A few hours west of Panama City Beach you'll find the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, in Gulf Shores. It's not a huge zoo, and it's not fancy, but they do something that you can't find around in our area, and that's animal encounters. I can't think of one kid who wouldn't want to get their hands on animals at the zoo! Depending on a couple of different things, you have the choice of sloths, baby kangaroos, lemurs, and reptiles. The prices are very reasonable, ranging from $5-$10 plus the cost of zoo admission. Totally worth it, if you find yourself at Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo.
Kelsie is infatuated with sloths. I don't really remember how or when it all started, but she not only wants one as a pet one day, she desperately wants to become a Zoologist and rescue them. When I saw that you can encounter a sloth, all the way down to petting them, I knew that we had to go.
In a hot and very humid room (if you go when it's not hot and humid outdoors) you'll find a couple of sloths hanging out, munching on fruit, and doing a lot of sleeping. Sid and Sylvia are their names, and Sid is who we got to hang out with, feed, and pet. Sloths are adorable creatures and Kelsie was in heaven! She didn't want to leave. We were very lucky that there wasn't anyone in line waiting to visit Sid, because we got to stay in there for quite a while. She keeps asking us when are we going to go back, because let's face it, wouldn't you?!
Kayla wasn't interested in Sid the sloth, and chose to encounter a baby kangaroo. I think the biggest surprise was that she actually got to hold him! There were a brother and sister, and she got to hold both of them. Luckily for her, there wasn't a line, and she got to hold them for at least 30 minutes. She loved every second of it! Super sweet and gentle. They were hopping around their little area, and the zoo keeper comes in and scoops them up, pops them into a pouch, and they just cuddle in for the loving!
Even though the encounters were the highlight of our trip to the zoo, feeding the variety of animals was just as fun! From goats and llamas, to the capaybara, and many others. I've never been to a zoo that allows you to feed so many different animals. We really enjoyed it.
The zoo sits on about 17 acres, with over 500 different animals. From reptiles and birds, to tigers, and bears, there is something for everyone at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. Even though we are a few hours away, we will definitely be back! It makes the perfect day trip from Panama City Beach, and if you're visiting Gulf Shores, you have got to plan on spending a few hours there.
All opinions are my own, these are our honest reviews. We were in no way compensated for this post.