BANKS, AL -- Lions, tigers and bears in the Wiregrass? Yes. And visitors are more than welcome to visit.
Banks resident Mike McClelland turned his dream of owning a zoo into a plan about 20 years ago. After getting the proper permits and meeting regulations, he began purchasing his animals. He has about 200 and regards each of them as family.
"I can't say I have a favorite. They're all my kids. I don't have biological, these are all my babies," McClelland said.
He and his wife work around the clock to make sure they are happy and healthy. An exotic animal veterinarian helps McClelland receive any medications his animals might need or answers any questions.
The zoo is located in Banks, Alabama on County Road 6618. They are open Wednesday through Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Mondays and Tuesdays by appointment only. It is $9.00 for adults, $7.00 for children 12. In honor of a dear friend of McClelland, he offers free admission for those with special needs.