones bought several thousand acres of land and relocated his family from Arkansas. The current park still sits upon a portion of the land purchased by Mr. Jones!
Originally, the park filled over 500 acres and featured a 9 and ½ mile drive through the scenic landscape. It took 35 full time staffers to manage and run the park, which at its peak was home to over 3,000 animals!
Mr. Jones passed away in the mid 1990’s, just prior to selling the impressive park to Mr. David Dean, who operated the park until 2007 when Mr. Ron Armatige bought the attraction. Mr. Armatige divided up the park and created the 5 mile drive through attraction that it is today.
In 2006 the park was sold and held briefly by Tony Odo before being purchased by Parks! America in March of 2008. Over the course of time, Parks! America has invested over $1,000,000 to improve the grounds and enhance the experience of visitors.
Outside of material improvements, we’ve grown the amount of animals to a population of nearly 750 animals spanning over 70 different species. We continue to seek to improve Wild Animal Safari and create an attraction that is educational, fun and beneficial for the animals in our care.