As Big Beach Marathon prepares to celebrate our fifth year, we are so excited to once again bring so many runners to the beautiful trails of the Gulf State Park and white sandy beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama. We always strive to show our appreciation for the Southern hospitality of this “Small Town, Big Beach” by each year giving back to the local community, so we are proud and happy to again have he Alabama Gulf Coast Zoot as our Charity Partner.
The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo opened in June 1989 in Gulf Shores, Alabama as Zoo Land Animal Park. It is now operated by the Zoo Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and relies on admissions, memberships, and contributions for its funding.
It was the basis of the Animal Planet show “The Little Zoo That Could” that chronicled the relocation, rescue and recovery efforts before, during and after the devastation of Hurricane Ivan’s direct hit in September of 2004.
The zoo is several blocks north of the beach and is home to more than 500 animals including lions, leopards, tigers, wolves, bears, monkeys, macaws…and of course, ‘gators! It includes a petting zoo, reptile house, and aviary, as well as daily animal shows in the summer.
From Zoo General Manager, Kim Dahlgren:
“We have lots of exciting things planned for our zoo in the coming year, so we are especially honored that our local Gulf Shores “Big Beach Marathon” will help support those efforts by making the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo their Charity Partner. We invite all runners, families, and spectators to stop by and see us while you are here and we thank you so much for your donation! Welcome to Gulf Shores, our ‘Small Town, Big Beach’. We hope you have a great run and lots of fun!”