Animal Encounters at Wilstem Wildlife Park

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Animal Encounters at Wilstem Wildlife Park

My love for animals runs deep. When I was little I wanted to be a veterinarian. Not many people know this, but before I began my blogging and entrepreneurial career I was a veterinary technician for seven years. Although I no longer work with them every day, our family loves to experience any opportunities where we can be hands-on with animals. More reason to make the trip to Wilstem Wildlife Park located in Paoli, Indiana to encounter all sorts of large animals!

Wilstem Wildlife Park offers several different animal encounters including giraffes, elephants, kangaroos, camels, and many more. Monte has always been fond of elephants. When I learned that they offered a special encounter with elephants where you could pet, take pictures, and even feed these giant creatures, I signed up quickly!

Drive-Thru Safari

The Wilstem Drive-Thru Safari was like nothing we had experienced before. We have been through several safari’s including the Wildlife Safari Park in Nebraska, but this one offered a lot more opportunities to pet and feed the animals throughout the park.

The animals definitely knew that we had food and were not shy to ask for a snack!

Before entering the park they give you rules and guidelines on where to stop, when to roll up your windows, and NOT feed the wildlife. At the end of the drive-thru safari, you can park to get out and feed the camels. They were the sweetest!

Wilstem Elephant Encounter

Wilstem Wildlife Park offers several encounters including an elephant encounter. This was a 45-minute experience where we learned everything there is to know about elephants. The difference between African and Asian elephants, what they like to eat, their habits, history, and so much more. It was an incredible educational experience! Afterwards, we were invited down to take fun photos with the elephants.

One of the elephants had such a fun personality and even unlocked the gate with her trunk in the middle of the presentation. It was fun to watch them explore, eat, and communicate with their trunks. This is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

The owners and staff of Wilstem Wildlife Park care a ton for these animals and raise thousands of dollars to help fund non-profits that support and save animals in wildlife.

Roos and Crews Encounter

Your ticket for the Elephant Encounter is also good for the Roos and Crews Encounter. This is a smaller building filled with birds, kangaroos, an iguana, and other exotic animals. There is a ton of opportunities to pet and feed these animals too.

Light Shows

After our day of meeting and playing with all the Wilstem Wildlife Park animals, we returned in the evening for the Fall Festivals of Light Show! This was the perfect way to kick off the Halloween season. You will drive 1.5 miles through the Wilstem Wildlife grounds and see several light displays. We turned on some spooky Halloween music as we drove through! They also offer Wilstem Winter Fest which is a holiday-themed light show through the Wilstem Wildlife Safari grounds.

Patoka Lake

Patoka Lake is a state park located in Indiana and not far from French Lick and Wilstem Wildlife Park. This is where we brought our popup and camped for two nights. They offer a wonderful campsite, winery, restaurants, cabins, and more around the lake. If you are not looking to camp while in the area, make sure you visit French Lick’s Visitors Bureau to book a room at one of their many hotels.

French Lick, Indiana

Wilstem Wildlife Park is located just outside of French Lick, Indiana. This cute town is full of charm and fun things to do. We spent the afternoon eating lunch, eating ice cream while playing games, and visiting a winery near our campsite! There is so much to do when you are in the area.


Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

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