Well, drive-thru safari. In Texas.
I'm separating this into its own post because it is lengthy and picture heavy. If you find any incorrect identifications please let me know. I spent way too much time on it already, and may have gotten a bit sloppy as time went on. We probably should have spent a few bucks on the guide book they had. Oh well, identification is a challenge that I enjoy.
Anyway, back to the post... I have to say, Erin is the vacation planning master. She found a drive-thru safari, the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, just outside of San Antonio. It is a 400+ acre ranch, with about 6 miles of roads inside. It took us about 45 minutes to get there from Sean's place, then we had to wait about an hour and a half in the car line to get in. Luckily we were prepared for the wait (they had a warning on their website since it was spring break), and had candy and drinks and we found some music to set the mood via Songza. After the long wait we finally got in, and spent about 2 and half hours on the drive-thru portion and another 30 minutes in the walking area.
|This only scratches the surface... but it was worth it. Picture by Sean|
I took a little over 1300 pictures, (Lots of continuous drive), which perhaps makes for an appalling keeper rate but it was a rare opportunity so I didn't want to miss a chance to at least have a decent snapshot of every animal. I also went super camera dork, putting both my DSLR's to work (6d with 100-400, XS with 17-40) and scooting back and forth across the back seat.
I've indexed the individual animals since this post is almost 60 pictures. Also note that each animal heading is a link to the corresponding Wikipedia article. My favorite photos are of the addax, ring-tailed lemurs, reticulated giraffes, emu, rhea, ostrich, kob and sika deer.
Some of the addax were quite bold (friendly?) and would accept food straight out of the bags of food or even people's hands. The ranch says to drop it on the ground. People listen good. Oh and it looks like a little boy with a bowl cut. Or maybe Moe.
|It does make for a cute photo|
|So maybe we broke the rules too (I didn't do it!)|
|Maybe you should watch your fingers, dude|
|Is he drunk? He's kinda leaning on that tree|
I had no idea there were so many types of antelopes.
|Running after a ranger drove them off|
Or maybe a steer. Or maybe something else I couldn't find. I dunno.
|Lookin' for trouble|
The large birds were aggressive when going after food from cars. I saw emus and ostriches with their heads in cars.
This guy was in the middle of the road. Sort of frightening, but luckily he was very calm.
|Way closer than I cared to be to such a large pair of horns|
|Creepy inner eyelid|
|Inner eyelid in action|
|"What are you lookin' at?"|
Sun worshipers, expression masters, scoffers at my camera equipment and photography skills. Lemurs are impressive. And judgemental. Oh so judgemental.
|"I've seen bigger lenses"|
|"And better photography"|
|"Your photography is a joke" (maybe I'm too self-conscious...)|
They might have a licking obsession.
Stupid fence wires...