Safari West

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Safari West
Safari West logo.jpg
LocationSonoma County, California, United States
Coordinates38°33′26″N 122°41′45″W / 38.5571°N 122.6959°W / 38.5571; -122.6959Coordinates: 38°33′26″N 122°41′45″W / 38.5571°N 122.6959°W / 38.5571; -122.6959
Land area400 acres (160 ha)
No. of animalsover 1000
No. of species98

Safari West is a 400-acre (160 ha) private wildlife preserve located 12 miles north of the city of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, California, United States.

The selection of wildlife emphasizes species native to Africa, including giraffes, rhinoceros, cape buffalo, watusi cattle, antelope, cheetahs, zebras, hyenas, primates and numerous species of birds. The park engages in research, education, conservation, and breeding programs that, through exchanges with other zoos and parks, keep the gene pool healthy for the species that are involved in the program. The park is also home to species that are extinct in the wild.

The park, one of only six accredited private zoological facilities in the United States,[2] combines wild animal care with vacation lodging.[3] The establishment was started in the early 1970s by Peter Lang on a cattle ranch in Beverly Hills, California owned by his father Otto Lang, the famed ski instructor, film producer and director who worked on the films Sun Valley Serenade, Call Northside 777, 5 Fingers, Love is a Many-Splendored Thing, Search for Paradise, Tora! Tora! Tora!, and the television shows The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Sea Hunt, Flipper, and Daktari.[4] Peter, inspired by his father's work with animals, including Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion and Judy the Chimp on Daktari, began to keep wild animals on the ranch.[2]

After selling the ranch to the City of Beverly Hills in 1989 for use as a city park, Peter Lang moved the operation to its present location on a former sheep ranch near Santa Rosa, California. In 1993, he opened it to children's tours, and later added overnight lodging, safari tours, and a restaurant. As of 2017, Safari West had over 1000 animals of approximately 98 animal species.[3][4]

On the night of October 8, 2017, using only garden hoses, Peter Lang, at age 76, single-handedly fought back the flames of the Tubbs Fire for 10 hours. No animals were killed in the fire.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Currently Accredited Zoos and Aquariums". AZA. Retrieved May 13, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Jack Boulware (April 6, 2003). "The Green Hills of Sonoma:Mingling with wildlife just outside the 'burbs at Safari West". San Francisco Chronicle.
  3. ^ a b Patricia Leigh Brown (February 10, 2006). "Where Cheetahs Roam in Deepest California". New York Times.
  4. ^ a b c Laura Kelly (October 19, 2017). "Safari West, African nature preserve threatened by California wildfires, weathers the disaster". The Washington Times.

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