Saturday, January 4, 2014

Birthday Celebration

For my birthday this year, Linda, Cim and I went to the Safari Park in San Diego - formerly known as the Wild Animal Park. It's affiliated with the San Diego Zoo, and does a lot of conservation and work to get endangered animals bred and back into the wild. They're non-profit, which they make sure to tell you all day long, so you don't feel resentful about the exorbitant cost of food, souvenirs, etc. High prices notwithstanding, the main event of our day was to be the zip line.

Our time for that wasn't until early afternoon, so we made sure to get there early so we could take in the sights and as many animals as possible before dangling above them in a harness.
 The lemurs weren't leapin', but they were grooming each other after a nice breakfast.

 This little dik-dik kept trying to get to the bigger animal's food - just feet away from us while we waited for the tram safari to get underway.

 Beautiful cheetah!

The flamingos were far enough away we didn't have to smell them. They're prettier that way. 

Eric, the white rhino. 

Herbert, the wildebeest. Unlike Eric, I don't know if this was the wildebeest's name or not, but he lumbered alongside our tram as we escorted him to his herd.

 Look! Herbert again!

 Some people were feeding the giraffes - another  up close encounter you could pay for the privilege of having. 

 The lioness sunning herself on top of a car. She had just given birth three weeks prior to twin cubs, which she subsequently abandoned. They're being cared for in the nursery, and were dang cute! If this had happened in the wild, which it does, they would have been left to fend for themselves and die. Here, they will be raised, survive, and thrive.

 Don't you just want to run your fingers through that mane?

 I love elephants.

At the bird show we saw so many different types - I can't put them all here as it's already picture-heavy. This was a hawk, guarding his prey. 

 The secretary bird, their largest raptor, running out to come attack and "kill" his toy snake.


After some lunch, it was time for our big event - the zip line. They showed us a quick training video, strapped us into our harnesses, and then off we went. First was a little one as training - just to get us used to the basic mechanics. Then we took a truck ride up a hill (thank goodness we didn't have to walk that far in our harnesses!) where we got to see some more of the facility we wouldn't have had time for, including the previously endangered California Condors. They're gorgeous in their own ugly way.

Then, the zip line over the same area we had seen earlier via the tram. At two-thirds of a mile long, it's the second longest zip line in the United States- the longest being in Alaska. It took about a minute, and they saw the speed ranges from 40-60 mph. It was quite fun.

And here's the video to prove it.

(Argh. You'd think Blogger and YouTube would do a better job of talking to each other since they're both Google products. So here's the link instead.)


  1. that was Brilliant. I want to go!

  2. Love your pictures and your video! Even though I think I would love 'flying' on a hang glider, I do NOT think I would enjoy going on a zip line like that. I rode a tram up at a ski resort once, and when the ground below us dropped out and became a deep gorge, my stomach dropped with it. Same thing happened when I rode on a straight-line tram across an amusement park once. My heart was pounding so hard the whole time it was all I could do to not find a way to jump out of that thing! Guess I have a bit of a fear of heights.