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Cars to go extinct at Parc Safari, wildlife park to use electric trucks


Engines will no longer be roaring alongside the animals at Parc Safari.

After more than 50 years, the Hemmingford, Que. wildlife park is going car-free for the 2024 season, instead offering visitors rides on electric trucks in its famous Safari Adventure site.

"This year, I'm biting the bullet and taking a chance that people will appreciate driving through our Adventure Safari while a guide tells them and informs them of different aspects of life in the wild," Jean-Pierre Ranger, the owner of Parc Safari. "And going in the park, as you would if you were in Africa, is the intent."

Nine electric Lion trucks, inspired by African safaris, will let visitors get up close and personal with some 300 animals. The transition hopes to offer a more "authentic experience," the park said in a news release.

"Visitors will now have the opportunity to discover the majesty of the wilderness without the noise, vibration, and pollution," it said.

Until now, visitors have driven through the Safari Adventure site in cars, though the park has gradually introduced safari trucks over the past two years. Ranger said the electric vehicles will allow the park to save the gas consumed by 10,000 vehicles.

The park said this new approach will get the "public closer to the wonders of the wild through more intimate encounters and unique sensory experiences such as feeding the animals."

It will also offer an educational component, where guides will share information and anecdotes. Trucks can accommodate up to 50 passengers at a time and are wheelchair accessible, the park said.

Ranger said he's been dedicated to sustainable mobility for decades and has long envisioned this project. He hopes it will be a hit, but so far, reaction has been good. And either way, a car-free park is here to stay.

"The smile on the face of people who come out of the bus on our docking area is a demonstration that it works. Now will all people like it? I don't know. But we're not going back to adding individual automobiles in the five-kilometre-long drive through the safari."

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