African Lion Safari is a family-owned safari park situated in Flamborough, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, about 100 kilometres (62 mi) west ofToronto. The mailing address is in Cambridge, Ontario. It includes more than 1,000 animals, representing over 100 species of mammals and birds from across the globe. Guests may tour seven game reserves (with a total area of about 740 acres (300 hectares)) traversed via tour buses or the visitors’ own vehicles where animals roam freely in large contained areas. Accompanying the game reserves is a large walking section where hundreds of exotic birds and primates, as well as the park’s herd of Asian Elephants, are on display.
The African Lion Safari is an accredited member of the CAZA, and is also a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), theInternational Elephant Foundation (IEF) and the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators (IAATE).
African Lion Safari is open from the first weekend in May to the weekend of Canadian Thanksgiving in October. African Lion Safari has an on-site bus in which to tour the park, but public transportation to the park itself is limited.
The park was founded by Gordon Debenham “Don” Dailley, a retired Canadian Army colonel, and opened its doors on August 22, 1969. Dailley initially partnered with the Chipperfield family from England to purchase four farms in the Rockton, Ontario area totaling 250 hectares (620 acres). He bought out the Chipperfields in the early 1970s. Dailley’s sons Don and James, along with their sister Ginny, took over operations in 1989, following their father’s death. It remains privately owned and operated.
The original size of the park was 80 hectares (200 acres), and the only significant feature was the drive-through reserve. In 1971 the park began working with Asian elephants, and in 1985 they started to make a concentrated effort to breed Asian elephants. Over the years successful breeding of 30 endangered species and 20 threatened species has occurred in the park. n any of the seven reserves, visitors are caged in their car and the animals roam in large enclosures that range from 2 to 20 hectares (4.9 to 49 acres). Since the reserves are inhabited by wild animals all feeding is prohibited and visitors must keep doors and windows of their vehicles closed. Vehicles on which openings cannot be closed or where safety is otherwise compromised (for instance, by large cracks in the windshield) will not be allowed into the reserves. Visitors can always see the reserves via the air-conditioned tour buses. Since the potential for damage to vehicles from the animals exists, a slip road is provided for all guests who wish to avoid the monkeys and any potential damage to their vehicles.
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