West Coast Game Park
Seven miles south of Bandon is the West Coast Game Park (46914 U.S. 101 S., 541/347-3106, www.gameparksafari.com, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. daily mid-June–Labor Day, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. spring and early fall, call for late fall and winter hours, $15 adult and youths 13 and up, $14 seniors, $8.75 ages 7–12, $5.50 ages 2–6), the self-proclaimed largest wild-animal petting park in the country.
There are 450 animals representing 75 different species, including tiger cubs, chimps, camels, zebras, bison, and snow leopards. Along with these exotics you’ll also encounter such indigenous species as elk, bears, raccoons, and cougars.
Visitors may be surprised to see a lion and tiger caged together, or a fox and a raccoon sharing the same nursery. The park tries raising different species together and often finds that animals can live harmoniously with their natural enemies.
Free-roaming animals include deer, peacocks, pygmy goats, and llamas. An elk refuge is another popular area of the park.
Even if you’re not with a child, the opportunity to pet a pup, a cub, or a kit can bring out the kid in you.
The park is open year-round, but call during winter because of restricted hours of operation.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel