TUTTLE The public will soon get a glimpse of a 45-acre animal complex, almost 10 years after park owner Bill Meadows began discussing the plans.
He said a Siberian tiger, a Barbary lion and an American alligator are among the animals patrons will be able to see and interact with at Tiger Safari Inc.
"When you go to the zoo, everything is secluded, Meadows said. "Kids will be able to hold a snake and a baby lion. They don't allow that at the zoo.
He expects thousands of people to visit the complex that will eventually have a bonfire pit, pavilion and huts to allow people to spend the night or weekend.
"People can go away to the lake, but you can't have your kids listen to the lions and bears roar 30 feet away from where you are sleeping, Meadows said.
Meadows began working with exotic animals in 1995, and this is not the first park he has operated.
A smaller park, located about three miles from the new site, was open for several years until it closed earlier this year.
He said the new park will allow room for expansion later.
Meadows said he hopes to have the park open by late August, but volunteers and financial donations are needed. The park will be open on weekends, and admission will be free.
For more information or to volunteer, call 414-9365.Archive ID: 1385666