The Yak is an interesting animal that is important to indigenous people of Tibet and the Himalayan area. Wild Yaks are very large and found throughout the Himalayan area of Central Asia. In the wild they can weigh over 2,000 pounds and stretch up to 11 feet from head to rear. The males are larger than their female counterparts. Domestic Yaks are smaller and usually top out at around 1,200 pounds.
Yaks have long thick hair that protects them from harsh environments.This includes a shorter undercoat and a longer overcoat. They also have a pronounced hump and horns, with both being more noticeable in males. They are herd animals that spend most of their time grazing, which is exactly how they spend their days here at the park!
The Red Brahma,which is also called the Brahman, originally came from India. In the early 1800’s they came to the United States and are the result of breeding 4 different Indian Zebu breeds.The Brahman is one of the most popular cattle breeds around the world as they are very hardy and do well even under adverse conditions, even in tropical environments.
Red Brahma have short, dense coats and a hump in between their shoulders. Brahman bulls can weigh up to 2,200 pounds and have a lifespan over 15 years.. They have distinctive ears that hang low like the ears of a dog. They spend most of their time grazing and can eat a wide variety of grasses and vegetation.
WildMike : September 24, 2015 10:01 am : Blog Post
Leopard geckos were first described in 1854. They are native to grasslands and desert regions in south Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of India and Iran. When they live in areas that get very cold, they can actually go into a form of hibernation by burrowing underground.
An adult Leopard gecko can be up to 11 inches long and weigh up to 65 grams. They eat things like crickets, roaches, worms and other insects. They hunt for their food using their special ears, which are very sensitive and helps them locate prey. They are also ectothermic, absorbing warmth from the sun during the day for energy.
Leopard geckos are popular as pets. Have you ever seen one up close?
WildMike : September 18, 2015 11:42 am : Blog Post
Lechwe in the Delta
Lechwe are a type of antelope that are found in marshy areas around Botswana, Zambia, Congo and Namibia. They are typically brown with white underbellies. The males tend to be darker and larger, reaching up to 39 inches at the shoulder and weighting up to 260 pounds. The males also have long, spiral horns.
Since lechwe live in marshy areas, they eat a lot of aquatic plants. This type of area also offers some protection from predators. They are so adapted to this environment that their legs have a type of water-repellent that makes it easier for them to stand and run for long periods in knee-deep water.
If you come see our lechwe you might notice that their hind legs are longer than other antelopes, this is just another adaptation that lets them run in marshy soil.
How much do you know about camels? If you’re like many people, you have had limited experience with this unusual animal and as a result, there are many misconceptions about them. For instance, have you ever heard that a camel stores water in their humps? Actually, the humps on a camel’s back are made of fat, but this is a great example of how this unusual animal is often misunderstood.
There are two types of camels, the Dromedary, which have one hump, and the Bactrian, which has two.Both are highly specialized to survive in even the harshest of environments. These humps are special adaptations which lets the camel store fat for energy. This gives them an advantage in the desert where little food and water is available, but doesn’t raise their body temperature! They are often used as pack camels, capable of carrying up to 1,500 pounds and running up to 25 mph.
The camel is a great example of how an animal uses adaptations to survive in extreme weather conditions. Making their homes in North Africa, the Middle east and in Asia, the camel can survive harsh temperatures, go for long periods with little food and water, and have specialized eyelids which help keep out blowing sand so their vision is never compromised. You can see one of these unique animals in person when you visit our park.
“Père” is the French word for “Father,” which might seem an odd name for a deer, but this species was actually first discovered in 1866 by Father Armand David, a French missionary in China.
These animals have unusual feature including cow-like hooves, a camel-like neck, a donkey-like black tufted tail and the antlers of a deer. Other unusual features of this deer are the antlers of the males, which has tines that point upwards!
Père David’s Deer are completely extinct in the wild and only exist in captivity. There are conservation attempts to reintroduce them back into the wild, but none have been successful to date. So when you drive through the park and see this unique animal, remember, he’s not just a regular deer, he is a rare animal that can only be seen in captivity!
Few animals are as distinct as the peafowl, also known as the peacock. There are two Asiatic and one African species of peafowl. Having brightly colored plumage and long beautiful trains, peacocks are usually a favorite at our park. Did you know that only the males have colorful feathers? The female are grey or brown, but the males have vivid colors which they display to attract a mate.
One distinguishing feature of the peacock is the male’s long train of bright, iridescent colors. They can display them or let them trail behind them, depending on if they are seeking attention from females. We have peacocks freely walking around for you to see and if you’re lucky, you can see one show off a bit!
Marsupials are mammals that carry their young in a pouch. Most marsupials actually live in Australia, which is also where you’ll find the Red Kangaroo. This variety of kangaroo is the largest marsupial in the world. They can stand up to around 5 feet tall with tails that extend much further. They have pointed ears,a square muzzle and are known to be good swimmers. Grass makes up to 95% of their diet and they live in small groups of 2 to 4.
Many people wonder why Red Kangaroos only hop and never walk. Interestingly, kangaroo legs are unique and cannot move one right after the other. Their legs do not move independently of each other, so in order to move at all they must hop! They can cover a lot of ground in a single hope, sometimes as far as 29 feet! Some can also hop very quickly, up to 35 mph!
Buffalo, also called Bison, used to number in the millions here in America. They used to roam freely across the Great Plains and were vitally important to the indigenous people, who revered these amazing animals. Now days bison are far fewer in number, but still considered a majestic animal that’s symbolic of the West.
Bison are heavyweight that can weigh over 2,000 pounds and stand over 6 feet at their shoulders. They spend a lot of their time grazing on grasses and other greenery. They sport thick, shaggy coats that keep them comfortable in bad weather. Bison also have long sharp horns that can be up to two feet long!
Currently most bison live mainly on preserves and ranches . You can visit us and see these wonderful guys roaming in our drive-through section. Their size can be surprising when you see them up close and personal!
Hailing from the rough mountainous regions of Scottland is the Scottish Highlander. They have a signature orange coat that is very thick and shaggy. They also feature impressive horns and the males can weigh up to 1,800 pounds! Their extra thick coat and their willingness and ability to feed on sparse vegetation that other breeds find unacceptable, means they can live comfortably in the very cold areas.
Because many Scottish Highlanders live on snowy mountains, it can sometimes be hard to find food. Luckily they have long, heavy and wide horns which they can use to find grasses and other plants buried underneath. In spite of their large size, they are known to typically have a calm demeanor, spending most of their time grazing for food.