Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Behind the Scenes at the Safari Park

Today we went back to the San Diego Safari Park thanks to Russ, We had a behind the scenes visit scheduled for 11:30. While we waited for starting time we walked around the gorilla area with Russ who kindly drove us to the park. There was a young baby gorilla, his mother and father, an aunt, and way back in a dark area, his grandmother, one of the oldest gorillas in North America.


Finally it was time for our behind the scenes tour. There were six of us. Our guide, Victoria, carted us about along roads between the large areas where the animals live. She was a wonderful guide pointing out things along the way. We started with a critter introduction of three critters. First there was a small raptor called a Pigmy Falcon who was really cute. Next Peanut, a small endangered armadillo, the only kind that can curl into a complete ball. Finally we were lucky to be part of the training of a young Binturong. He was about a year old and is being trained to be an animal ambassador. We were his first audience and it took awhile for him to be coaxed out of his cage. He did great and we were delighted to be his first people.

Then we drove around stopping for views into the area where the animals are on our way to the tigers. We were able to see the mother southern white rhinoceros and her new young baby. When we visited the park on Monday she was in labor. Today we got to see the mother and baby together. We also saw another mother with an older baby.

we continued our drive looking at many grazing animals on the way to the tiger enclosure. We saw a young male and his older sisters. The boy was in the large area where his parents live. The two girls were too old to be with the others and were in their own "apartment complex." Then we went off to see the lions. We saw the area where they sleep and where babies are born. And the trainer called in one of the two females for a snack and a skritch.


After we got finished with the two hour trip we spent some time in the bird section of the park, feeding the lorakeets and watching the flying bird show. By this time we were really hungry. Russ drove into town and picked up Sharon and headed to a wonderful Mexican restaurant for an early dinner. Russ and Sharon drove us back to our apartment. We chatted and then they headed home and we relaxed. Tomorrow we head back to Bellingham.



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