In June 1989 the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo opened as Zooland Animal Park. Joey Ward, a Gulf Shores resident, founded the zoo as a private enterprise. The zoo is located just blocks from the beach and is home to more than 290 animals including lions, tigers, bears, monkeys and macaws. The zoo is the only zoo in the country to boast a tiger in each of the species’ four color variations. The zoo also boasts a petting zoo, reptile house, aviary and daily animal shows in the summer.
The zoo is moving to a larger location in mid 2013, but promises to retain the small park charm that enchanted viewers of the 2006 Animal Planet television series. The exciting new zoo will be the world’s first environmentally sustainable zoo built from the ground up!
In the summer, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo offers a Zoo Camp for children ages 3 to 11. During the week long program, children explore animal life at the zoo, meet the animal care-takers and greet some of the animal residents! Children learn about various aspects of zoo animal life such as animal diet and animal enrichment. For instance, animal enrichment provides animals unique ways to stalk, investigate and explore their environment through repurposed recycled boxes, paper towel rolls and feathers.
The zoo is located at: 1204 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores, AL 36542 (251)968-5732. The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo website offers additional information for those that would like to explore this little zoo!