Thursday, April 02, 2009
Homosassa Springs Wild Life Park
One of the well known attractions in the area is the Homosassa Springs Wild Life Park. This was a private attraction for many years and was basically an exotic animal park. In the late 1980’s the park was purchased by the state of Florida and is now run as part of the state park system. We were here many years ago before it was taken over by the state.
You can enter the park either by the east or west entrance. From the west entrance you can park and walk directly into the park. From the East entrance you can take a tram or a pleasant 15/20 minute boat river along a natural creek area. We opted for the boat ride.
After the state took over it was made into a exhibit for Florida native animals, with emphasis on those that are in jeopardy. All of the exotic animals were removed except the Hippopotamus. They could find no one to take it and it was decided that the animal had to be put down. The local citizens were very unhappy with this decision and petitioned the governor to save the animal. The Governor made the Hippo honorary citizen of Florida and thus was qualified to remain in the park. The Monday before our arrival they celebrated its 49 birthday.
We spent several hours walking the park and watching the animals. It was interesting to note how many of these we have seen in the wild as we explored Florida. It is well worth a visit and especially so with children.