STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, photographer, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Monday, March 9, 2015

Let's Head Back to Florida...


Let's turn our backs on winter and return to the warmer climes of Florida. Would you like to come with me to Lion Country Safari, located just west of West Palm Beach, in Loxahatchee?
When Lion Country Safari first opened in 1967, it was the first drive-through safari park in the USA, and introduced the new concept of a "cageless zoo." It was developed to bring the experience of an African safari to the American family without the costly trip to Africa. Today the park is home to over 900 animals in the drive-through preserve and the exhibit area, most from Africa, but also some from South America and Asia.

Jambo! (Welcome!) First let's visit the drive-through safari area, which is divided into several sections, each named for areas of the world where the animals are native. Visitors are provided with a CD for commentary as they drive the four mile preserve, and are cautioned to remain in the vehicle at all times, with all windows closed. Most of the animals are roaming free, and one must remember, these are wild animals.. this is not Disney!! Are you ready?


In Las Pampas, (the grasslands), you will see the Aldabra Tortoise which can live up to 150 years, and have a shell of up to 5 feet in length; it is native to coastal islands near Madagascar.
The South American Rhea (above) which resembles an ostrich, is the fourth largest of all birds in the world today, and although it cannot fly, it can run at speeds of up to 30 m.p.h. Other animals seen in this area included llamas, storks, and tapirs.









Ruaha National Park is where you find the Greater Kudus of eastern and southern Africa. These are the second largest antelope.











Ostriches roam the area and they aren't the least bit shy, they will come right over to your vehicle, or walk down the middle of the road, with wings outstretched so you cannot get by. (We watched one sassy boy do this to an impatient driver.... very amusing.)









Scimitar-horned Oryx are extinct in the wild. There are currently plans underway to re-introduce this species to suitable secure protected areas and Lion Country Safari is involved in a study to help with future conservation breeding. I found their horns fascinating...aren't they a beautiful animal? We were fortunate to be there in the morning shortly after food had been put out at the feeding stations. That coupled with a long lens afforded me some decent photos....



Up next...lions, zebra, and giraffe...

I'm linking up with Mosaic Monday. Be sure to stop by host Judith's blog at Lavender Cottage to visit other Mosaic Monday participants.

Peace,
Linda

"If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched. Share my wildlife with me. Because humans want to save things that they love." ~ Steve Irwin

18 comments:

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I've only visited a drive through safari once ( in New Jersey) and enjoyed the experience. You saw so many wonderful and rare animals. The 5 foot tortoise is amazing!

eileeninmd said...

What a cool place to visit, it looks like a real safari. I just love all the animals. The tortoise is cool and the Horned Oryx are pretty. Awesome photos and mosaic.. Thanks for sharing your visit, I will have to remember about this place during my next Florida trip! Have a happy day!

Jennifer said...

What an interesting place to visit! Many years ago there was a drive-through animal park west of Sydney where we lived, we used to take our boys when they were small. The highlight of one visit for those boys was a monkey snapping off my car radio antenna.

Vee said...

Stay in the car with windows up and doors locked! Did you see that video with the lion who opened the car door? The woman exclaimed, "I didn't know that they knew how to do that!" LOL! Yes, let's all go to Florida.

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

Now that is one place I never visited in FL.

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I didn't realize Florida had this type of park but have been to the African Lion Safari a couple of times we have in Ontario.
I'm fine to stay here now with the sun and heat wave we're having today! The snow's melting pretty good outside although making the roads messy for driving.
Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday Linda.

Pamela Gordon said...

This would be so fascinating Linda. It is nice to see the animals in their 'natural' habitat. Beautiful photos!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I love that the animals roam free, cages are just not humane. Wonderful photos - especially the horns, amazing.

Jeanna said...

Oh that brought back memories. We haven't been there since the kids were small. We camped there a couple of times and could hear the lions and tigers roar as they were given their breakfast. Such great times. You took some amazing photos.

DeniseinVA said...

Thank you for sharing this safari park. I never knew Florida had one and will put it on my list for next time we visit. Your photos are a lot of fun, absolutely great!

Rajesh said...

Wonderful visit to the safari. So many animals and birds there.

BeachGypsy said...

Hi Linda, my first visit here. What a lovely blog you have! I am enjoying looking at all the pictures. Thanks so much for dropping in to visit me at my front porch! I do hope you'll come back soon! How is the weather your way, I am not familiar with your area

Littlewanderingwren said...

Looks a great day out, just like the real thing without the need to get on a plane! Lovely photos, thanks to your super long lens!
Thanks for joining me on my road trip which fortunately didn't involve big animals on the road!
Wren x

Sara D.B. said...

Looks like a very interesting place!
Your photos are really good. I like especially the first three ones because of the lovely green! :)
Have a great week ahead!

Rosa said...

Greaat pics and place to visit!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Enjoyed seeing the pics - thanks for sharing.
Thanks for stopping by.

Life images by Jill said...

I think I would love to visit here. I really like this idea of a drive through safari. We used to have a lion park like this north of Perth years and years ago, but it has closed down now.
Have a wonderful week and thank you for visiting my blog.

Forest Dream Weaver said...

Thanks for sharing your lovely photos of these beautiful creatures....

Happy Wednesday!

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