Dinosaurs Hatching at African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton, Ohio

Starting Father's Day weekend, park visitor will have the chance to experience the new Dinosaur Takeover.

A worker assembles the head of an animatronic dinosaur.

Generations of families have been experiencing wild animals at African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton. But starting this year, they can get a different kind of animal experience.

Beginning on Father's Day weekend and running through Labor Day, visitors on the park’s walk-thru safari can see a Dinosaur Takeover. A total of 20 different dinosaurs, custom-fabricated for African Safari, will be on display, from the better-known ones including triceratops, tyrannosaurus rex and stegosaurus, to the more obscure ones like maiasaura, oviraptor and quetzalcoatlus. They’re constructed of foam and silicone rubber over a mechanized steel frame, so they can all move and roar, and they’re life-size (the T-Rex is 48 feet long, weighing in around 3,000 pounds).

There are also opportunities to take pictures inside a dinosaur egg, and you can recreate your favorite doomed Jurassic Park minor cast member and take a picture in the T-rex’s mouth.

“Dinosaurs have a universal, enduring appeal that inspires wonderment in all of us,” says Kelsey Keller, the Park’s director.
The display is intended to also call attention to the idea of extinction. The dinosaurs disappeared 65 million years ago in what’s known as the fifth mass extinction, and African Safari cites a World Wildlife Federation report that says we’re currently in the middle of the sixth — driven in no small part by human activity.

Dinosaur Takeover is included in every walk-thru safari, which features a variety of animals, including kangaroos, camels and a rare albino alligator, along a certified wildlife habitat. The park, in its 55th season of operation, also offers a drive-thru safari, featuring zebras, giraffes and llamas, as well as native birds, pollinators and plants.

Also new this year is an expanded patio and deck outside of the Safari Café, which serves snacks, meals and desserts, including Toft’s Ice Cream, made nearby in Sandusky. 267 S. Lightner Road, Port Clinton, Ohio; 800-521-2660, africansafariwildlifepark.com 

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