12 July 2010

global wildlife

This past weekend, the boys and I went to a birthday party for my friends’ son at a large (read: 900+ acres) outdoor wildlife preservation, Global Wildlife Center. It is the single largest wildlife preservation {not for profit} of its kind. Who knew?!

The premise of the party is to board a covered wagon pulled by tractor for an 1 1/2 long tour where you are able to feed from cup, or literally from the palm of your hand, many, many, many different species of animals.

This place is all about the animals. The 35+ different species of animals roam free throughout the land as you can see from the above picture. We didn’t far past the cattle guard before we had to stop to let these Fallow Deer cross the road.

IMG_7382-2

“Look here boys for a picture before we go over to the party!”

…..maybe the animals will be more cooperative for the camera, ya think?….

IMG_7384-2

Following a healthy serving of cake and ice cream threefold, we anxiously boarded the covered wagon to hear the rules and hit the preservation.

IMG_7392-2

There are literally thousands of animals roaming the grounds just waiting for you to toss ‘feed’ their way. They. Are. Not. Shy.

IMG_7396-2

The tractor pulls four wagons deep and the animals follow along allowing you to feed, pet, and photograph freely!

There are deer for days……it’s like a south Louisiana game hunters paradise, except it’s NOT!

IMG_7403-2

I wish I could, but I cannot correctly identify every animal that I took a picture of because there were just so many different species. Our tour guide, Carmen, was fantastic! Cute, funny, and a wealth of knowledge.

IMG_7402-2

This is an antelope of some sort that they fondly refer to as “Old Blue” because he’s currently their oldest living animal. He was super kid-friendly.

IMG_7406-2

Has anyone noticed that the animals look at the camera better than my boys did earlier.

OK……just checking!!

IMG_7407-2

I took many pictures of the Fallow Deer as I liked their spots and they were quite abundant in number (the deer, I mean. not the spots. well, the spots were abundant too I suppose).

IMG_7412-2

Let’s get a collective, “OOh” and “AAh” and “they’re soooo cute” for the two little guys that were a mere two days old! Frank-o loved them……he said they were just ‘his size’!

IMG_7474-2

As for the practical jokester of the day……well that’s this rather large guy that proceeded to lift the feed cup right from Buck-a-roo’s hand. After nearly breaking my neck reaching for my camera and photographing the humor, I coerced the antelope back to the wagon with my feed cup and snagged Buck-a-roo’s feed cup back for the rest of our travels.

IMG_7416-2

This is a two-hump (obvious, right?!) camel from Asia. I vaguely remember our tour guide mentioning two details about him:

a) to dispel a myth, camels do NOT store water in there humps, but rather in their bladder in the roof of their mouth and that this particular camel can go two weeks without water. {makes me think that a ‘leaky bladder’ isn’t all that bad, if you’re a camel}

b) he was sequestered behind the fence for foul behavior of some sort {you know, if you can’t get along and play nicely with everyone, then you must go play alone}

IMG_7439-2

All I can think when I see this picture is…… ”Go, Diego, Go!” which was coincidentally the theme of the birthday party.

This llama was impressively intelligent. He would make his way down the 4 covered wagons from front to back scouring down food all along the way only to sprint to the front of the train, if you will, and do it all again and again, and again.

IMG_7448-2

Collectively, among my boys, this was their favorite animal.

Why?

They’re from Louisiana. They are sons/grandsons of avid hunters. Hunters like antler. Big antlers. Enough said.

To Buck-a-roo and Frank-o, these Red Stag deer were the end all be all of the animals that we saw.

IMG_7451-2

“Hey boys, what’s the ONE animal that Ms. Carmen said we may not pet or feed?”

…..the zebra…..

“That’s right! And, why is that?”

…..they BITE!…..

“Good! I see we all had out listening ears on, now let’s just remember that, mmmmkay?!”

IMG_7454-2

LOOK OUT!! It’s a stampede of baby {just days old} ostriches!

IMG_7456-2

It was hot!

IMG_7466-2

REALLY hot!!

IMG_7467-2

REALLY, REALLY hot!!!

IMG_7470-2

Even the animals use their innate survival skills to dig holes that eventually fill with rain to provide some relief from the sweltering heat.

Pretty smart, I’d say!

IMG_7477-2

Speaking of digging…..my boys dug deep and hung in and didn’t complain about the heat, not once! They were spectacular and had a terrific time!

IMG_7460-2

Did I mention???

IT WAS HOT!!

IMG_7476-2

1 comment:

Goldylocks aka Erin said...

Wow! That looked like so much fun!!! Great photos.