Wednesday, October 15, 2014

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Since it’s been a few days since my last blog entry this will be the first of three.  We have been driving around exploring so much that by the time we get back to our home base and pictures are edited it’s too late to head over to Starbucks to post.  Today we are staying close to home and spending some time in the pool so it’s the perfect day to get caught up. 

We left San Diego on Sunday to head back to our home base at Yuma but first we needed to stop at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. We didn’t have enough time to do the regular zoo and the safari so we decided to head about an hour north to the safari.  We purchased the Caravan Safari so that we could get up close and personal to some of the animals.
Entrance sign

One view of the park 

We had about 3 hours to kill before the safari so we took a stroll to see the gorilla family.  There are many babies at the Safari Park and there was one gorilla baby who we learnt later was born via caesarean section. She was the first mother to give birth this way and the safari park actually called an expert in delivering human babies to perform the operation.  Mom is very protective of her young child and was always putting her on her back.  As we walked through the exhibit we noticed the huge silver back lying in a cave watching everyone’s move from the corner of his eyes.

Momma and baby

Such soulful eyes

You could say he was HUGE! 

From there we headed over to see the lemurs and were excited to see that you can actually go into their habitat without any cage or walls to separate you and them.  I guess they are so used to people entering their ‘home’ because everyone went about doing their business without even acknowledging us.
Loved how this guys held it's tail

Watching the zoo keeper 

We noticed that there was a bird show starting soon so we entered into the area and took a seat.  It was a short show but the trainers & birds were very interactive with the crowd. Our highlight was when this hawk flew just above your heads, so close you could actually feel the wind from his wings.  Unfortunately I didn’t get many good pictures because you didn’t know where the birds which direction the birds were.  One of the most interesting birds to me was the secretary bird, I have seen these on TV shows but never in person.
The secretary bird 

Since our safari was going to be 2 hours long we decided to stop and have a bite to eat which the tables and chairs were surrounded by a pond with housed birds.  Just before we left for our holidays Craig and I were watching this program that was about these prehistoric looking birds called shoebill and as we sat down to eat we noticed that there were two of these close to us.  There were also pelicans, egrets and night herons.






Black-crowned night heron 

The safari first took us through Africa and the first animals that we saw were the white rhinos.  I felt sorry for the male of the group as he kept on getting pushed to the side from the females.  I guess they weren’t interested in him yet.

Our next highlight in Africa was the giraffes, especially one teenager named Bagedi.  He was a character and the best thing is that we got to feed him.  He was a bit pushy at times but we were teaching him to be patient and to feed him up high.  It was so hard not to pet him but we were told we couldn’t as he would likely head butt you and well frankly that would hurt.  Our caravan was about 7 feet tall and he rose well above us, remember he was only a teenager.
His tongue was 15 inches long

'Whatcha got there Craig?"

Beautiful eyes

Getting pushy

So cute!

The baby of the bunch
We saw many horned animals also and again babies were plenty on the Africa plains.  From Africa our caravan took us to Asia.  In Asia the animals had antlers and not horns – unlike Africa.  Our highlight in Asia was meeting Millie, an Asian rhino, who was also just a teenager.  As soon as she saw the caravan she strolled up to us and our tour guide brought out a bucket full of apples.  We each took turns feeding as we did with Bagedi. Speaking of Bagedi, after our tour of Asia we had to head back to Africa to exit and Bagedi met us again looking for some grass.  We couldn’t get enough of him as he had so much personality and was so adorable but we had to say our good-byes to him and the rest of the animals as our tour was over and the park was going to close in about ½ an hour. 
Water buffalo


Craig trying to pet Millie

East Africa Crown Crane 

We had time to see one more animal and Craig wanted to see the tigers plus it was the closest exhibit to us.  The enclosure was set up so that you could see some of the tigers without having a cage separating you and them.  We saw 5 tigers in total and some were quite close, they were all lying around as the temperatures have been warm.  Sorry Sandy but no Pandas at the safari.
This guy was roaring quite a bit

I'm sleepy


We got back to Yuma in time to go to a grocery store to pick up a chicken and fixings for our Thanksgiving dinner yesterday.  We didn’t do much on Monday but the day flew by, did a bit of shopping and went into the pool as the temperature on the thermometer read 101’f.
Talk soon!

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