An encounter with wild animals in Myrtle Beach is more likely than one might think, and not just the ones that take place on the Atlantic Ocean. Despite all its neon-lit attractions and modern development of the area, a back-to-nature experience with tigers, leopards, chimpanzees, orangutans, wolves and other endangered species are closer than you think at T.I.G.E.R.S, a local wildlife outfit dedicated to the preservation of these majestic creatures. Featuring two facilities on the Grand Strand, T.I.G.E.R.S. allows visitors to get up close and personal with rare and endangered species. T.I.G.E.R.S. Preservation Station at Barefoot Resort in North Myrtle Beach is a free exhibit featuring live tiger cubs and other creatures where visitors can get a sneak preview of bigger and better things at the larger facility in Myrtle Beach. Located about 17 miles south of the Barefoot Landing building, T.I.G.E.R.S. Wild Encounters Preserve features a large collection of animals with lots of room to roam. Trained handlers bring the animals to the free display area where visitors can pet, feed and take photos with some of the tamer species on hand. Professional photographers and videographers are on hand to capture the magical moments of bonding between man and animal, and they are available for purchase at the end of the tour. As one of the few breedng facilities in North America, T.I.G.E.R.S. often has young cubs on site, and also breeds the rare liger (half lion, half tiger). Guests can hold a tiger cub in your arms and feed it from a baby bottle, or watch as handlers run larger animals through the paces. Many of the animals from T.I.G.E.R.S. have been used in Hollywood movies, such as the “Ace Ventura” series, and they are trained on-site by T.I.G.E.R.S, which stands for “The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species.” Tours are available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays beginning at 10 a.m. Children 6 and under are not allowed to take part in the tour due to safety regulations. Admission is $239 per person. For more information or to book your safari, call 843-361-4552 or visit the website at www.myrtlebeachsafari.com.
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