Day Off — Wild Animal Park

My sister is visiting this weekend from the East Coast — she got in Thursday night.  All week, I'd been sort of going over in my mind options on things that we might do.  She'd been here to San Diego before — about three years ago, and we'd done the mandiaotry Sea World and Zoo combo then.

I have to say that I have been vociferously berated for having lived here for almost six years, without having been to the Wild Animal Park.  Never quite made it.  And it seemed like every time I considered it, it was something like 104 degrees in Escondido — uh, thanks, I'll go to the beach again if that's ok with you…

No such problem today — so we set off and had a great time!  The park really features two things that you can do — one is walk.  And walk.  And walk.  This park is on 1600 acres.  There's a LOT of ground to cover.  The natural savanna style habitats practically ensure that any animals will be as far from the walking paths as possible, but so it goes.  The park is also a Botanic Garden, so at least the plants can't leave their exhibition space.

The other option is an elevated train ride, which actually gets you a lot closer to the animals than most of the paths — plus, you are no longer walking.  It was really quite good.  We saw running giraffes, baby rhinos and all sorts of animals that probably don't taste good (except for the ostrich, I think) very close.  Good clean fun for the whole family.  I completely endorse it.

The other animal on active display was the modern Homo sapiens (typically in a family unit).  From my own perspective, I would like to ask two questions: 1) Are parents un-able or un-willing to actully demand and receive acceptable social behavior from children aged 6-10? or 2) Are modern American children of that age more sociopathic than I recall dimly from my own childhood?

Despite evil children though — great day and a great place.  Why'd it take me six years to get there….

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3 thoughts on “Day Off — Wild Animal Park

  1. "All sorts of animals that probably don't taste good"–hahaha. Ok, so time for me to ask for your expert San Diego opinion. I really wanted to go to the San Diego Zoo when I was in CA this summer, but we never got the chance. But I knew nothing of this Wild Animal Park. I'll be back out there again around the first of the year… if we were to make the multi-hour drive to see one of those, which would you recommend? (Considering stuff like which is easier to find, haha.)

  2. Well, the WAP is in Escondido off of I-15, so it is fairly close parts
    of Riverside county. The zoo is right in the middle of downtown
    — fairly close to the airport in Balboa Park. Susan and I were
    talking on the phone last night about which we liked better — and I
    think it really comes down to what mood you're in. The Zoo is a
    great zoo — lots of animals, great exhibits, fun to walk around in and
    the (number of animals you see per hour) quotient will be high.
    The WAP is really one-of-a-kind though — you will see fewer types of
    animals, but the ones you see won't just be standing around.
    Herding animals will be herding, grazing animals grazing etc.
    It's a much more relaxed and "natural" environment than any zoo.
    One thing the WAP had that I plan on doing for my next visit is they
    have a truck that goes out into the savanna and so you get super-close (and can sometimes feed) the animals — its like safari-lite.

  3. Cool! I loved the WAP when I went last year. I even saw a giraffe fight – it was pretty exhilerating. They bang their long necks against each other… so hard that you could hear loud thumps from the train.
    Re: evil children, I think some parents are just ignorant. My personal experience with children in Boston was that on the whole they were much better-behaved than the evil children here. Probably was just the parents I knew there, but they were much stricter with their kids, and expected more from them. Giving children low expectations is one of the worst ways to ruin them, IMHO.

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