41Today Staycation Edition: Pine Mountain

PINE MOUNTAIN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Getting your hand slobbered on by a bison may not be high on your list, but it should be.

“You can’t not try to get slobbered on… that’s half the fun,” said Wild Animal Safari employee Kylie Deese. “You’re gonna get slobbered on! You get a lot of great interaction with the animals that you don’t get in normal places.”

Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain, Georgia isn’t your normal “staycation” destination.

“It’s a good place to come for a whole day,” said Deese. “There’s over 400 animals out here. We have families that will come out here, get a fifty pound bag of food, and go through the drive through multiple times and spend their whole day here.”

Take the drive through tour–which is a great time–or you can walk around.

“This part is more like the traditional zoo you walk around and look at the animals,” said Deese.

You can meet some exotic baboons, tigers, or even snakes.

“He’s about 9-years-old, weighs about 45 pounds,” said Deese as she held up her snake friend, wrapping itself around her shoulders.

And for our friends from down under, kangaroos handle a hot day the same way we do–drink some water.

There’s plenty of that at Callaway Gardens just down the street in Pine Mountain.

“We really provide things that are of interest to all people,” said Director of Public Relations and Marketing for Callaway Gardens, Rachel Crumbley.

Learn about fierce birds of prey from all over the nation.

“They have been injured or can’t survive, which they are given to us and permitted by the US Fish and Wildfire Service in the state of Georgia so that we can have them specifically for the point of education,” said Crumbley.

Educate yourself on some of the many species of butterflies at the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center.

“So it’s warm all the time because they’re tropical butterflies, and so you can come and see them in their chrysalis stage,” said Crumbley. “You see them emerge in their emergence boxes and then they’re released into the conservatory for our guests to enjoy.”

Butterflies and birds get to fly, so why not get up high yourself?

“It’s truly adding some adrenaline to the gardens.”

The TreeTop Adventure let’s you do just that.

“You can go up in the tree, and go from obstacle to obstacle and that includes zip lines,” said Crumbley. “Our longest one is 700 feet over water.”

Get in the water back down on Earth at the beach.

“People can come and play in the sand, play in the water, we’ll add Aqua Island which is like a floating water playground,” said Crumbley.

And the circus is in town!

“They’ll perform, I think, 6 times a week and it’s included with admission so there’s no extra charge for that,” said Crumbley.

The money to get in is worth it at Callaway Gardens and at Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain–it’s just a quick drive away.

Categories: 41 Today

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