The owner of the Keepers of the Wild exotic-animal sanctuary on Route 66 north of Kingman, Arizona, is planning an even-bigger animal sanctuary called Wild Planet off U.S. 93 west of Kingman, according to varying media reports.
According to the Bullhead City Bee, the complex that will cost nearly $40 million will be on 4,000 acres. Animal activist Jonathan Kraft, who owns and operates Keepers of the Wild, envisions the new complex will be needed to house hundreds of animals that will be displaced when the U.S. and other nations eventually ban the used of wild animals from circuses and other shows.
Kraft and his business partners believe Wild Planet will employ up to to 200 people with annual payroll of $4.5 million.
Wild Planet requires no taxpayer money. It simply needs zoning approval from the Mohave County board of supervisors, which indicated earlier this month they would enthusiastically endorse it. The supervisors meet Monday.
The Arizona Republic reported Wild Planet would open in 2018 or 2019. The Republic had more details about the project:
The plan describes a place where people could view upwards of 1,000 animals — tigers, elephants, camels, kangaroos and many other species including those native to the Southwest — from elevated walkways. Visitors would be transported to viewing platforms on solar-powered trams or carts.
The park also would have a tropical bird aviary, butterfly garden and reptile house. It would feature an animal quarantine/recovery area, an RV park, restaurant, wine bar, memorial garden, wedding chapel, museum, campground and housing for staff.
Don’t worry about Keepers of the Wild. According to the zoning application, it will continue to operate at its Route 66 site. In fact, it is adding a $500,000 gift shop and food court there.
(Image of a sign board at Keepers of the Wild by carlfbagge via Flickr)