I love to go to the zoo. I like to take my family and I really love to go alone and just wander and spend the time I want to spend with the animals I want to see. Not always the exciting ones the kids like and sometimes I just want to sit for as long as I can and just watch some of them. Some of my favorites are gorillas, elephants, otters, penguins and giraffes.
A summer (or two) ago we went to a place not too far from where we live called The Wilds. It is a place where they have taken former strip-mined land, reclaimed it and turned it into a open nature preserve. And it’s awesome. Here is a bit of photo commentary from our trip. If you have the time and think you might want to go, let me tell you: Totally. Worth. It.
First of all, the views are beautiful.
I love that this used to be a coal strip mine.
And now it is a beautiful place where they have created a sanctuary for these animals.
We took an open area bus tour and that is the way to go let me tell you. Particularly if you want to take pictures. You get glass free shots of animals and many of them are very close to the roads. I don’t remember the exact names of what we saw, but for instance they have some wild donkey type things:
They have Buffalo that roam
They have beautiful camels … and one that wanted to give us all a kiss:
And my favorites … the giraffes:
This little guy was trying desperately to get a part of the top of this tree/bush for his afternoon snack:
And in his success … I have one of my all time favorite pictures that I have taken to date:
He just stood there, all beautiful and awesome, munching on his branch and looking at a bus full of people taking his picture. I love this guy and can’t wait to go back and see him again!