Franklin Safari Park Offers Exotic View

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If you want to see exotic animals like camels and kangaroos, you would normally go to a zoo. But on 50 acres, just outside Franklin, you can see all that and more.

The Franklin Drive Thru Safari just opened up 6 weeks ago and it's already generating quite a stir in the small Robertson County community.

Owner Jason Clay points out each different species and breed of animal as we drive along a trail.

"Fallow buck. Four Horn Sheep. That's an Addax Antelope," explains Clay.

These aren't your average backyard animals and Clay isn't running your average zoo.

"There's nothing within a couple hours for anybody to enjoy animals, if they wanted to," says Clay. He's been involved with exotic animals for over 15 years. This safari park off Highway 79 has been a year or more in the making.

With over 200 animals and 30 different species, visitors get an up-close experience.

"No, this is actually our second time out here," laughs Kelly Degelia.

"They have a very good selection of animals. I like the coatimundi. Those are my favorite," shares Degelia.

"Very pleasant," says Joanna Price, of Bryan/College Station.

"We're going to bring our three grandkids out here. They are going to be so surprised because we were wanting to do the big zoo, but for the ages they are this is perfect to get them started. They won't be afraid and they'll love it," says Price.

The animals come from parts of the world that have similar climates to Texas. There aren't any predators, but there is a pecking order.
Plenty of room, though, for all the animals to get along.

In addition to the drive thru park, there is a petting zoo and smaller animals on display.
Clay says he plans on expanding the park in the future and could bring in larger animals like giraffes.