Natchitoches – Folsom
By Corey Poole
Growing up the Global Wildlife Center was one of my favorite places to go. The zoo is always fun, but this free-roaming wildlife preserve is the largest of its kind in the country.
I always looked forward to the safari wagon tours. We’d get a big 5-gallon bucket full of corn to feed the animals. You can feed them from cups or, if they’re the friendlier species, right out of the palm of your hand. The corn has since been swapped out for more nutritious food pellets, but the animals don’t seem to mind one bit.
The only animal that gets left out is the zebra. We can’t help it if their “love bites” seriously hurts humans! While it’s against the rules to feed them, I’m sure they still get plenty of treats.
On my most recent visit, my parents treated my family to a private tour. I’d never been on one of these and I have to say it really blew me away. Instead of a wagon train, we rode in an all-terrain vehicle. The layers of dust on the vehicle and the manual stick-shift turned the tour into a safari experience. I really felt like we were trekking through the wilderness, although the Center is only 900 acres.
Our tour guide Megan gave us information about the center and its residents. The tour guides are always friendly, which I think is a key element of any trip. If the guides, as Megan did with us, make their group laugh and feel at home then they’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty.
The most amazing part of any of the tours is how close you get to the majestic animals that live at Global Wildlife. Species include giraffes, zebras, kangaroos, camels, bison, llamas and many more. It’s home to over 4,000 exotic, endangered, and threatened animals from all over the world.
Open year round, 7 days a week it’s a good idea to always call (985) 796-3585 first for safari check–in times and availability.