Monday, September 22, 2008

Out of Africa or Tiger Attack

Penny and I went up to Camp Verde last Friday to check out where they had moved the Out of Africa Park. If you had been to the location at Ft. McDowell there are some things in this park that are different and new. Near the entrance is a large community aviary. There are lots of cool birds to see there, including several who talk. They really want to talk to you too. This parrot had a nice woman's voice and talked a lot. The other cockatoo came running over to talk too when we were talking to the yellow headed parrot. They were very smart birds.

Then they load you on a bus that had the windows gone to go to the "Serengeti". There they gave you carrots to feed to the Giraffe and camel. There were also loose antelope of different kinds and zebra families, including 2 babies who were nursing. They were very cute. Our driver said the zebras would bite though. And the camel stuck his drooling head, way in the bus at Penny trying to get more carrots. It was pretty funny to everybody but Penny!

The bus Driver said the Giraffe was in love with the camel Humphrey and they were always hanging out together. The giraffe had done some damage to the fence between the enclosures, as the camels were kept separate. I think they are both herd animals and were looking for a "herd" to hang out with. There was a different type of giraffe in a different enclosure and there was a different type of camel in with Humphrey. I guess they just like each other.
After that, we took the tram up the hill. There was a cute baby in front of me. I took a snap of him. Then we went to the snake show. We declined to go in an pet them. Then we looked at the bears, Mountain lion and wolves. All the animals have an acre or more of a pen and a swimming pool or big stock tank. They look like pretty nice areas for them.

Penny didn't want to have her picture taken. We were waiting for the Tiger Splash show and I thought it was cute that she had dressed for the occasion in her lepoard print top! The Tiger splash was really fun. They aren't trained they just play with them to elicit natural behaviors and get them to wrestle, jump and swim. It's pretty amazing to watch. One tiger was eating the grass while they were waiting for the show to start. And another one shredded the toys whenever they caught one. It was quite the testimonial to their size and power.

One of their favorite toys was a tennis shoe. I'm not sure how good of an idea it is to teach a tiger to attack something you wear. They claim that they never attack them when they are wearing them, but still don't think it's a very good practice. I think it would only take once for them to decide it wasn't a good idea.

Then we went saw some of the other animals, lions, patagonian cavey's, etc.

Then we come to the really exciting part.

We went to see the white tigers. There are a male and female, brother and sister. It was getting close to feeding time and I don't know if that was part of the issue. We got up there and the female was pacing back and forth by the fence.

I took some photos of her and then we saw her brother. He was sitting inside the stock tank full of water right next to the fence. We walked down to get some photos and look at him.

He doesn't look real happy to see us does he? He growled at us. I thought, oh, he's talking to us. So we stood there and talked to him and took some more photos. He growled again.

The next thing we knew, he roared, launched himself out of the water and body slammed the fence at us with claws out and teeth gaping. We were soaked and scared silly. He stalked off. I guess he didn't want his butt soaking interrupted by gawping tourists. It was quite unnerving and I'm very glad the chain link held up!

We left and caught the tram back to the front of the park. We told the tram driver about it. He said, Oh McCabe? He is always a little testy. Well ok then. I must say it makes an interesting story.


Bandanamom said...

I'm glad to see they are getting this back to how it was when they were at Ft. McDowell - we had gone twice since they moved up there to the new location but both times were disappointed - they didn't have the tiger splash yet, etc. But it's been probably well over a year since we've been up there.

Anonymous said...

Sounds fun! No wonder the camel was going after Penny with that shirt on, to the camel she probably resembled the giraffe!
I too did not know that had it fixed up this much!

Shannon and Tupou said...

Gorgeous critters! I especially like the story about the giraffe and camel being friends. I love any chance to humanize animals and see their personalities and emotions. I have got to go there. Thanks for sharing!