New Wildlife Theme Park

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A new Holmes County wildlife park is going to be almost three times the size of Disney’s animal Kingdom and more than 30 times bigger than the zoo in Montgomery, but importantly pump millions of dollars into the areas economy.

Officials made history announcing plans to build a brand new wildlife park that animal from all around the world will call home.

"It will be a free roaming wildlife habitat for native species and exotic species," said Bill Hardey, Parks & Wildlife Services.

Including animals from Africa, Asia, India, South America and Australia.

Vice Presidents of Fowler Center William Roose says, "We first have to ascertain the wetlands and how we can protect those and how many animals can be supported on the remaining lands, so we're just starting that phase now. There will be a wide variety and they will be broken down by continent."

The park will be built by the Fowler Center for Wildlife Education. It will be called "Jim Fowler's life in the wild theme park," after one of the world's most renowned naturalists.

Officials say it's going to bring lots of jobs and money to the area.

"Probably with the build out and of course with the impact of tourism. I'd say from two to five hundred million dollars," said Hardey,

The new wildlife park will be located just south of I-10 near Highway 79; part of it will be located it Holms County, the other part will be located in Washington County.

The park will span across almost 1,300 acres.

Visitors will be able to go on walking trails or safari trails to view the animals as they roam freely in their natural habitats.

The mayor of Bonifay, Frederic Howell, and Florida State Rep. Don Brown agree; the new park will be very good for the area.

"Having the national notoriety, the name Jim Fowler attached to it, will just add to the things that we can mention when we talk to other industries that want to see some critical mass in the community," said Brown.

The park will be the first of a series of similar parks that are set for construction across the country.

A new $312 million airport is currently under construction, just south of the site for the new park.

Officials say this airport in Bay County will help bring in more tourists and more money to the area.

Construction of the new wildlife park is slated to begin in 2008.