LIBERTY TOWNSHIP – Five-year-old Alonah Clark got a kick out of feeding Levi the giraffe at Keystone Safari animal park in Liberty Township.
“It’s very nice. We’re impressed,” said her mother, Christine Clark of Emlenton.
They visited the park on a recent Friday afternoon along with Clark’s 3-year-old niece McLaren Paz, enjoying the barnyard animals, reindeer, bears, and more.
The park at 2284 Mercer-Butler Pike initially opened in November and closed over the winter. It reopened for the season in early April with new activities and animals, said Krystle MacLean, office manager.
The bears are new along with the kunekune pigs, several bird species and bat-eared foxes. The park, owned by Adam and Tanis Guiher, has quickly become a popular place for field trips and group and family outings.
Clark said that she likes how the enclosures are spread out and offer facts and interesting details about the animals.
“It’s a privilege to be able to help,” MacLean said, noting how the park staff works to preserve endangered species and educate the public.
Nova Shaner, 2, and her mother Gretta Cappello of New Castle were having fun visiting with the animals, especially the pigs.
“We come every week. We know all the animals by name,” Cappello said.
MacLean pointed out a chicken named Elvis who wanders around the park, and noted that the bears splashing in the water are called Shirley and Razz.
Guiher and his family, which includes his two daughters, often name the animals, MacLean said. Guiher also owns Living Treasures Wild Animal Park in Slippery Rock Township, Lawrence County.
Also new this year for Keystone Safari are several bounce houses for kids, and the zipline adventure courses – there is one for ages 13 and up, and another one for ages 5 and up.
Adventure course guides Brittany Foringer and Derick Uber and course manager Brad Brown demonstrated a few different parts of the course, which crisscrosses a wooded area of the park.
“It’s pretty unique,” Brown said as Foringer and Uber made their way through the advanced course.
Later this year, Keystone Safari will be operating a safari bus tour, which will take visitors through different areas of the park, and a primate enclosure will open, MacLean said.
There is also a picnic pavilion that can be reserved. There are additional fees for activities like feeding the animals and using the adventure course.
Season passes can be used at Keystone Safari and the Living Treasures locations in Lawrence County and the Laurel Highlands.
Keystone Safari is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, weather permitting.