On a whim a friend and I decided to take our kids to the San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park in Escondido, California. We had never been there before, but how hard could it be? We both had our double jogger strollers and we are both fit. Besides, isn’t the Wild Animal Park just a glorified zoo?How quickly we learned how wrong we were – on everything! Have you ever been to the San Diego Wild Animal Park? Well, this is not some overdone zoo! The park is one of the most amazing wild life refuges around. Animals are not merely in cages, waiting for you to come and gawk at them, no they are in their ‘natural’ habitat where they can be themselves.The Kilimanjaro Safari Walk is not to be missed, but be prepared it is a 2 mile path that takes you through great vistas and wonderful animals. Make sure you bring along your camera and water. You may want to bring along a snack or picnic and enjoy lunch in the African themed area.The Journey into Africa tour is another fun way to see the park. You will board a tram called the African Express and begin your journey into the heart of the Wild Animal Park. As the tram moves among the animals you will get to see just how big the animals are as you see them eye to eye. The Journey to Africa tour is not part of the regular admission so be prepared to pay an extra $10, $7 for kids 3-11.The San Diego Wild Animal Park was a fun place to visit. It was fun to see the lions lounging about in a safari type atmosphere, one was even lying on an abandoned LandRover – very unique! The older toddlers recognized several animals from movies like The Lion King and Madagascar, which made things even more fun for them. Getting to see Timon and Pumba up close was great fun!The park is built into a very hilly terrain and the animals are all situated rather far from each other. This is not a place you want to wear uncomfortable shoes! We went uphill and downhill quite a bit – and these were very steep hills. Not an easy route while pushing a double stroller with 50 pounds of baby weight.When all was said and done, the Wild Animal Park was a fun place to visit and it turns out a great place for a great workout. Visit the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park website before you go and plan your trip before you go. Plan to walk a lot and be amazed by the great exhibits!
Have you ever caught an animal in the wild? Save it from utter destruction only to find out that it’s a baby? Many people, especially animal lovers, get drawn in by the inherent cuteness of an animal and decide that it would be a good idea to take it home, care for it, and turn it into a pet. No. It is often forgotten that these animals are born wild. Wild animals have certain predispositions for specific behaviors, special needs that may not be accessible through conventional means, and an inherent fear of human beings. Over time, these attributes can become quite dangerous.Bringing wild animals into the home is against the law in many different states. Various different species are protected by both state and federal law. Statutes have been passed primarily to protect the animals from inadequate care and unnecessary death. There are several things that cause these deaths, and they are also very compelling reasons why wild animals do not make good pets. Here are just a few:1. Ignorance of Proper CareBelieve it or not, many wild animals held in captivity die, due to the fact that their caregivers do not know how to give proper car. Many of the wild animals held in captivity have special needs that are not the same as domesticated animals. Eventually, these animals develop a deficiency in their diet, causing them to become ill.2. Lack of Proper SocializationWild animals require an ability to associate with their own kind. Through this process the animal is able to develop the skill sets necessary to survive on his or her own out in the wild. If the animal has not learned these skills, it must either stay in captivity or die. This is especially unfortunate for animal that are much larger than usual or more aggressive that what humans are used to.3. Lack of Fear of Human BeingsWild animals are generally scared of human beings, especially if they have never encountered them before. This fear generally keeps them safe from hostile humans, and other unintentional harms.No matter how cute the animal might be, keeping a wild animal is not a good idea, not only for your health, but also for the health of the animal. The best thing to do when you encounter a wild animal is the report the sighting to the proper authorities, who have the experience and knowledge to deal with the situation appropriately.