Thursday, June 30, 2011

"Where The Wild Things Are"

Marble Man and I took a vacation last week, and ended it with a very pleasant safari into The Wilds, a nature preserve in Southeastern Ohio.

We minded the signs, and kept ourselves out of reach of the natives.

I'd hoped we'd saddle up and ride some of these, but these guys don't work for their chow.

Bactrian Camels

This refuge is ah-MAZ-ing with 10,000 acres (the largest preserve in the country) and some very rare beasties. The Wilds is not run like a zoo; they aren't in it for money. They are all about research and conservancy.

Sable Antelope / White Rhinoceros

Not too long ago, rhinoceros in zoos were developing foot troubles, to the point of being unable to walk. After transferring some to The Wilds, where they got to walk on soft ground, the foot troubles disappeared.

Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros

Now, thanks to the hard work of the staff at The Wilds, rhinos in zoos have soft, padded surfaces on which to tread.

There are breeding programs for endangered species, some of which are mid-sized carnivores. Those these pretty kitties were lounging and being photogenic for our visit. Nothing fierce here...


This little fella (called a Dhole) is very shy - we were told we were lucky they came out to show off for us at all.


Mostly, they have endangered species, including the Pere David's Deer, which has been brought back from the brink and is being reintroduced in its native China.

Pere David's Deer

A small herd of wild horses clogged up the track, causing us to halt our trek. We were surrounded for quite a while - they were close enough to pat, but don't do it! They bite.

Prezwalski's Wild Horses

I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to this preserve, a little bit of Africa's Serengeti Plain right here in our heartland.


The only thing I wasn't prepared for, was the rough ride in our open-air safari truck. We went over some ruts and bumps that made me feel like my upper and lower halves separated only to be reunited with some violence. If you visit, and I really hope you will, take some Ibuprofen or muscle relaxers BEFORE you climb on the bus!!

It was worth the discomfort - I can hardly wait to go back.

If you plan to visit, you might want to book your tours in advance, as it's a popular place. They have a new zip line tour (2 1/2 hours over 10 zip lines through the park), which just opened and is sold out for the first month already! We really wanted to do that...

copyright 2011 Shibori Girl


lori vliegen said...

wow......this looks like an incredible vacation!! of course, at first glance, i thought maybe you had gone on an african safari!! glad you're back......i've missed seeing what you're up to! have a great weekend! xox

Sandy Spivey said...

What a dream vacation, Kate. Glad you had such a wonderful time. Thanks so much for sharing!

rochambeau said...

I want to snuggle the camels!
Happy forth Kate!


Stephanie said...

How amazing to see these animals in this environment!

Have you read the Zoo Keepers Wife? It's a great read and the history of the Prezwalski's horses are discussed.

have a happy 4th!

Snap said...

What fun! I'll go! (*My* zoo is very much into conservation, using portions of memberships and entrance fees for international programs. Yes, they try to make money, but they seem to use it wisely. They are known for their avian collection, many of which are never on exhibition to the public. They are here for breeding purposes only ... at least they hope they breed as they are endangered.)

somepinkflowers said...

oh oh oh

what a perfect place to wear a jewel...
say something like--->
"Jewels For Sheherazade"


sorry you missed your camel ride
if you Really Want One....
see me...

i am on a first name basis
with a few
who live near essaouira...

{{ is that Dhole smiling
or getting mean,
i cannot tell }}