FORT CHISWELL, Va. (WFXR) — If you’re looking for a fun place to take your family, look no further than Fort Chiswell Animal Park! The zoo opened in 2004 and has animals from six continents.

According to Heidi Crosky, the manager at Fort Chiswell Animal Park, “At any given time we usually have about 200 animals, give or take, depending on babies and all that.”

Guests can see those animals during three different experiences that the zoo offers, including a safari bus ride, a self-guided petting zoo, and a giraffe encounter.

“The safari bus ride is really the highlight,” Crosky said. “It’s very unique. The animals are coming right up. They’re putting their heads in the windows. So, you’re getting to feed, pet and you’re going to get amazing pictures while you’re here.”

The animals either come from zoo sales or are rescues. The zoo is licensed federally and through the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“In Virginia, you can’t just have a menagerie of animals. You have to be open to the public and you have to do something educational with them. So we are licensed and inspected,” said Crosky.

The zoo also serves as an educational experience.

“Of course, you are getting to experience the animals for yourself, which is different from any text book you are going to find. But then we have a lot, we go to schools and do programs” Crosky said.

For the Fort Chiswell Animal Park’s ticket information, address, and hours of operations, click here.

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