Hungary’s first and only car safari park in Szada, won’t be opening its doors to visitors in 2021. The park, home to around one hundred animals from Hungary’s two largest traveling circuses, will have to find a new place after the local municipality decided not to grant the necessary permission to qualify it as a zoo.
Following the idea of director József Richter Jr., the car safari park opened in the small Hungarian town of Szada (30 km from Budapest) last year. Visitors could drive into the park with a car and were able to watch giraffes, elephants, camels, horses, donkeys, and the most special members of the family, the donkras (zebra and donkey mix), up close.
However, the unique place has not won the hearts of all. Residents of the area did not like the safari park because it was too noisy and had too many visitors, so they lobbied together at the municipality to close the place.
“Unfortunately, after the opening we had to deal with thousands of visitors with their cars queuing on the street, even stepping outside was impossible. We didn’t mind the animals, but the traffic and the noise,” a mother living near to safari park told Blikk.
Photo: Ungarn Heute
The director of the circus and the park, József Richter Jr., was hopeful that the project would continue, as they had acquired new land further away from the residential area at the request of the municipality and the residents, and “everyone was satisfied” with the solution, he told the paper. He added that the safari park was a great help in maintaining the animals, as the circus shows were canceled due to the coronavirus epidemic.
In a Facebook post, József Richter Jr. also asked the help of municipalities that would be willing to adopt the park.
Featured photo by Noémi Bruzák/MTI