We had a fabulous time at the wildlife park.
I knew we were getting in free through some connections at church, but I had thought we would drive our own van through the trails to see the animals. When we got there, though, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that we would get to go on a guided tour!
Our guide told us lots of fascinating information about the animals as we went along, and he even got us into the "employee only" areas so we got to get up close and personal with some cranky rhinos.
We had been warned to be very quiet, no sudden movements, no flash photography, because the rhinos were capable of becoming aggressive and violent. Sure enough, after we were in there for a few minutes, one big fellow decided he'd had enough of us and started huffing and bumping against the bars.
We hightailed it out of there pretty fast! It's amazing how BIG they are!
The guide told us a story of how one of the keepers got out of his vehicle to attend to something on the grounds and found himself being circled by one of these antelope/deer thingies. (I missed the scientific name on account of wrestling an angel for the majority of the bus ride.)
He knew he couldn't make it back to his truck, so he ran toward a tree and almost made it before being head butted and lifted into the air by the animal. He was thinking that he had escaped injury when he noticed his hands were wet... with blood! It turned out he had been gored through the leg and back!
The purpose of this story was to stress that even though some of the animals look friendly, they are still wild, and it is foolish to consider them harmless.
Here is a zebra that came right up to the bus to eat some of the animal food the kids were given to throw out.
I thought these deery antelore creatures (again with the angel wrestling) were gorgeous. Look at those eyes! (Click to enlarge.) They reminded me of Cindy Lou Who in a Dr. Suess book.