San Diego Wild Animal Park Photo Safari
I spent 4 hours one afternoon San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park on a photo safari. You travel through areas of the park on a big ol' truck, feeding animals and taking pictures close up. It was really great! They gave us a book with pictures to identify the animals but I couldn't find all those I have here.
While waiting for the start of the tour at 2, I took the tram ride which encircles most of the park. The safari doesn't reach many of the areas you can see from the tram. The first two are overview pictures. The truck used the roads in the lower parts usually.
Some sights are best seen from the train. We passed close to a hill of rocks where a herd of mountain goats live and hide their kids in nooks that are hard to see. The golden eagle (she) is not a resident but has come for an extended visit - probably due to numerous squirrels and rabbits that eat with the resident animals. She kept flying back and forth over the train as we passed the goats. The rhino below was in a small enlosure since it just had a baby recently. She was passing the time scooping up water with a plastic tub and throwing it up in the air. The vulture lived on a hill which was decorated humerously.
Goat climbing on rocks
Visiting golden eagle
Rhino playing
Vulture and decoration.
On the photo safari, we visited 4 separate areas of the park including the Asian Waterhole and stopped twice to feed giraffes and once to feed rhinos. The areas are separated by double gates to prevent the animals from moving to another area. The goats didn't pay much attention to these rules. And mule deer, rabbits, squirrels, various birds, and other visitors moved in and out at will.
This goat and his friends thought the grass was greener on the other side.
A double gate half open. Note the antlers hanging on the wall.
We saw large nymbers of hoofed stock. Here two bantengs are eating out of a trough. Two goats just jumped into the food to eat.
Bantengs and goats
This poor cape buffalo suffers from a previously broken jaw which caused a bad attitude. We were warned not to get his attention.
Cape Buffalo
Another banteng Nice green grass for dinner.
Indian guar
This little guy had a big itch
Two curious goats.
Feeding the giraffes was neat. We had several of buckets of "herbivore biscuits". The giraffes have been conditioned to not get their heads into the trucks because of the danger to visitor's soft heads. Some giraffes were not allowed near and they knew not to try. At the second feeding spot, they were not so well behaved and we had to move the truck once. They are very gentle and good at picking out the biscuit and leaving the fingers. Their tongues are quite rough, like cats, only blueish.
This is the OTHER truck that was out.
Up close and personal
Yummy biscuits.
The giraffe below is named Ivan the Terrible because he is 18' tall and picks on the other animals (not just giraffes). You can see how giraffe's faces are unique.
These young ones were sharing a palm leaf.
Biscuits all gone.
My favorite picture below is a very young giraffe trying to take a little nap. Even the tour guide was amazed.
Later in the afternoon, the animals got more active and were chasing and roughhousing.
Oryx Oryx
Deer and bison Actually, these rhinos were chasing a piece of apple that fell.
There are lots of rhinos. The park has had amazing success breeding some of the subspieces like those above.
Tired rhinos The one with the funky horns is a female that got upset when the one in the front fell off.
This guy could hurt someone
This is a momma and her two- and four-year-olds
We fed rhinos apple pieces. They may not be able to see well, but somehow they knew if you had another piece in your hand.
They're all hungry!!
There were many varieties of deer and antelope. These two are "true" spotted deer. That is, they do not lose their spots in adulthood. The one on the left has antlers with very red velvet.
Indian axis deer (Axis axis axis)
There weren't many birds (besides ostriches), but here are a couple of crowned cranes. A nice reflection of an oryx in the watering hole.
A wildebeast (gnu to you)
Vivian, his girlfriend
Wart hogs are funny little animals. They can't graze standing up because their necks are too short. They kneel down like the one on the right.
Wart hog