wound down our September trip to Florida, I’d decided to take the back roads up
through western Georgia, visit an attraction or two in the area and spend the
night in La Grange.
arrived at Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain Georgia in the mid-afternoon,
with plenty of time left to tour the facility.
We chose to drive through the park in our own car but, depending on the
season, two other options are available.
If you don’t want to drive your own vehicle through the midst of all the
critters, you can rent a “Zebra Van”.
During the busier times of the year, visitors can ride through the park
in a tour bus. (Cost included in the ticket price)
Note: There is a second Wild Animal Safari
located just northeast of Springfield Missouri.
a lot of photos! I won’t post too many
in the blog but we both loved this one… There is nothing like a giraffe
sticking his head in your car window begging, (no, actually insisting), on a
you think that Zebra is thinking? During
a previous visit to a similar park, I had a zebra stick his head in my window
and reach all the way across me to get a handout from Laurie. I would have been in big trouble if he’d
suddenly swung his muscular neck into my face.
We have learned to be cautious, that’s for sure!
believe that this is a Grant’s Zebra although the park also has Hartman Zebra
roaming the grounds. Grant’s Zebra are
‘least threatened’ in the wild but Hartman Zebra are ‘vulnerable’.
trick in feeding the animals is to have your window down so you can give them
their treats…without letting them into the car.
Some of them really give it the old college try too! You have to be fast…and/or out think
them. Tossing food on the ground to make your getaway is one solution!
Giraffe is a subspecies of Giraffe native to north-eastern Kenya, Somalia and
Ethiopia. They are an endangered species
with less than 5,000 living in the world. Fully grown Reticulated Giraffes can be
between 16 and 20 feet tall and weigh up to 1,800 pounds.
weren’t unhappy that the resident Buffalo herd didn’t come over looking for
handouts… In the first photo, a Fallow Deer is resting nearby.
desire to avoid hand feeding these American Bison is based on another
drive-through animal park experience. We
had a big bull Buffalo walk up to our car.
I barely got the window closed in time.
He wasn’t deterred… He slobbered on the window and rocked the car in an effort
to obtain a snack. I quickly rolled down
the window and shoved half a loaf of bread in his mouth… His breath alone could
have knocked us over but he was satisfied!
Hi! Where is my snack?!
obviously a deer of some kind and he/she is very handsome. I’d like to identify him but Wild Animal
Safari’s website isn’t very visitor friendly.
It lists the animals that are roaming the park or on display, but there
are no accompanying photos…
deer and another snack… This one was very polite!
These critters look a bit like Texas Longhorn Cattle. Instead they are Watusi or 'Ankole-Watusi', also known as Ankole Longhorn. This breed of cattle is originally native to Africa. These big bovines roam among the collection of grazing critters in the
drive through portion of Wild Animal Safari.
Buffalo is a large bovid originating in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and China. Today, it is also found in Europe, Australia,
and some American countries. At least
130 million domestic water buffalo exist, and more human beings depend on them
than on any other domestic animal! Their
milk is richer in fat and protein than that of dairy cattle.
the windows!! Hurry!! If there is any animal that we avoid when
driving through an animal park, it’s the Ostrich… To coin a phrase, they are
indeed bird brains. You never know what
they’re going to do and they can be very aggressive. We’ve had them thrust their heads in our car,
block the road and peck/hammer on our car.
As for this one, we just kept driving!
neared the end of the drive-through portion of the park, we drove past this Rhinoceros. I’m guessing that this is a White Rhinoceros
as they are the most common variety of this beast. All species of Rhinoceros are at risk due to
the alleged medicinal quality of their horn in some cultures.
2.2 pounds of Rhino horn can fetch up to $100,000! A rash of museum burglaries around the world
occurred in recent years with Rhino horn being the prize. One can assume that these thefts have been
due to the value combined with the increasing rarity of Rhinos in the wild.
variety of animals, large and small, populate the ‘walk about’ portion of Wild
Animal Safari. This big male Red
Kangaroo was just lying about and chilling…
Red Kangaroo is the largest Kangaroo breed.
It is also the largest mammal native to Australia. Males can leap a distance of almost 30 feet in
a single bound. Red Kangaroos have a
range of vision that is about 300 degrees due to the position of their eyes. They
can reach speeds of 35 mph, but can cruise along at 12 mph for hours on end.
Patagonian Cavy or Mara is essentially a very large rodent. In fact, it is the fourth largest rodent in
the world behind the capybara, beaver and certain porcupine species. The Cavy is native to central and southern
Argentina, mainly in grasslands and scrub deserts.
of Maras stay together for life with replacement of partners only occurring
after death. The male has almost the
sole responsibility in maintaining the pair by following the female wherever
she goes. A male will mark his female
with urine and mark the ground around her with secretions from his glands and
with feces, in reality making the grounds around the female a ‘mobile territory’.
this goat photo? Simple! Goats are cute and Laurie thought that this
little youngster had a sweet face…
snapped this photo of a Siberian Tiger at rest… A male can weigh up to 675
pounds! The Siberian Tiger, sometimes
called the Amur Tiger, is the largest cat now living on the planet. Native to
the eastern areas of Russia, they used to extend into parts of China and North
Korea. Currently they are considered critically
endangered largely due to habitat destruction and poaching.
Animal Safari in Georgia lists a number of different sheep and I can’t quite
identify this fellow. He’s apparently
been fighting with someone! Is he a
Corsican Sheep or a Mouflon…or something in between? In any case, we liked his attitude!
only featured a few of the animals that you can view via the drive through or
the walk about portions of the park.
Other critters of interest include: Baboons; Alligators; Timber and
Artic Wolves; Black Bears; Lizards and other reptiles; Parrots and Macaws;
Monkeys; Wallaby, Bobcats; Caracal; Dingoes; Lemurs; Dromedary Camel;
Coatimundi; Elk; Leopards; Hyenas, and; Lions.
visit was well worth our time and money.
We had a lot of fun feeding the animals in the drive through portion of
the park. I actually spent more money on
food for the animals than the cost of admission! While some may not agree with this zoo/park
concept, I think that at the very least these operations, run properly, expose
the public to wildlife and raise awareness while helping to perpetuate some of
the endangered or vulnerable species.
Animal Park in Georgia is located at 1300 Oak Grove Road in Pine Mountain. Phone: 706-663-8744. The park’s Website can be found at: http://animalsafari.com/Georgia/.
click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
for stopping by for the tour!
Care, Big Daddy Dave