Natural Bridge, Virginia: Natural Bridge Zoo Elephant Rides

Lots of fiberglass statue animals, and a real elephant you can ride.
Address:
5784 S Lee Hwy., Natural Bridge, VA
Directions:
US Route 11 off I-81 between Exits 180-A and 175.
Phone:
540-291-2420
Admission:
$ 12 Adults, $ 8 Children 3-12
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Elephant rides. Natural Bridge Zoo Elephant Rides

From the moment we pulled up beside the giant fiberglass elephant in the parking lot, we knew this wouldn't be your common zoo. They had a surprising number of exotic animals (almost all with babies - the crazy monkeys making siren noises were highly amusing), and to our surprise was offering elephant rides!

The elephant ride only lasts about a minute or two since he just goes in a circle, but it was still cool being so high up and being brushed by his monster ears along the way. I'm guessing he was rescued from a circus, because at the end he posed for a picture. Great fun!

They also offer getting your picture taken with baby tigers (the one we saw was the size of a house cat), and you can pet and hand feed goats, llamas, deer, camels, giraffes...

The place was a bit larger than expected, but we breezed through it in less than a couple hours.

[Sir, 07/14/2010]

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