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Friday, February 24, 2012

Drive Thru Animal Safari

You know those times in life when you are laughing so hard you’re crying at something so unbelievably fun and unreal at the same time? And somewhere in that moment you take a step back and think, I want to remember this moment forever?

I had one of those recently at the most unlikely of places – a drive-through Animal Safari in Pine Mountain, Georgia. If you ever find yourself in south-central-ish Georgia, do whatever you can to go to this place! It is some kinda fun!

To be honest I really thought it was going to be touristy and hokey. Plus I love animals of all types, shapes and sizes and don’t support animal exploitation. (More on why I don’t visit the circus some other time…) But after seeing the website and getting recommendations from friends, Honey and I decided to check it out when we were nearby visiting Callaway Gardens for our Valentine's Weekend.

I thought we would drive our own car through the safari but we were quickly informed of the damage the animals could cause with their hooves and horns (Reeeeeeally? So what kinda animals you got in there anyway, I’m thinking.) The safari provided us with a car. This car:  

Oh trust me it gets better!

We had a good laugh about the car, then we snatched up our brown bag filled with animal food we had purchased and away we went.

We were immediately swarmed by Zebra, American Buffalo (um, huge, large creatures), Texas Longhorn Steer, various Cattle and a bunch of Elk. Let me define what I mean by swarmed: we had our windows down because we wanted to get a good look at everything so these HUGE creatures just come to your car and stick their head INSIDE your car hoping you’ll hand over the bag of food! Oh yes, a large, horned
bison head was essentially in my lap!! Meanwhile Honey and I are freaking out! Honey is frantically trying to get the windows rolled up so we don’t soon have animal extra passengers and I am scrambling to throw handfuls of food out of the window to distract them from maybe nibbling on us! Once we were saved by the car windows and food we laughed – and laughed – and laughed! 

These pictures demonstrate my "view"!

The trip continued like this. See, the thing is that the windows are smeared from animal slobber so you can’t see out of them. As we’re driving along, we’d put our windows down to see the animals. Then sometimes Honey would want to show me something so we’d both be looking out of his window. We’d be so intensely watching and talking about something that I completely forgot my window was totally down. Next thing I know I feel hot breath on my neck. I’d slowly turn and be nose-to-nose with an elk or a steer or a lama and it was a frantic scramble to throw food again! Honey had warned me not to throw so much food as we needed to ration it for the trip. All rationing ability went out the window (literally) each time an animal snuck up on me!

Here is some more of what we saw:

In all honesty, the animals were very well cared for, certainly NOT hungry, and had plenty of shelter, water and land to meet their needs. It really was a neat experience – not to mention filled with unexpected hilarity! 

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