Monday, October 4, 2010

The Animal Kingdom, Unleashed

This weekend we made the short trip to Glen Rose, Texas to visit the not-for-profit wildlife center there.  In addition to operating captive breeding programs for endangered and threatened animals, they also have upwards of 1000 animals representing 60 species that roam freely on 1500 acres.  That's right, we packed up the car and headed out on a Safari.  I really can't complain too much, since we kind of set ourselves up for some pulse-pounding, adrenaline-pumping action, but I never imagined that our particular vehicle would create such a frenzy.

It began with the ostriches.
Majestic birds.  I guess.
Just don't make fun of them when they're within earshot.

Oh man.  He spotted us!
Don't anybody move.
I'm pretty sure they can smell fear.
It's trying to peck its way into the car.
Wait!  Where did the other one go?!
Uh, oh.  We're surrounded.
At least M is happily oblivious to the peril.

We escaped the coven of ostriches but then became waylaid by a pack of roving antelope-type animals.  The females were sweet enough and Lauren had a fun time feeding them.

I, on the other hand, was accosted by a rogue male antelope-type animal, who felt right at home sticking its malodorous snout into my side of the car in a brazen attempt to snatch food pellets.  That's right.  MY SIDE OF THE CAR!  MY WINDOW WAS DOWN!  I HAD DEER (or whatever) IN MY LAP.  Thankfully my valiant knight-in-shining armor came to my rescue.  Steve crafted an ingenious ruse to draw this beast's attention away from me.  So he kicked it into high gear and launched his plan to throw food pellets behind the behemoth, thereby compelling said behemoth to back the heck up.  Alas, my valiant knight's plan had one fatal flaw.  Rather than leaning out his side of the car and hurtling the pellets over the top of the vehicle, he decided to half-heartedly toss them THROUGH the car whereupon they hit the ceiling and ricocheted INTO MY HAIR AND LAP.  I was drenched in food pellet and food pellet powder.  The moose (?) lunged.  I screamed my patented murder scream.  The moose fled, ears ringing.

I snapped this one right before all the melee. 
Check out those antlers!
After our run-in with the pack of ostriches and my near-death experience with the antlered animal, we played it safe with the zebra and kept our windows up.  Even though the windows were merely cracked so we could throw out some food, the zebra still tried to eat Steve.

After seeing her mom nearly dragged from the car by an antelope-like animal, L had lost much of her earlier bravado.
The giraffes were awesome.  Sure, one of them stooped down to jam its head through my carelessly-rolled-down window, but for whatever reason, the giraffes just weren't as life threatening as the other animals.

Our drive through the wildlife center taught us many important life lessons about the value of family and the importance of expressing love for one another.  

But mostly we were thankful that we weren't riding in a soft-sided vehicle, because I'm pretty sure the ostrich would have been able to peck through that.  And really, did you see those antlers??

1 comment:

  1. hahaha You're such an entertaining writer! There's one of those drive-thru safaris here too, and we were actually talking about going over Thanksgiving. It looks a little frightening, but I'm still game!