Gr8 Getaway: Wild Things Zoo in Dade City

DADE CITY, FL (WFLA) — Lion and tigers and gibbons, oh my! These animals along with several other species are available for “personal encounters” at the Wild Things Zoo in Dade City.

Wild Things is a unique alternative to a zoo because visitors choose personal encounters if they want a hands on experience with their chosen animal. As part of News Channel 8’s Gr8 Summer Getaways, it proved a perfect place for a family of four to have a unique experience under $108.

News Channel 8’s Leslee Lacey took her mom and nephew along for a Jungle Safari tour where they fed a buffalo, and eventually a lion. Visitors will get an educational tram ride through the zoo and learn about the different animals. Then, a personal guide will take you to your chosen encounter. Some of the available choices include holding and playing with a baby white tiger named Luna, who loves his tummy rubbed. Visitors can also hold a baby Gibbon who loves to cuddle.

A family of four can purchase four Safari Rides; with two adults and two kids, there is enough left over for four animal encounters. Encounters come at different prices but most are between $12 and $20. More extravagant encounters such as swimming with an alligator or tiger, cost substantially more. For complete pricing see the Wild Things web site at provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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