Friday, November 9, 2012

It's Been a While...

School caught up with me so I haven't really had a breather until now. I've had some pretty interesting adventures but I figured I start with one of my favorites: The San Diego Safari Park.

As the name suggests, the Safari Park is located in San Diego, California. This park focuses more on breeding and educational programs than entertainment. Even so, this park provides some amazing opportunities for visitors.

There are many types of "safaris" visitors can take when they come to this park. I was fortunate enough to be able to take the V.I.P. tour. We were all put in the back of a truck and driven through the animal enclosures.

It allows us to be up close to the animals...

And I mean really up close.
The rhinos were goofing off so much they actually ran into our truck.

We also had the opportunity to feed both rhinos and giraffes.  It was an amazing experience to be up close and personal with these awesome creatures.

We even were lucky enough to see rhino courtship. Our guide told us that it has been over two years since he has been able to see this behavior.

Also, because the Safari park is a breeding facility, babies can be born at any time.

This baby is only a few days old.

Can you see this baby hidden in the rocks? This baby was born about an hour before we arrived.

Along with seeing new life, we were also forced to see sad endings.

One of eight Northern White Rhinos left in the world. Unfortunately reproduction is impossible so within a decade, this species will be extinct.

It was sad to realize that this beautiful creature is doomed to extinction; but, at the same time, I felt blessed to have seen this animal while it was still alive. Conservation is important and this experience made me appreciate the people who try to protect the many animals that live in this world.

Some interesting facts I learned:

~The only way rhinos can mate is for the male to chase a female. This allows the female to determine if the male is suitable. It also the only way for the rhino to get in the mood, so to speak.

~Rhinos footfalls are silent. Despite how big they are they don't make much noise.

~When wild animals wag their tails, it doesn't mean they're happy or that they're swatting away flies. It's to let you know that they see you and that they aren't worth attacking.

To end on a happy note, here's two pictures of an ostrich being silly.

What are you looking at?

Oh, just kidding. You're bigger than me.  

~A.E. Keener

San Diego Safari Park Website: