Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ferrell Family Roadtrip: Out of Africa Wildlife Park

Date:  Thursday, June 20, 2013

Okay, first I need to warn you that this is a very long post with a lot of pictures. . . . but I am writing these posts about our vacation road trip for my family as a record of our adventures.  Some of the posts are a lot more involved than some others.  So here we go  . . . .

We packed up our bags to head out of Flagstaff to our next destination:  the Rocky Mountains.

But before we headed out of Arizona, there was one more place I wanted to take the boys.

One of the staff at the hotel suggested the Wildlife Park as a great place to take the boys and after researching it, I decided she was right.  I knew Alex especially would love it . . .

  Out of Africa Wildlife Park  website link.

The first thing we did was go on the African Bush Safari tour which is basically a bus ride through the area at the park called the Serengeti.  They gave us each two carrot sticks to feed the giraffes or camels.

The giraffe came right up to the bus.

 In this picture, Alex held the carrot stick in his mouth and the giraffe had just taken it from him!  I missed it!  But that's what had just happened.  Alex loved it.  I gave him my carrot sticks so he could have more turns.

Alex would have stayed there all day feeding carrots to that giraffe with his mouth.

Shane wasn't intimidated by the size of the giraffe at all.  Look at how big its head is!

The tour guide on the bus was very knowledgeable about the animals and very engaging with the children. The animals were free to roam around and looked like they were well taken care of by the park.

The bus stopped for the ostrich.  The tour guide cautioned us against sticking our hands, cameras, or phones out the windows of the bus because apparently the ostrich would bite us and swallow the items whole!  She demonstrated the biting reflex for us . . . she said it doesn't feel good.  :)

The boys were fascinated by the ostrich.  Alex kept asking the girl if he could have a feather!  Ha!

We were fortunate because the ostrich had recently laid an egg (an unfertilized egg) and the guide let the children hold and pass the egg around.

Did you know the horns on these animals are hollow?

The zebras were so cute grazing around . . . especially the baby zebras . . .

Once we finished the Serengeti tour, we climbed aboard a trolley and road up to the next area of the park where they keep the bears, tigers, wolves, and hyenas and etc.

Unlike zoos where the animals live in small mostly concrete areas, this park had large habitats for the animals that were similar to Africa.

There was an area for petting some of the animals.

I'm not sure I would try to pet that animal . . .

The animals were awesome.  They were so beautiful.  White tiger . . .

Some of the staff were in the wolves' habitats playing and rough housing with the wolves.  It was mesmerizing watching them play with these animals just like they were domestic dogs!

The black bear . . . which is a plant eater . . . not a people eater . . .

As opposed to the Grizzly bear . . . which is a meat eater . . .

After walking around and watching all the animals . . . which I haven't shown you all the pictures of the animals we saw . . . by the way . . . they have 15 tigers at the park not counting all the other animals . . . so we took a little refreshment break.  It was really hot that day.

After taking a much needed break, we headed over to the Tiger Splash Show.  What is a Tiger Splash Show, you may ask?

The Wildlife Park staff gets in a fenced in arena with a tiger and a pool and puts on a show . . . with balloons and toys . . .

The boys loved it!  They sat perfectly still and watched as the tiger chased and jumped at all the props . . .

There was no way I would have gotten in there with that tiger . . . no way . . .

But I have to admit, I really enjoyed the show.  I was a little scared a couple of times that the tiger might attack some of the staff, but he didn't.  Thank goodness!

After the show, the boys got to feed the tiger some raw meat.

Immediately after feeding the tiger, we went to the Giant Snake Show . . . ohhhh Fun!

Yes that's me in the green T-shirt holding a 15 foot python!  Ha!

After giving lots of information about the snake to the audience, they allowed any one who wanted to come and feel the snake.  I passed on that since I had already felt the snake!  Ha!  But Alex and Zach rushed in to lay their hands on that big ole snake.

After the Giant Snake Show, we walked around with some of the park staff while they fed and interacted with some of the animals in the Wonders of Wildlife Show.  The first wildlife wonder we encountered were the hyenas.

The park staff fed the hyenas through the fence and coerced them into laughing.  I actually videotaped the laugh.  It was wild hearing the hyenas laugh.

The boys were fascinated by the hyenas.

The next animal we visited was a tiger.  The staffer threw a piece of meat on top of the shed and the tiger jumped up and posed for pictures!

And after learning all kinds of facts about tigers, we moved on to the Grizzly Bear . . .

This Grizzly Bear really liked the red meat, but wouldn't touch the chicken pieces.  Ha!  So funny!

During all three of these animal interactions, Alex asked sooo many questions.  He has always loved animals, and I knew this Wildlife Park would be something he would really like.

After spending an entire day at the Wildlife Park, we left around 4 o'clock that afternoon and headed North to . . .

We drove and drove until finally we found a place to stay in Moab, Utah.  We actually got a deal on a Suite because we were so late getting there.

So farewell Arizona and Good Night from . . .

                                    the Ferrell boys and me!

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