2017: San Antonio

Wild Kingdom

March 16


About twenty miles away from San Antonio, there's a drive-thru wild animal park. I hadn't seen one of these since I visited the now-defunct Lion Country Safari in southern California in the 70's. Being shameless tourists, we piled into the car for a semi-wild adventure.

We paid our admission at the front gate and were handed two small paper bags of food pellets, a brochure identifying the animals, and a small sheet of rules.

African kudu.

As we drove through the gates, the first thing we saw was this big fellow, an African kudu, assaulting the car in front of us. Okay, let me say that at this point I had only skimmed the rules.

We pulled ahead for our look at Big Boy, and...well, you can see what happened.

Whatcha got there? It tickles! Yum. Nosy much?

And now, for the REST of the story: according to the rules sheet, you're NOT SUPPOSED TO FEED ANIMALS FROM YOUR HAND. Just throw it on the ground. Well, whatever. Apparently the kudu hadn't read the rules yet either. Or he just knew where his kibble was buttered. Oh, and by the way, this is the largest horned animal in the world.

It turned out that the kudu was the friendliest and also most spectacular resident that we saw, so the remainder of the drive was anticlimactic. Even though we got there early, the other animals were already too well-fed to come running for our paltry offerings. So we slowly worked our way through the rest of the park, trying to get them to at least pose.

Wildebeests. Fallow. Bongo.

Gemsbok.   Sable antelope.

Rhea... ...seeya!  Can't! Reach! Grass!

Scimitar oryx.  Babies!

What are THESE animals? All downhill from here.

When we got home, we had our own hungry wildlife to deal with.