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Biz Buzz: Safari North opens May 13

Steve Mau, Brainerd General Rental owner, was elected president of the American Rental Association earlier this year.

A cheetah lounges in the grass
A cheetah lounges in the grass at Safari North Wildlife Park on April 28, 2022.
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — Safari North Wildlife Park, south of Brainerd along Highway 371, will open for the season and for its 10th year May 13.

The park reports it features more than 150 species from six continents.

“Guests can feed giraffes or get an up-close look at species specific to the African Safari while riding a locomotive train through its exhibit titled: Expedition Safari," the wildlife park reported in a news release. "Animals featured include lions, hyenas, monkeys, zebras, wildebeest, ostrich and more! Safari North is also one of few zoos in the Midwest with cheetahs. Cheetahs are the fastest land animal in the world reaching speeds of up to 70 mph. Safari North also offers an amusement park with rides for all ages."

Events this summer include

June 10-11 — Junior Zookeeper Day,

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June 17-18 — Baby Animal Weekend, which is new this year,

July 15 — Shop Local Day with flea market, crafters, magic shows and face painting,

July 16 — Chopper DJ Kids Dance.

Safari North Wildlife Park was founded in 2014 by Kevin Vogel and his wife Kelly.

“Together the two have more than 50 years of combined experience in the field of exotic animals. Prior to opening the park, the couple spent 20 years traveling the Midwest with their petting zoos, camel rides, pony rides, pig races, and wildlife educational shows,” according to the news release.

Safari Wildlife Park was named No. 1 for “Best Summer Family Fun” in the Brainerd lakes area during the Best of Brainerd Lakes voting by the public by the Brainerd Dispatch for 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022 and voted No. 1 Spot for Relaxation in 2019.

“The mission of Safari North Wildlife Park is to promote life-long learning, conservation and preservation through safe, affordable, and memorable experiences with animals of all types,” Safari North stated in a news release. The park specializes in up close and personal experiences with the animals as well as important information about every animal including its history, care and the conservation needed to keep it thriving.”

Safari North features animals from North America, Asia, Africa, South America, Europe and Australia. Guests can also feed the giraffes, ride camels and mine for gemstones. Other species at the park include black and grizzly bears, sloth bears, tigers, kangaroos, leopards, cougars, cheetahs, bobcats, alligators (more than 30), lynx, lemurs, monkeys (spider, howler, olive baboon, java, vervet, ringtail lemurs, ruff lemur capuchins, mandrills, patas), otters, zebras, porcupines, warthogs, hyenas and barnyard petting zoo animals.

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“Our dedication to our animals is second to none and we are very proud of the care they receive,” said Kevin Vogel. “We see families come back year after year because of the experience we provide them and the animals. We love spreading our vast knowledge of these animals so we can all appreciate their place and importance in our ecosystem.”

Headline News from the Brainerd Dispatch

Steve Mau, Brainerd General Rental owner, was elected president of the American Rental Association earlier this year. The ARA Show gives equipment and event rental professionals an opportunity to gather for continuing education, networking events, and buying opportunities.

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Steve Mau, right, Brainerd General Rental owner in Baxter, was was elected president of the American Rental Association earlier this year.<br/><br/><br/>
Contributed

Mau assumed the role of president of the ARA Board of Directors, serving a one year term in this position. As president, he will oversee the strategic direction of the association that serves more than 5,000 equipment and event rental companies across North America.

“I’m extremely humbled to be representing the ARA as its 61 president,” Mau said in a news release. “While the recognition at The ARA Show is appreciated it is also a working event that allows our team to see the latest in equipment improvements.”

Mau assumed the role of president of the ARA Board of Directors, serving a one year term in this position. As president, he will oversee the strategic direction of the association that serves more than 5,000 equipment and event rental companies across North America.

Mau was also chosen to speak on rental-focused panel at ConExpo-CON/AGG event in March, taking part in a panel discussion in what was described as a session to communicate the value of renting equipment and the role rental companies will play as a critical partner in the future of the construction industry.

“Steve is an excellent representative of the equipment rental industry,” said Josh Nickell, ECP-SM, American Rental Association vice president, equipment segment, in a news release. “We are so excited ConExpo invited us to speak this year! ARA members make great partners for top construction companies, and our session will help with additional tips, tools, and tactics on how to get the most from their rental relationships.”

EDITOR'S NOTE: Story was updated to reflect Safari North's decision to push back the opening date based on recent cold weather.

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RENEE RICHARDSON, Brainerd Dispatch managing editor, may be reached at 218-855-5852 or renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchBizBuzz .

Renee Richardson is managing editor at the Brainerd Dispatch. She joined the Brainerd Dispatch in 1996 after earning her bachelor's degree in mass communications at St. Cloud State University.
Renee Richardson can be reached at renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com or by calling 218-855-5852 or follow her on Twitter @dispatchbizbuzz or Facebook.
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