JACKSON — Get in touch with your wild side as Six Flags Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure is set to open for the 2022 season on March 19.

The 350-acre wildlife preserve will debut new animals, guest enhancements and increased capacity.

Some spring animal additions to the safari drive-thru include:

Sawyer, the Southern White Rhinoceros at Six Flags Drive-Thru Safari (Photo Credit: Six Flags)
Sawyer, the Southern White Rhinoceros at Six Flags Drive-Thru Safari (Photo Credit: Six Flags)
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Sawyer, the Southern White Rhinoceros

Sawyer is only 6 years old and joins three adult female rhinos in the "Afrikka" section of the safari.

Although grey in color, the southern white rhinoceros is the largest living species of the five species of rhino, averaging between 4,000 and 6,000 pounds. Sawyer is only 3,800 pounds.

He enjoys scratches from a bristle brush and loves to eat hay and grain. Sawyer and his fellow rhinos are one of the world's last remaining "mega herbivores," meaning they are large animals that eat mainly plants.

Three Reticulated Giraffe Calves

These three adorable calves were born in the safari this winter and join the safari's "tower" (group) of 13 giraffes. Giraffes are native to Africa and are the tallest land mammal on the planet. They can stand up to 17 feet tall and weigh between 1,500 and 3,000 pounds. A giraffe's neck measures up to seven feet long.

Two sable antelope calves

Born in the safari, the pair of sable calves now reside in the Serengeti Grasslands section of the park, along with the exotic hoof stock like addax, white-tailed gnu, and aoudad. The sable antelope from Africa sport a tufted tail, mane, and impressive, ringed horns.

Two red lechwe calves

The safari's red lechwe calves, also born onsite this winter, reside in the Wilde Plains section with the giraffe, greater kudu, ankole cattle, dama gazelle, white-bearded gnu, bongo, and more. The red lechwe can be identified by their reddish fur, white-ringed eyes, and tall horns that can reach up to three feet long. They are usually found near aquatic areas in Zambia and Botswana and are considered a "near threatened species" in the wild.

Two Asian water buffalo calves

These two babies join the Afrikka section of the safari for the 2022 season. While they bear some similarities to their African cousins, the Cape buffalo, they are actually domesticated animals. In the wild, they are commonly found on farms as beasts of burden. In the safari, they are often found submerged in ponds with only their heads visible above water, staying true to their name: "water buffalo."

A giraffe greats guests in a jeep at Six Flags Drive-Thru Safari (Photo Credit: Six Flags)
A giraffe greats guests in a jeep at Six Flags Drive-Thru Safari (Photo Credit: Six Flags)
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More babies are expected to "spring up" this spring in the safari drive-thru, including American bison, zebra, aoudad, kangaroo, dama gazelle, blackbuck, and more, according to the park.

In addition to the debut of many animals, many safari improvements have also been made. They include:

Roadway Enhancements

All guests will now experience a smooth ride on an expanded, two-lane roadway. The wider roadway will help better accommodate the number of guests who wish to enjoy the tour at their own pace.

Safari Education Programs

Six Flags Academic Adventures programs were developed by the park's New Jersey state-certified teacher and tailored to appropriate age groups. Six Flags now offers five programs updated for 2022, including a new, off-road experience.

Safari Off Road Education

This fun and educational tour on a giant, off-road vehicle feature a personal tour guide and driver with the opportunity to meet small exotic animals up close.

Science on Safari

This is a special academic adventure audio tour with a grade-specific guidebook and an optional visit with an animal educator.

Wild Encounters

This cool, outreach program brings exotic animals to schools for a 45-minute presentation.

Cyber Safari

This virtual education program offers an animal meet and greet session.

Free Online Classroom

Six Flags' YouTube channel offers free videos for kindergarten through 12th grade that cover genetics, evolution, adaptation, and conservation.

Education information can be found online at www.sixflags.com/safari.

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at jennifer.ursillo@townsquaremedia.com

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