Lazy 5 Ranch
15100 Mooresville Rd., Mooresville
HOURS: Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–one hour before sunset,
Sun. 1 p.m.–one hour before sunset
COST: $8.50 adults, $5.50 seniors (60+) and children 2–11;
wagon rides extra; animal feed $3/bucket; cash or checks only
The setting at Lazy 5 Ranch is reminiscent of an episode of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom (minus the carnage). The ranch bills itself as “a privately owned exotic animal drive-thru park,” which means you drive your car along a marked path at 10 mph, stopping to see the animals that roam free throughout the 3.5-mile safari.
The ranch is home to 750 animals from six different continents, including zebras, water buffalo, giraffes, rhinos, and more emus and antelope than you’ve ever seen. You can park the car to explore the petting area, where camels, llamas, goats, and sheep are waiting to be fed.
Actually, all of the animals are waiting to be fed: It seems that during their time on the ranch they’ve learned that cars=tourists with feed buckets—and they’re not afraid to stick their heads in your car for a bite.
© Jodi Helmer from Moon Charlotte, 1st Edition