Lesson #1: A Wildlife Guide
The following five places are locations that Iíve been to and highly recommend. Each has its own features and advantages. Yesterday I had surgery to my head and am instructed to keep a low profile for the next little while, so Iím having to look to previous places for a bit.
Yellowstone Bear World, Rexford, Idaho.
We were taking a tour of the Northwest last year and had just gone through Yellowstone National Park seeing only one immature grizzly bear in the process. I recall in the 1930s having visited the park with my folks and seeing many, many bears so this was quite a let-down. We had checked out Bear World and planned a stop there. The bear portion of the park was disappointing since many of the bears were off dozing probably or hiding so we didnít see too many. We then took a tour of the bear portion where we were up on the back of a pickup truck high enough so that the bears couldnít join us. We arranged to take along several flats of goodies for the bears and the guide called them out. We were literally throwing out goodies with one hand and taking pictures with the other. It was well worth the tour. There were many other good sightings of animals there as well. My granddaughters enjoyed seeing a very young fawn.
Cat Tails Rescue Facility, north of Spokane, Washington.
Learning from the guide at Bear World of the existence of this big cat rescue facility, we arranged to stop and take it in. They had periodic tours where the guides told stories of the cats and how they came to be there. Some were amazing about the folks who thought that they could raise a big cat from a cute cub and then they get big and are too much to care for. One story was about a dog in one of the cages. It seemed that a lion had a dog for a friend so when the lion came to the facility, the companion dog came also.
Everglades Holiday Park, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
This is a park that I frequently visit when in Florida as it has interesting birds and isnít that far from civilization. They have airboat tours, which are both interesting and exciting. It is the only place where Iíve had a taste of alligator tail. The guides know where the gators are. They also have some of the most beautiful birds, the Purple Gallinules.
Lion Country Safari, west of West Palm Beach, Florida
This is a very popular park but worth a trip through it. In addition to the lions (where you have to keep your windows up), you will drive through animal places that are amazing. You will see ostriches, zebras, wildebeast, rhinos, giraffes, monkeys, gorillas, and so much more. We also caught sight of a piliated woodpecker and pretty wood ducks (both there of their own will).
Puffins at Machias Seal Island
This is our most recent adventure and happened just last month. We went out on a boat from Jonesport, Maine, and transferred to a smaller boat for landing. As the Arctic terns were nesting and little ones hatching, we were cautioned to watch where we stepped or you could step on an egg or hatchling. While walking, we were advised to hold sticks above our heads since the Arctic terns would dive bomb you away from their nests and the stick above would discourage them. We were shown to one of several blinds from which we were able to photograph Atlantic puffins and Razorbill Auks at very close range.
7/11/2004 5:52:57 PM