Friday, November 26, 2010

The Animal Kingdom, Unleashed - North Carolina Style

During our stay in North Carolina, we visited the Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville with Mimi, Grandad, and Aunt J.  You'd have thought we'd have learned our lesson from our trip to Glen Rose.  We did to some extent.  For example, we opted NOT to ride around the animal area in a personal vehicle, so thankfully there was no need to worry about feral ostriches pecking their way into the car.  Lazy 5 was a new experience, however, since we travelled through the animal's territory en plein air in a horse-drawn wagon.  So as it turned out, we didn't have to worry about feral ostriches pecking the car so much as we had to worry about feral emus pecking our skulls.

Mmmmmmm.  Fresh Meat.
We loaded into the wagon, received instructions from the driver, and laid claim to our feed buckets.  There was actually a bit of strategy to feeding the animals.  Most animals we could feed from our hands. The emus, ostriches, and giraffes ate directly from the buckets.  We had to drop handfuls of food into the waiting mouths of the yaks and buffalos.  Sadly, we were not allowed to feed the zebra, the ankole-watusi, and the brahman (zebu cattle). 

Feed buckets.
I think this is a Nilgai trying to make friends with Matthew.
Look!  Steve is touching a wild animal!  I think it's an Eland or maybe a Scimitar Horned Oryx.
Here Lauren is demonstrating how to feed a buffalo (bison?).  Basically the beasts just circled the wagon with their mouths hanging open, waiting for you to lob some pellets in.  My life would be so much easier if I could take Steve and the kids outside, get up on a platform, and throw food down into their open mouths.

Excellent buffalo (bison?) feeders.
The animals even ate the fallen pellets.  Lauren took this opportunity to give a llama some love.
After hitting the petting zoo, we took a moment to take a family picture.  This is the first picture since April where the four of us are together!

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