Monday, October 13, 2014

Going Wild at The Wilds

We were headed to Gettysburg after visiting our son, Philip, outside of Louisville and Zanesville, Ohio was a good stopping point. I looked around as to what to see and do and found The Wilds.

Here's a description:

The Wilds is a private, non-profit safari park and conservation center that combines cutting-edge conservation science and education programs with hands-on experiences and one-of-a-kind adventures that include ziplining, horseback riding, fishing and more. Located in Cumberland, Ohio, the Wilds is home to rare and endangered species from the globe living in natural, open-range habitats.

The property encompasses 9,154 acres of reclaimed coal mine land and includes 2,000 acres of pastures and a 27-acre Carnivore Conservation Center. The Wilds is designated an Audubon Important Bird Area so the property includes a birding station with covered lookout as well as a butterfly habitat with hiking trails, more than 15 miles of mountain bike and hiking trails and approximately 150 lakes.

The Wilds is the largest wildlife conservation center in North America.

We got our tickets and hopped on our open-air bus for a tour of only 1,000 acres of the grounds to see all the exotic animals they have roaming free. Our tour guide was absolutely fantastic....extremely knowledgeable and loaded with all the history of each animal. The tour lasted about 2 and a half hours with two 20-minute stops. One was to see the birds and one to see the Cheetahs (and restrooms and food).

We were able to get as close as possible to the animals...waaaaay closer than you ever could at a zoo. Here's some of the animals we saw....

Southern White Rhino with her two-week old baby.

How come all baby animals are sooooo cute !!??

These are Persian Onagers.

Bactrian Camel in the foreground with the Rhino and Onagers behind.

Bactrian Camel

Przewalksi's Wild Horse
Cheetah..there were three of them in two separate areas.

What a great looking face huh? his eye on something....maybe those school kids that just showed up?

African-Painted Dog

Dhole (pronounced like dole)

Sichuan Takins


Female Sable Antelope

Male Sable Antelope

Look at the markings on this Fringed-eared Oryx

Grevy's Zebra....can you guess how many are here?

Love the markings around the eyes.

Look how the stripes continue right onto the mane.

Can anyone guess this one? Anyone?

Momma and her baby

Scimitar-horned Oryx

Giraffes with a baby in the middle.

All these lakes on the property were man made when mining was being done here. 

An aerial that shows only a part of the property but this is how large an area we got to tour.

....had to take some flower photos...

The contrast between the yellow and blue is wonderful. I believe these are Maximillian Sunflowers.

Our RV spot at Wolfie's Campground. Nice place but we had a big problem with Stinkbugs....first time we'd seen them...YUK ! We're still killing them weeks later.

This place easily rivals any wild animal park we've seen, including the Wild Animal Park in San Diego because, for only $20 each, we got a great tour. The animals are so used to the trucks that they don't mind us getting so close. And the weather, as you can see from the vista photos, was perfect.

Here's the website should you want to read more about the animals.

Steve and Kim

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