Wildlife Safari provides 'escape' as coronavirus concerns rise

Visitors are already required to stay in their cars while they drive through the 600-acre park and interact with the animals.

Posted: Mar 25, 2020 6:55 PM

WINSTON, Ore. -- The drive-through at Wildlife Safari is staying open despite Gov. Kate Brown's stay at home order.

Visitors are already required to stay in their cars while they drive through the 600-acre park and interact with the animals. Staff said their method naturally allows people to practice social distancing.

They said they encourage people to use Wildlife Safari as a place to “escape” as COVID-19 concerns continue to grow throughout the nation. Also, staff said Wildlife Safari is a good place for parents to take their kids, now that schools will be closed through April.

“We’re one of those few places in the community that’s providing a little bit of escape in a time when people really need it,” said executive director Dan Van Slyke.

Dan Van Slyke said they did close the Safari Village, the walk-through animal exhibit, to prevent visitors from congregating. He said they also stopped their elephant and cheetah encounters for the same reason.

The drive-through will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

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