Tuesday, February 12, 2008

San Diego Wild Animal Park

Our next adventure was on Tuesday, the 5th, at the San Diego Wild Animal Park in Escondido, CA. We called Chuck and Julie who are camped just south east of San Diego, and arranged to spend the day with them roaming among the wild animals. This 1800 acre facility is part of the San Diego Zoo. One of their main missions is for breeding endangered species and returning the offspring back into the wild.

Within the park we saw birds of all kinds, both native, who flew in for a free lunch, and exotic species from around the world. This beautiful specimen greeted us just inside the gate.

We were lucky enough to be here when they had 7 lion cubs romping out in their grassy habitat along with the two mothers and a handsome adult male. The two litters of cubs were born in November, just four days apart, and have only recently been outside. If I understood correctly, this was the first day the male had been part of this group. Apparently, in the wild, the "pride" would have a similar make up including one male, several females, and young.

It's a hard life


Only Jacob will appreciate this African hut. There is one just like it in a favorite book "Uncle Louie's Great Adventure"

Three enormous condors were visible up at the Condor Ridge complex. I felt bad for these big guys, stuck in a limited space, while several hawks circled above their mesh aviary. A repeating film, explains how hatchlings are cared for by a condor puppet until they are large enough to be released. This eliminates the chance they would bond with humans. Condors, like eagles, mature at about 4 or 5 years, when the skin on their bald heads turns from a gray color to the pinkish red of the adult. Two of the three in the cage were adults with one immature.

Wait --- Who are these copy cat buzzards?

We were able to see lots of unusual birds close up in the walk through avairies. Unfortunately, I did not have a notebook to record the names.

This baby spider monkey took a very quick break away from his mother to check out the on lookers.

Our tour guide said this lady might be eating for two.

Any one you know?

This Animal Park is a great day trip. I'd recommend it, especially for anyone with children. The best part of our day was sharing the sights and visiting with our friends Julie & Chuck.

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