See Exotic and Endangered Animals at the Lazy 5 Ranch
The Lazy 5 Ranch, a drive-through safari located in Mooresville, NC, provides guests a close-up view of a unique mix of exotic and endangered animals.
The Lazy 5 Ranch offers a glimpse of over 750 animals from six continents. Visitors may ride through the 3.5 mile privately owned safari in their own vehicle or ride one of the ranch’s horse-drawn carriages. Animals may eat from a person’s hand or from buckets of food sold at the ranch. In addition to providing family fun, entertainment, and education since 1993, the Lazy Five Ranch seeks to help recover some endangered species. Readers may also wish to learn more details about the birds and 4-legged animals at the Lazy 5 Ranch.
Mooresville, NC’s Safari has a Wide Variety of Animals
Visitors at the Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville, North Carolina have the unique opportunity to see animals from six continents as they ride through a privately owned exotic animal safari. Many animals may approach vehicles for a treat while providing a close-up view and awesome photo opportunities. See some photos of four-legged animals from The Lazy 5 Ranch at the bottom of this article. Learn interesting information about many of the 4-legged animals at the Lazy 5.
Animals That Look Like Big Cows at the Lazy 5 Ranch
The River Water Buffalo prefers clean water and has horns that are curled more tightly than the swamp variety. These come from the western parts of Asia. Swamp Water Buffalo are less selective of water sources, so guests may see them in a wider variety of areas in the safari. They have straighter horns than the river variety and originate from eastern Asia.
American Bison may be dark during the winter or light in the summer and may reach running speeds of 35 miles per hour despite their large size. These have made a great comeback from the previous endangerment with currently estimated populations reaching nearly 50,000.
Watusi has huge horns that can span up to 10 feet from tip to tip. Although they look a bit ferocious, they tend to be quite friendly at the Lazy 5 and can be fed by hand in areas where guests can walk; however, they cannot be fed from vehicles because the horns may damage the vehicle.
Texas Longhorn Cattle have been known to fight wolves and grizzly bears. Their impressive horns can stretch six feet.
Deer-like Animals at the Lazy 5 Ranch
The Lazy 5 Ranch offers several different types of antelope. The Nile Lechwe tends to be more active in the early morning or later afternoon and is naturally found around Sudan and Ethiopia. Nilgai may run 29 miles per hour and grows hair that appears slate blue. The smallest antelope, the endangered Scimitar Horned Oryx, has a similar appearance to a horse with one horn when viewed from the side and may have been the source of unicorn legends. Elands come from Africa and have a spiral appearance on their horns and may jump up to five feet in height. Blackbucks, from forests in India and Pakistan, may be black to tan, depending on the sex and dominance of the animal.
Several different species of deer are also at the Lazy5Ranch. Reindeer can be seen at Christmas and other times of the year and are also known as wild caribou. Pere David Deer, originating from China, is named for features of four animals including deer, reindeer, oxen, and donkeys. These deer are no longer found in the wild. Japanese Sika Deer tend to have a wide vocal range. Retaining their spots for life, Axis Deer does not have a set rut season. Some visitors may see the Reeves Muntjac grooming themselves with a tongue that can reach their eyes.
Wildebeest are also called gnu. Both males and females have horns and beards. Their young learn to run as quickly as seven minutes after being born.
More Common Domestic-type Animals at the Lazy 5 Ranch
Some sheep are in the safari while others reside in the petting area where people walk. Jacob’s Four Horned Sheep may be polled (no horns) or have four to six horns. Mouflon may have been the species from which all modern breeds of sheep originally descended and are now endangered in their natural habitat. English breeds of naturally hornless sheep include the white Southdown breed and the Suffolk breed that has a white body with a black head and legs.
The llama may be used to carry packs. These interesting creatures can show a stubborn side as they lie down without moving if weary or overloaded
Zoo Animals at the Lazy 5 Ranch
The southern White Rhinoceros may appear orange instead of white as it wallows in the mud. The mud acts as a natural sunscreen and air conditioner for the rhino as vehicles make a wide semi-circle around its home.
The giraffe is the world’s tallest animal, and these guys will readily reach down over the fence for a tasty treat from a wagon. Occupants of a vehicle with a roof will typically just gaze at these magnificent creatures because riders cannot exit vehicles. Giraffes are born with horns and spots that are unique to each animal.
If standing without moving, the large Grevy Zebra may seem to be nearly invisible. Newly born Grant Zebras have brown stripes that later turn to black.
The Ring-tail Lemur is endangered at this time. They delight visitors with their playful antics during the day. Mothers may be seen with babies clinging to her back
Helpful Hints and Money-Saving Tips for the Lazy 5 Ranch Safari
- Have funds available because the ranch does not accept credit or debit cards at the entrance gate at this time.
- Groups of more than fifteen people enjoy significantly discounted prices. Party options are also available.
- Carefully review the rules for the safari before entering. For example, some animals are off-limits for feeding, and honking horns and flashing lights are discouraged.
- Plan to arrive well before closing time as visitors can easily spend several hours enjoying the wide variety of animals, play, and education offered at the ranch.
- Visitors may bring in food for themselves, but the animals must eat food purchased on site.
- The speed limit through the safari section is 5 miles per hour, but visitors may need to sit back and enjoy the scene for a few moments if an animal decides to have lunch in the middle of the road.
- Those who enjoy taking pictures and videos may want to bring extra media storage and ensure that batteries are charged as the ranch provides a great opportunity to see incredible and ever-changing scenes. Visitors may see a male ostrich sitting on 40 eggs, Jacob’s four-horned sheep grazing, or a reindeer going for a stroll. Lazy 5 offers an excellent booklet with pictures of the types of animals including detailed information about their natural habitat and interesting details. For example, babies of the wildebeest may walk or even run within seven minutes after birth!
- Large birds, like the rhea, tend to stick their heads in vehicles with open windows, so visitors may be wise to roll up windows during certain sections of the safari.
- Visitors in their own vehicles must remain inside their vehicles but are welcome to pull off the road for a longer look if desired.
- Feeding the giraffes is more feasible from the back of a wagon.
- Hold buckets firmly if feeding an animal unless you want to bless one animal with a private feast.
- Reservations are recommended for those planning a wagon ride.
- Pets are not allowed in the park for safety reasons.
Petting and Viewing Areas at the Lazy 5 Ranch
The Lazy Five Ranch offers a walk-through petting and viewing area with a wide collection of smaller animals, including many birds, ducks, swans, peacocks, koi, goats, huge turtles, a prairie dog, the endangered ring-tailed lemur, and more. Enjoy petting or seeing some larger animals like camels, cattle, and llamas in this area as well. See a variety of horses, donkeys, and authentic farm equipment at the two horse barns.
Walking Tips for the Lazy 5 Ranch
- Wear comfortable shoes. The walkways are dirt paths. Some areas have a few steps.
- Read the rules regarding the walking areas as some animals should not be fed or petted.
- Some areas are shaded, but sunscreen is recommended.
- Camels may spit.
- Hand washing areas are available near the bathrooms.
- Staff members are willing to share their knowledge of the animals as visitors enjoy the ranch.
Recreation and Eating Areas at the Lazy 5 Ranch
A shaded picnic and playground area with swings, slides, and climbing areas are also popular at the Lazy 5. The fenced safari area is adjacent to the playground, and some animals may come to see the fun and try for a snack as well. Other areas of interest include the blacksmith shop, where visitors can see and speak with a working blacksmith, the trading post, and the snack shack.
Lazy 5 Ranch Offers Rentals and Educational Opportunities
The Lazy 5 Ranch is open every day of the year, and each season provides a wealth of viewing and photo opportunities. The Ranch offers other services and educational opportunities, including:
- Horse and carriage rentals
- Santa with live reindeer
- Live nativity scenes
- Antique farming exhibitions and education
- Parties with accommodations for a wide range of group sizes
Visit the Lazy 5 Ranch web site for pricing information, photos, details, address, and directions.
The Lazy 5 Ranch is not the fast-paced safari ride at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom nor is it the wide expanse of the North Carolina Zoological Park. This small, less expensive ranch enjoys the support of surrounding areas and is a popular destination for school field trips. People interested in visiting the Lazy 5 Ranch may also be interested in visiting Dan Nicholas Park in Rowan County, North Carolina.
Lazy 5 Ranch
15100 Mooresville Rd, Mooresville, NC 28115
Phone: (704) 663-5100