The Ultimate Safari at San Diego Zoo Safari Park – Part 2 (Sitatunga and The African Safari Starts)

Saturday, July 9th, 2016

Aurora De Lucia's hand in a rhinos mouth - with hair in Auroras facePicking up from yesterday

After we were all situated in our tram (and she’d called in my delicious salad), we drove down this path and she asked if I wanted to know my itinerary for the day, or if I wanted to be surprised.

I am such a little planner (and a bit of a control freak, perhaps, just a little, sometimes, I suppose)…

So, part of me thought, “YES! Tell me. Tell me immediately” – as if I’m gonna find areas that can be improved upon or anything… as if I know anything at all about Safari Park, or animals, or how any of that works…

And then I thought, “Nope. I trust you. I’m just along for the ride.”

Aurora grabbing food while the Sitatunga looks at herI started the day off going back to see the Sitatunga with Matt the zookeeper.

I got to feed them a bunch of carrots. There was one big male that was basically trying to take all the food. So, I did my best to spread the wealth around to all the little smaller ones too.

I had a nice time learning about Sitatungas and Matt’s time working at Safari Park. And soon enough, we were on our way to our next thing – the African Safari portion.

Victoria was a wealth of knowledge about everything animalsĀ  – every kind… what they ate, drank, loved, how they acted – political ramifications of poachers and various wives tales still making their way around the world (such as rhino horns having medicine in them… they don’t…)

Aurora smiling down at a rhinoVitoria even had “props” in the cart – bones and horns and things I could see and touch.

(They’re kept literally under lock and key because of rhino horns being sought after dangerously for money.) (And it probably goes without saying, but just in case – obviously no animals were harmed for them to be able to show a rhino horn. Any bones or horns or anything came from animals that passed away – without human intervention).

I had SO much fun on my little fake-African Safari.

One of my big hopes was to feed a rhino. I hear it only happens on about 35% of safaris. But two rhino totally came over and were super friendly with me! I got to feed them a whole bunch of apples and feel their big sloppy (in an adorable way) mouths touching my hand.

And this is where I’ll pick up tomorrow.

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