THIS PARK IS FAMOUS FOR HAVING YOU GO AROUND IN TRAMS AND TRUCKS, RIGHT INTO ANIMAL NATURAL HABITATS AND HAVING THE FREE-ROAMING ANIMALS SAY HELLO TO YOU.
BUT IT IS SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT.
I was privileged to go as a guest with Lucie Arnaz to celebrate her birthday. We had our own private truck (think hayride) and guide, and even a trustee to give us information. We thought we were going to go on an animal parade, which we did end up doing, but we learned so much more.
The park has 1800 acres, and the public only sees half of it. What the public sees is all the beautiful species roaming around. We were lucky enough to go behind the scenes to see their work. The other 900 acres are used for training, medical treatments, breeding, and general top-notch welfare for the animals.
Also what the public doesn't know, is that the animals are rotated into the public areas on a schedule to give them private rest on the off times. No animals stay out for days and days. For instance, the tigers and big cats are kept in an air-conditioned building (think hotel) in gigantic air-conditioned rooms with furniture for them and air-conditioning. The truth is that the cats like being in air-conditioning more than they like being outside. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park takes care of their animals better than we take care of humans.
Here is their Mission Statement:
To save species of wildlife by uniting our expertise in animal and plant care and conservation science with a dedication to inspiring passion for nature. Using our family of brands to differentiate our campuses, projects, and conservationists, we strive to be at the forefront of wildlife conservation and education.
To that end, we saw their huge White Rhino Project where they are flying in animals from all over to breed to they won't become extinct. Their Institute of Conservation Research has 200 researchers and 100 projects in 35 countries. They have educational labs, and global field stations as well. They work on genetics, reproduction, diseases, plant conservation, ecology, and global partnership.
In short, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is one of the most important animal conservation institutes in the world. THEY ONLY TRAIN ANIMALS THROUGH POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT. And, they are totally non-profit.
|Chuck Yates, myself, and a buddy|