This might just be the most unique real estate listing of the decade. It went something like this: 10-acres, property includes lions, tigers and bears, along with birds, monkeys and a gift shop.
“We’ve passed it many times. The sign is on the left and we have never noticed it. We just happened, she just Googled things to do in Crestview. So, she found this. We just thought we’ve got to see this,” said Vincent Miller and Carolyn Miller about visiting the zoo.
Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, the number one rated Crestview attraction on TripAdvisor, has found that special someone who was willing to take over the popular zoo. A&E reality TV star, Rick the ‘Reptile Guy’ DeRidder and his wife Sara’s offer to purchase the zoo was accepted this afternoon.
“Well, I hope they can continue to expand it and continue to, again they have the basis for a great group of animals because most of these have mates and are matched. They will continue to have families and this could grow into a much nicer zoo,” said Vincent Miller.
The zoo, which had fallen into a state of disrepair is now in better shape. It’s new owners will be able to continue the parks mission of rehabilitating and rescuing animals in need.
“We actually just Googled, ‘Things to do around Destin.’ Then, this was one of the things on the list and it was a little bit different from your normal ‘touristy’ stuff. So, we just figured, let’s go check it out,” said Jason Waddell, visitor.
In April of this year, the zoo, home to over 90 exotic animals, was listed with an asking price $350,000. Zoo officials said, one of the stipulations of the sale, will be that the new owner must keep all animals at the zoo and the new owners agreed.
Refuge board member, Mitch Robbins confirmed the official contract to News 13 and said the DeRidders will make a statement on the exciting future of the zoo in the days ahead.