Laura and Lee and Tigger Park at Dark

August 20, 1999

No, it wasn't a menage a trois - more like a menagerie! :-) Laura and Lee and Tigger (and Walt and Barb, too!) visited the San Diego Wild Animal Park - it's open at night in the summer time - something they call "Park at Dark". It's a great way to beat the heat, and the animals are much more active and visible at dusk.

Aaaaa! It's a pack of wild animals! No, wait, it's only Walt and Lee and Tigger and Barb...there's one wild animal in that bunch, but we'll let you guess which one it is. ;-)

Ahhhh...the plains of Africa...Where the giraffes walk majestically across the savannah...the wildebeest pause for a drink at the watering hole, the deer and the antelope play, and the lion sleeps tonight...a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh...oops. Sorry.

Tigger whispered something in the ear of this huge mask...judging from the mask's expression, it may have been a discouraging word... :-)

The meerkats were enjoying the cool of the evening. This was really a good time to visit the Wild Animal Park - highs are in the 90s during the day, but by evening it had cooled off and was very pleasant to walk around.

Lee compares his proportions to those of a lowland gorilla...hmmm. No comment. :-)

Tigger's turn...not many similarities there at all! But, then you wouldn't expect there to be, since Tigger is the only one! :-)

We walked the Kilimanjaro Safari Trail (though for a little while we were confused because Disney also calls *their* safari at Walt Disney World the "Kilimanjaro Safari" - but the WAP had their trail first!), though the trail initially went through the Australian Rain Forest. Kanga quickly learned that you can tell a Tigger...but you can't tell him much.

Every day, the keepers have to count *all* the animals, and make sure that they are all accounted for...Walt suggested that it would be a lot easier if they were all bar coded like this one is. :-)

We saw a white Sumatran tiger that had caught some kind of animal (probably a rabbit) and was proudly carrying it around. The Sumatran tigers are the smallest of the tigers, weighing only about 300 pounds...whereas the Siberian tigers can weigh up to 850! (Let's see...a 300 pound tiger is equivalent to about 25 of our's bad enough sharing the bed with 4 or 5 of them!)

Too bad Tigger...We actually saw quite a few birds - there are a LOT of (wild) vultures that hang around the area (which can really play havoc with the bird show - we talked to one of the trainers, and he said they sometimes have to leave out the free flight of the red-tailed hawk because she gets so worked up about the vultures). We also saw quite a migration of ducks from one pond to another.

We saw the "Rare and Wild America" show, which features North American animals, like this bobcat. This time we also saw an opossum, a wolf, 2 coatimundis and a porcupine.

It was dark by the time we headed down to the area called "Heart of Africa", so there wasn't much to see. But hey, it is the "Park at Dark", right? So here's some flamingos after dark. :-)

We *were* able to pet a Giant Aardvark named "Diggy" - he's nocturnal, so he was up and roaming around his enclosure. The keeper said he's quite friendly and encouraged us to pet him as he walked by. Diggy doesn't care for California ants, so he's fed a cat chow mixture - that's a lot easier than importing African ants and termites. :-)

We didn't have a chance to ride the monorail around the park - we'll have to do that next time. There's also some other entertainment that we missed - like the bird show, and the "Walk and Talks", a storyteller, African drummer, etc. And of course we really didn't see Heart of Africa at all. I guess we'll just have to go back!

It was a very nice time to be there - it was not at all crowded, and the temperature was very pleasant (though it had cooled off enough for me to want a sweatshirt by about 8:00).

I'm not sure why we don't go more often...we have passes, and every time we visit we realize that we don't have enough time to see everything. And we always learn something new!

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Copyright © 1999, by Laura Gilbreath. Feel free to link to this document, but you may not redistribute it in any form without the express written consent of the copyright holder.

Laura Gilbreath,
Last updated 8/24/99