Now I LOVE the Wild Animal Park, located right here in Escondido. I even worked there for a summer as a guide. But I don’t think that I’ve ever seen so much of the park at one time as I did on this day. We went everywhere! The weather was great, and I had free admission tickets for everyone. It was the perfect time of year to go, too, because flowers were blooming and the butterflies and orchids exhibit, which shows only a few weeks of the year, was on display. We walked around Mombasa Lagoon, checked out the gorillas (which kind of freak me out – I’m not a big fan of primates), then saw the butterfly exhibit in the Hidden Jungle. Butterflies were everywhere! We were swarmed by rainbow lorikeets when we fed them nectar, and I got some really great pictures. We then hoofed it over to Lion Camp, where I got to see my old lion friends. It’s the best exhibit in the park, I think. That day, both moms (Mina and Oshana) and Dad (Izu), and all seven cubs were out. They were initially just snoozing (trying to make sure they fulfilled that 20 hours of sleep per day quota), but as we were waiting in line for the safari tram, Mina caught a duck that had decided to fly into the lion’s enclosure. So, I took about fifty pictures of the lions running around with the duck – it was really fun to watch (although I’m sure the duck didn’t enjoy it).
After the safari tram thing, we ate lunch and walked back up through the Heart of Africa, then walked out to the tiger and elephant exhibits. We made it up to Condor Ridge, which shows some of North America’s most interesting critters (although the burrowing owls were no longer on display – boo hoo), and even walked through the Baja botanical garden and Bonsai house. By then we were pretty beat! But we managed to drag ourselves over to the Petting Kraal and through the gift shop. When we got home, Dad grilled up some salmon on the miniature BBQ that they bought for me on Saturday – it was delicious. Mmmmmm.
Click HERE to see all the pictures from the Wild Animal Park, including the lions having fun with the duck (which won the 2008 waterfowl division Darwin Award).