Last San Diego Post!

13 Apr

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San Diego Wild Animal Park was my absolute favorite place in San Diego and we very nearly didn’t go. We knew that we’d be exhausted and figured that seeing LegoLand, SeaWorld, and the SDZoo was enough. We’d paid for the passes though and figured that we could stop on our way out of town — it’s way up in Escondido anyway. Oh, I’m so glad we did.

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We hoofed it down to the tour first. It was included and we figured we’d at least do that. So worth it. The line winds round and round and has a great view of the lion enclosure. The lions were having a good old time. This pride includes the male, two females, and currently 7 cubs. One of the cubs is getting a good scolding from Dad in this picture.

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On the tour, you are taken down near the enclosures and you can see amazing things. This isn’t a great picture because the tour bus was moving but still. Wow isn’t she gorgeous?

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Sweet sleeping rhinos!

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We all know that Rhinos are fierce. My parents visited the WAP a few years ago. They saw the most amazing thing when they did their tour. A rhino family fight. The dad was trying to kill the baby rhino. The mom was holding him off. The big sister rhino took the baby and hid it and then went and backed Mom up against the male. She said it was so amazing. The bus stopped and the guide frantically radioed for help. The keepers came and got the baby to safety.

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We didn’t see any high drama. But, this adorable baby Giraffe was enjoying his first day in the big pen. The keeper said that usually baby giraffes sleep most of the time but this guy was clearly blown away but all the sights and sounds. So adorable.

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Love the light shining around — and through — this pelican.

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The gorillas were amazing. Particularly this silverback who is deep in thought.

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The keepers do lots of presentations where you can get very close to animals. They were letting kids pet this friendly face. Wow! We didn’t get to pet it but we did get to get within inches of it. Amazing.

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When we were done, we were happy to go but it was a great experience. We’ll have to go back — I recommend a springtime visit — San Diego is hot in the summer and Escondido is hotter still. We had perfect weather for us. We missed so much at this park though — we really only had 4 hours to spend there.

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We spent our last night in a Camping World parking lot in Santa Clarita. We planned to do that — Greg grew up in that area and in the morning, we took a nostalgic drive around his neighborhood. Then we headed home. And, during the week, California had burst into bloom. Capturing it from the road was nearly impossible. But, you get a feel for the beauty of Central California here.

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4 Responses to “Last San Diego Post!”

  1. jayne 13 April, 2008 at 3:44 am #

    I still wear a sweatshirt I got at the WAP and we were there in, oh… 1991? Even then, it was such a novel thing that the animals roamed in such a large, natural area and that you were able to see them interact normally with one another. Such a cool place.

  2. robin andrea 13 April, 2008 at 7:11 am #

    Fantastic photos, Liza. I love seeing the lions and that beautiful silverback gorilla. What an amazing thing it must be to be that close to such truly awesome creatures. I bet the kids will remember this trip always.

  3. Trixie 13 April, 2008 at 9:52 am #

    Very nifty! I really do have to get my girls to San Diego. You have just given me the push I need.

    It looks like you all had a grand time.

  4. Liza Lee Miller 13 April, 2008 at 8:10 pm #

    It really was special — and Trixie, I KNOW your girls will love it. Such an amazing city! We didn’t even get to the beach! I could spend another day at the WAP alone. We’ll be back to San Diego, no doubt!

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