SAN ANTONIO — If you've ever wanted a wildlife safari experience, you really don't have to venture too far to get it. All it takes is a trip southbound down I-35 to the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch in San Antonio.
Sitting on 450-acres of natural, scenic, protected land, the ranch is home to more than 500 animals and is made up of 45 different species. At least 20 of those animals are some level of endangerment.
The ranch has been home to the animals since 1984. Tiffany Soechting, who is an animal specialist and ambassador, has been working there since 1985.
"The wildlife ranch was established on a Texas land heritage property so it has been owned and operated for agriculture use for over 130 years," Soechting said. "Over 500 animals find the wildlife ranch a safe home away from home."
Because visitors are able to drive through the ranch, they're able to meet animals like zebras, ostriches, Watusi, Gemsbok, gazelles and more from their own cars.
"My favorite part about coming to work is to see everybody's interaction. You get a different experience because at the wildlife ranch, it's different than a traditional zoo," Soechting said. "They're in the vehicle, in the cage and going into the animal's environment, and we have so many species that are at some level of endangerment and people have to create a bond and an appreciation for that species."
Also on the ranch are rhinos, camels, and giraffes. To meet all the animals who call the ranch home, click here.
"I think the 'oh my gosh,' we get the most about is the giraffes. They're just one of those iconic species and we're blessed to have helped over the last few years to co-founding an org called 'Saving the Giraffes' because so many people don't realize that giraffes are an endangered species."
Just this spring, the ranch also rolled out a new safari truck.
The safari truck is the safari adventure tours that were just started at the beginning of April and they will go through the summer. It gives visitors a different experience because it's more of a personal one-on-one interactive experience.
The ranch is open 362 days a year, only closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
To learn more about admission and ticket prices, click here.
PHOTOS: Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch safari experience
PEOPLE ARE ALSO READING: