Is Lion Country Safari going to be sold?


Lion Country Safari, which has been operating in western Palm Beach County for half a century, could be sold to an animal conservationist, a spokeswoman for the park said Monday.

The owners of the drive-through safari and amusement park are weighing details of the sale — a deal that could be finalized late next month, spokeswoman Jennifer Berthiaume said.

“They are working through details,” Berthiaume said. “It is possible that it will be sold …We hope to know more by the end of July. Nothing is finalized.”

Berthiaume said Lion Country has had the same owners for 50 years, adding that the proposed sale could mark “an exciting time” for the park. The sale, she said, could help Lion Country boost its conservation efforts.

“It is a great possibility,” she said.

The park’s employees were reportedly told about the sale on Monday.

Lion Country, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, is one of the county’s top tourism attractions. The park is home to more than 900 animals. It also features five rides and a water sprayground.

But it’s the drive-through safari — with five miles of road — allowing visitors to get close to animals such as lions, rhinos, giraffes and ostriches that has made it popular and prestigious.

Earlier this month, Lion Country Safari was named one the best “Savanna Exhibits” in the world, according to a ranking released by Zoo Nation.

The list features the top 10 places in the world to view African wildlife outside of Africa. Lion Country took the 10th spot on Zoo Nation’s list — a ranking it is using to help draw out-of-town visitors to its drive-through zoo.

The ranking placed Lion Country among A-list attractions, including the top-rated African Plains exhibit at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

Other exhibits on the list included: Harambe Wildlife Preserve at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando; Serengeti Plain at Busch Gardens in Tampa; and the East African Savanna at Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou, China.

This past month, Lion Country was named the winner of the county’s top tourism award, beating out two other finalists for the coveted title.

The 2017 Providencia Award, which is awarded by Discover The Palm Beaches, the county’s tourism marketing organization, is presented to an individual or organization that has a major impact on tourism.

Lion Country owns about 640 acres just north of Southern Boulevard and west of Seminole Pratt Whitney Road.

The site has been considered for development. In 2010, county commissioners voted to allow up to 254 homes on the property — quadruple the number allowed at the time under county’s long-term growth plan.

Meanwhile, just west of Lion Country, construction is well underway on Arden — a massive, nature-focused development slated to have 2,000 homes in 10 years.

Freehold Communities — the Arden developers — say the community will be like no other in Palm Beach County.

Nearly every home will back up to a park, greenway or nature trail. The community will feature a mile-long lake in the center of the property, and residents will share in the harvest of fresh vegetables from a community farm.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

Owners bound by most amendments to Declaration of Condominium

Question: I own a unit in a small (10-unit) condominium. It is located in a tourist-zoned area. I have lived here 35 years in a tranquil, residential-restricted association, where owners can rent their units, but it must be for 90 days or longer. Some more recent buyers (investors) would like to change our condo bylaws/restrictions to allow short-term...
Fountains Country Club: Are happy days back at divided community?
Fountains Country Club: Are happy days back at divided community?

A country club is supposed to be a relaxing retreat. But for years, the Fountains Country Club community in suburban Lake Worth has been anything but calm, with residents waging war over the management and future of its club. Now it looks like Fountains residents may finally have worked their way out of the rough. They voted to sell the club to a professional...
Auto companies race to get drivers out of self-driving cars
Auto companies race to get drivers out of self-driving cars

LAS VEGAS — Auto and tech companies are racing to get human drivers completely out of their autonomous cars, perhaps as soon as this year. Numerous companies have been testing small fleets of autonomous vehicles on highways and city streets, yet, to date, nearly all of these vehicles have had test drivers or engineers inside, ready to take over...
Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant compete to control the smart home
Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant compete to control the smart home

Amazon’s Alexa is extending its domain to a whole new set of gadgets. Smoke alarm? Check. A $1,300 smart mirror? Check. Personal computers? Check. Also new this year: Some serious competition. Google is trying to make a splash with its share of new gizmos that can be controlled by its Google Assistant. GBH Insights research chief Daniel Ives...
Self-driving car may bring your pizza – and cook it, too
Self-driving car may bring your pizza – and cook it, too

Your delivery order from Pizza Hut may eventually arrive in a self-driving car. Pizza Hut and Toyota are working to make pizza delivery more efficient, Business Insider reported, and that could lead to self-driving pizza cars. Toyota revealed a self-driving car that may be used to not only deliver pizza —but possibly cook pizza —at the...
More Stories