What an incredible birthday outing for our now 2 year old at the Global Wildlife Center in Folsom, Louisiana. We enjoyed a private Pinzgauer tour and experienced the thrill of feeding Giraffes, Bison, Camels, Llamas, Alpaca, Donkeys, Deer, Zebra and many other wild animals. Global Wildlife Center is the largest totally free-roaming wildlife preserve in the country and is home to over 4,000 exotic, endangered animals.
The private tour allowed an up-close and personal experience with the animals. We were able to drive right up to the giraffes and sit with the engine off for about 15 minutes while visiting, feeding and petting a few of the 13 giraffes they have at the center. Some even posed for a picture or two! Piper was able to feed one giraffe that just turned 2 a couple of weeks before she did. It's amazing how gentle they are and how soft their fur feels (especially just behind their ears).
The private tours are for groups of 4 to 8 people which was perfect for our family. While more expensive than a standard wagon tour, this allowed us to spend time meeting, petting and feeding animals that the larger tours don't get to meet. The standard tour is a series four large covered wagons pulled by a tractor which combines to seat about 120 people. The first half of one of the standard tour wagons is visible in the top-right picture above. The day we visited there were a few middle school field trips taking place so the wagons were full of noisy children. As you can imagine the more docile animals, like the giraffes, won't approach those tours. They are also limited to the roads whereas the small Pinzgauers are able to go anywhere in the park.
While the private tour cost a bit more it was far worth the upgrade from a standard tour. We had an awesome time and made some unforgettable memories. I would completely recommend this trip to any animal lover. It far exceeded our expectations!
Now expectations will be high come the 3rd birthday!