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Saturday, August 18, 2012

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

My parents have been a member of the San Diego Zoological Society since I can remember, and I was excited when they told me they wanted to take Kristin and I on a trip to the newly named San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Formerly known as the San Diego Wild Animal Park, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park welcomes over 2 million guests annually to its San Pasqual Valley location (read about the San Pasqual Valley AVA). Of course, this is not to be confused with the San Diego Zoo (to be discussed in a later post); this park encompasses approximately 1,800 acres, and houses several hundred wild and endangered animal species along with thousands of plant species. It is also home to the world's largest veterinary hospital and one of the world's largest 'frozen zoos' (cryopreserved genetic material for thousands of species).
Kristin and I brought along our friends Drew and Brittany to join us, my parents, and my niece for our Caravan Safari. The Safari Park is not a traditional zoo, and is composed primarily of large open exhibits with several animal species instead of individually caged animals. Our Caravan Safari involved riding on the back of a truck through three different exhibits (two Asian and one African), where we were able to hand-feed Giraffes and Rhinos!
The Wild Animal Park first opened in spring 1972, originally proposed as a supplementary breeding facility for the Zoo. After weighing several alternatives, the San Diego Zoological Society decided to create a natural environment zoo, giving guests a view of animals in a more natural setting rather than cages. Still, the main purposes of this facility were species conservation, breeding of animals for the San Diego Zoo (and other zoos), and providing areas for zoo animal conditioning. Its original layout was designed by Charles Faust, including a beautiful aviary entrance and a monorail line wrapping through the park's exhibits.
It wasn't until 2010 that the name was changed to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Several other changes have been undertaken, including the abolishment of the monorail and introduction of several new tours and shows. Still, the Safari Park has kept its original natural environment layout and now offers several tours, referred to as 'safaris', to give guests more options: Africa Tram Safari, Cart Safari, Cheetah Safari, Jungle Ropes Safari, Behind-The-Scenes Safari, Flightline Safari, Rolling Safari, Caravan Safari, Roar & Snore Safari, and Ultimate Safari.


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  2. This park looks amazing, i can see the animals are not kept in a cage infact a space is allotted to them where they are living freely.Thanks for sharing pics.

  3. These zoo seems to be different from else, the natural looks of it attract me a lot.Love to visit here.