5.26.2011

Safari's Interactive Animal Sanctuary

Today was a pretty special day:  our MOPS group went to Safari's Sanctuary in Broken Arrow to see all of the exotic animals.  Amazingly, each of these animals have been rescued, are from zoos that have overbred, or were confiscated from people who've kept them as pets.  Really, people?  What about a 500-lb meat-eating cat sounds like a good couch-mate?  Anyhoo, thanks to some really poor judgement of a few people, and the huge hearts of many more, these beautiful animals all call Safari's home.  I was amazed at the number and variety of animals we saw today.  And of course, I forgot to switch lenses on my camera, so I didn't get any great close-ups of the animals, but we were only about 5 feet away from them all anyway.    Here are a few of the pictures I took.

This big kitty is a Tabby Tiger...extremely rare.  He used to belong to Mike Tyson...he's lucky to have both of his ears intact.
 I didn't really take many pictures of the kids today, but I really like this one of most of the group watching the Liger (yes, just like in Napoleon Dynamite) eat his meaty breakfast.
 Here's the Liger.  We're talking over a thousand-pound cat here.  Who growls when he eats.  And someone had him in their house (if I remember right...I may be confusing him with someone esle).   Amazing.
 One of the mountain lions, going to town on some ground up rib-eye.  Yup, they're spoiled.
 Bobcat kitten.  He was very hungry...the handlers hadn't made it to these guys yet!
 This was the point at which Wyatt decided he needed a stick to either a) use as a walking stick, b) poke the animals & other kids with, or c) use as a last-ditch defense against any escapees.  He mostly rode it like a pony.
 A tiny little alligator.  He was found in a treatment plant, and the chemicals stunted his growth.  His counterpart in the pen with him (who evaded my attempts to photograph him) was about 4 times bigger, and they're the same age.
 On to the petting area:  Papa Peacock
 The hens were smart enough to roost themselves at the top of their coop to avoid being pawed all over.
After his petting session, the peacock decided to give us a glorious display.  He was breathtaking.
 Do they have a Biggest Loser: Pig Edition? 
 Wyatt giving some love to the bunny rabbit.
 Is your mama a llama?
 I wonder if she gets tired of the other donkeys asking her if she's having twins. 
 Wyatt did not want to do this.  I bribed him....
 ...by telling him he could then touch the snakes.  He's easy.
 You have no idea how disappointed Wyatt was that he wasn't allowed to hold this snake...only allowed to pet it.  He begged this man for five minutes, and even reassured him that he'd let him have a turn, too.  Sheesh, what am I going to do with this kid?
 Petting the ferocious, man-eating tabby cat.
 Many of you who know me know that I am a huge bird person.  I simply love birds.  L.O.V.E. them.  This pink cockatoo and I had a real thing going...until the keeper scolded me for petting him.  Apparently he bites people.  But I'm not just any "people."  He cat-called me.  You don't bite a girl you whistle at...
All in all, for $8 total, the boy and I had a fabulous time!  Aside from the animals in these pictures, we saw monkeys, goats, a camel, miniature horses, emus, iguanas, wolves, black panthers, lemurs, a white racoon, turkeys, parrots, a bear, deer, donkeys....you name it, they have it.  And if you're legally allowed to touch it, they let you.  Pretty spectacular.  We'll definitely be going back!

If you'd like more information about Safari's Sanctuary, or you'd like to make a donation to support them (it is completely run by volunteers!), please head over to their website and check them out!

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