Turkey’s first and only safari park draws visitors
GAZİANTEP – Demirören News Agency
The safari park, where those who walk among animals say they feel like they are in Africa, is home to 700 animals of 50 different species.
The Gaziantep Zoo hosts 10,000 animals of 400 different species on approximately 1.5 million square meters of green area. In the zoo, which used to host more than 5 million visitors a year before the pandemic, animals such as hippos, snakes, lions, crocodiles, camels, elephants and monkeys are specially cared for. Injured animals that are brought from the surrounding provinces are also treated by veterinarians at the zoo.
Turkey’s first and only safari park was opened three years ago in the Gaziantep Zoo, which is Turkey’s largest zoo. Hundreds of animals of many different species, from horses to bison, deers to llamas, roam freely in the safari park. Visitors of the safari park are excited to see the animals surrounding them up close.
Celal Özsöyler, the head of the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality’s Wildlife Protection Department, said that visitors showed great interest in the safari park.
Stating that the 45-minute safari tour is quite intriguing, and visitors get excited about it, Özsöyler said: “We opened the safari park, which is a first in Turkey in 2019. In the park, we have created a portfolio of double-hoofed deer, gazelle, bison, ostrich and winged species that can get along with each other. A large bus takes our visitors from the entrance and takes them around the Safari Park.”
“We have 700 animals of about 50 species in the park. People can see these animals here.; they don’t need to go to Africa. We removed all of the electric fences in the park. Visitors can make direct eye contact with the animal from a distance without a fence,” he said, adding that people love the park because they can see all the animals in the forest area in their natural environment.