A few weekends ago we took a drive down south of us to visit Wildlife Safari. Wildlife Safari is 600-acres, yes "600!" 600-acres of land that is occupied by wildlife you wouldn't normally see in the wild here in the states. These animals may be seen in zoos, but here at Wildlife Safari they are roaming free. You get to drive through the land checking out these animals and some of them come right up to your car. The rhinos were the only animals that weren't out near the road. They looked like large boulders laying up on the hillside and we could only get a good view of them through the binoculars. Nonetheless, we had a wonderful time!
We ended up driving down to Roseburg the night before and eating at McMenamins Restaurant, as well as, staying the night in a motel. It was a great decision on our part. We had a great time! The motel we stayed at had an indoor pool. I didn't take any pictures because as soon as we got to the room after eating, I fell asleep.
As we drove through the entrance gate and looked over the land, we could see a few animals here and there, but the real fun started after we gave the gate keeper our tickets and drove over the cattle guard in the road.
We entered into Africa first.
The rhinos were not having it. They stayed up by the gates the entire time, but we all wished they had come down to greet us. The gate keeper told us, they like to rub against people's cars. We wanted the chance to say a scratch on our car came from of rhinoceroses, but they just slept the day away instead,
The lions were getting fed when we came through, so they were very close to the gates. This one was very clever and had a lot of tricks to show.
We came down the mountain and the first sight of the 600-acres we really thought we were on an African safari.
The zebras crossed in front of a car right before we came down the hill. They were roaming around in a pack and one was rolling around in the dirt.
The first time we passed by the hippo enclosure they were in the water, but the second time, they came out and we got a really awesome view of them. Keep scrolling down the page and we can see just how close we got to them.
This giraffe was talking when we passed by. It almost sounded like a mix between a dog, a cat, and maybe a donkey? He had a lot to say, I guess.
Canadian geese were all over the place. So were wild turkeys. It was funny watching the wild turkeys steal the buffalo's feed.
The brown bear enclosure was a bit scary, but they were so fat and lazy, I don't think they even cared we were there. These animals were so used to cars, it was fascinating.
The zookeepers fed them frozen apples, cantaloupe, and some frozen watermelons while we were there. The bears gobbled them right up and seemed to favor the frozen apples over the other stuff.
This one was our favorite. He sniffed everything.
Skylar loved the buffalo. He thought they looked like they had beards and facial hair.
This guy.....this guy....he followed and stalked us through the park. He cracked us up and seemed to be wanting to get in the car. Our car is red, so he must have been attracted to it.
We named him Burt. I'm sure he has a real name, but we never thought to ask.
Elk were all over the wooded areas. Every herd had at least one buck with it. Those were really neat to see running wild in the park. Remember, this park is 600-acres, so they are free to run throughout the entire park.
More elk in the distance.
We didn't get to see the black bears as well as the brown ones. The black bears were getting cleaned up when we passed by.
We then entered into Asia.
This yak was constantly eating.
Another stalker. He talked to us though.
The elephants were awesome! They got close to the water a few times, but never got in it. They were about to be fed when we came through, but we didn't stay to watch. I loved how they rubbed their ivory along the walls and against each other. You could tell they really valued their tusks.
We entered into the tiger and cheetah exhibit next. This park has gone to great lengths to bring back the cheetah and tiger populations in the wild.
These Sumstran Tigers were playing. Every time they jumped, I couldn't snap a picture fast enough. It was fun to watch them play though.
We never got to see a close-up of the cheetahs. We saw one pacing the cage, but I never could get a good picture of him. He was pacing because he was separated from his dog. Yeah, that's not a typo. They pair them with puppies when they are born and are raised along side the dog most of their life. Read about it here.
A look at the valley below.
We got a front row seat to the hippos.
They came up out of the water and started munching on some feed. It was great watching them.
Once we left Asia, we came into the Americas.
We saw flamingos.
Violet the capybara.
Skylar rode a camel. We all three actually rode this camel, but it was really uncomfortable smashed in the back with two other people. It was fun though, and at least we can say we all rode a camel.
Such a great place to get up close and personal with animals you wouldn't normally see.
We received a lot of booklets letting us know about the different varieties of animals to expect.
In the Wildlife Safari park there were donations being accepted for Lucas Eibel. Lucas as a Junior Wildlife Volunteer and was one of the victims of the UCC tragedy here in Oregon. We donated all of our spare bills and change to his family. Heartbreaking, yet I felt better knowing we helped in some small way toward his legacy and his family.
While we passed through Roseburg, we took a minute to visit the campus where the UCC tragedy took place. I don't really know why I wanted to see it, mainly to say a little prayer for those that lost their lives there. I was surprised that they let us come on campus so soon after it happened, but I was happy to see that there wasn't a heavy presence of people. Of course, Roseburg is a large community, but where the campus sits, it's a small area. The buildings were protected by black plastic and the room, where the shootings happened, was covered in black paper.
I used the time when we left to talk to Skylar about it. I got his feedback and how he felt and also talked about ways to protect himself from something like this in the future. I can't imagine what those parents, and family members are dealing with, as far as grief, but if knowing that their death can help us guard our children and family from something like this in the future, then those victims didn't die in vain. I hope my own son never has to be in a horrible situation that these people faced, but if some of what I said to Skylar, on that car ride home, he remembers it. If/when it happens again and he is present.
What happened this time last year?
What happened this time last year?