Conservationist to buy Lion Country Safari, plans expansion

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The owners of Lion Country Safari will sell the park to wildlife conservationist Marcella Leone, according to published reports.

Lion Country Safari Inc., led by Leon Unterhalter, Harold Kramer and Marc Unterhalter, is selling the 640-acre attraction at 2003 Lion Country Safari Road, the Sun Sentinel reported. The company has owned the property since 1986, records show.

Leone is founder and director of Greenwich, Connecticut-based Leo Zoological Conservation Center, a 100-acre property that’s on the market for $39 million.

A sales price for Lion Country Safari was not disclosed, but the appraised market value of the Palm Beach County land is $9.67 million.

The zoo features about 1,000 animals from six continents, and is home to one of the largest herd of rhinos and zebras in the country. Leone says she pans to add orangutans, cheetahs and a colony of African black-footed Penguins to the mix, according to the newspaper.

In May, 51.7 acres of vacant land in Royal Palm Beach, east of Lion Country Safari, sold for $18 million. The safari park is also north of Wellington, home to a number of equestrian estates. [Sun Sentinel] – Amanda Rabines

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