SafariSondra : December 4, 2015 10:59 am : Blog Post
The Chital, also known as the Axis deer, are a deer species indigenous to regions in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. This deer is most prevalent in Indian forests, where they feed on tall grasses, branches, shrubs and even fruit that has fallen thanks to monkeys in the trees.
A male can weigh up to 165 pounds and stand up to 35 inches at the shoulder. Females can reach nearly 100 pounds. Their coloration is usually light fawn with white spots and some white on their underbellies. Their antlers shed annually and can grow to over 30 inches and are usually three pronged.
Axis like to live among large groups of both genders. Most of their time is spent grazing. You don’t have to travel too far to see this unique deer from the far east, just stop by the park!
Winter is upon us and most of the nation has already had its first taste of frost, freezing rain or snow. It is easy for us to avoid the cold by heading inside and turning up the heat. Animals, however, have to adapt to the environment around them.
Animals have special adaptations, these are special traits or behaviors that animals use to deal with type of environment they live in. These adaptations help animals deal with all sorts of conditions, warm, cold, rainy, dry and more!
Wolves use their thick winter coats to help protect them from the weather. These coats help keep their skin drier and block out the cold wind. This is particularly important for the Arctic wolf, which lives in freezing weather all year long. Wolves dig shelters to provide them extra shelter in bad weather. They shed some of their thick coats in spring in preparation for summer.
Black bears are experts when it comes to adapting to their environment. They put on extra fat and hibernate to conserve energy through the colder months. This means they don’t have to hunt for food during sparse winter months. In the spring they come out and start the cycle all over again!
What kind of animal adaptations can you think of? Most animals have some types of adaptations, and when you visit us, you can see some of them in action. We invite you to come to the park and pay attention to the many different adaptations you may see during your visit!
What does an Oreo cookie and a cow have in common? Other than the face that milk and cookies go well together, nothing! Well, unless you’re talking about the Belted Galloway. This cow is sometimes called the Oreo Cow due to their characteristic coloration, which is black with a white belt-like stripe down the center!
While we aren’t completely sure where this coloration came from, like most traits, it was probably bred into the Galloway over time. The current theory is that they were bred with the Dutch Belted Cow, leading to that tell-tale white belt we see today!
Other than their belts, Belted Galloways are also well-known for being able to eat even the roughest grasses and grains, including the types of grass other cattle won’t touch. This makes them popular since they are so adaptable and easy to please.
Bison, more commonly known as buffalo, used to be very plentiful in American. Great herds roamed freely across the Great Plains and played a critical role in the lives of indigenous people. Currently, buffalo are few in number but still considered a majestic animal that’s symbolic of the West.
Buffalo can tip the scales at over 2,000 pounds and stand over 6 feet at their shoulders. They spend most of their time grazing on grasses and other greenery. Their heavy, shaggy coats act to protect them against harsh winds and snow. Bison also have long sharp horns that can be up to two feet long!
These days most buffalo live 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!
SafariSondra : November 5, 2015 9:40 am : Blog Post
Alpaca from Canada
Alpacas are members of the camel family, native to the mountainous areas of South America such as the Andes of southern Peru, northern Bolivia, Ecuador and northern Chile. They can stand up to 99 cm at the shoulder and weigh up to 180 pounds. They have thick, long hair which is prized for making clothing and other textiles.
Alpaca no longer live in the wild, but are a domesticated species that has been very important to indigenous people for thousands of years. They are social animals that live in family units. Alpaca make a variety of sounds to communicate, ranging from a barking-like sound to clicking and shrieking to warn others of danger.
SafariSondra : October 29, 2015 9:30 am : Blog Post
Gopher Tortoises hail from North America such as Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and South Carolina. They are one of the oldest living known species dating back 60 million years. Gopher Tortoises dig long burrows which end up providing shelter for many other animals, like mice, foxes and skunks.
The Gopher Tortoise can reach about 12 inches long and has a life span of up to 100 years. They don’t usually drink water but get it from the food they eat. They prefer living in dry areas where they scavenge food such as plants, grasses, legumes and mushrooms. Unfortunately populations are threatened by loss of habitat and predation.
SafariSondra : October 22, 2015 8:51 am : Blog Post
Coatimundi in South America
Coatimundi are members of raccoon family that come from tropical and subtropical areas in South America. They usually live in forests where they search for fruit,insects, small rodents and bird eggs.They weigh up to about 15 pounds and can be up to 44 inches long from head to the tip of their tail.
Coatimundi females live in groups called “bands” but the males are usually solitary. They can communicate through a range of sounds from whining to loud alarms. Female new born coatimundi usually grow up and live in the same band they are from but males will leave the group after about 3 years.
SafariSondra : October 15, 2015 10:30 am : Blog Post
Adult Vervet in South Africa
Vervet monkeys are primates that are indigenous to southern Africa. There are actually five distinct subspecies of the Vervet, some have even been introduced to areas of the United States, Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. These are versatile animals that can live in a wide range of environments, ranging from woodlands and coastal forests to mountainous areas.
Vervets are social animals that live in large, organized groups. Males can weigh up to 18 pounds with females weighing around 12. They eat mostly vegetation such as fruits, flowers, leaves and seeds. Vervets are vocal and can communicate with each other with a range of calls.
Yaks are an important animal to the indigenous people of Tibet and the Himalayan area. Found in the Himalayan area and parts of Central Asia, Wild Yaks are very large and 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 live in harsh environments, so they have a long thick hair to protect them from wind, rain and snow. This includes a shorter undercoat and a longer overcoat which work to keep them insulated from moisture. 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, sometimes called the Brahman, originally came from India. They are 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. They came to the United States in the early 1800’s and were the result of breeding 4 different Indian Zebu breeds.
These cattle have short coats, a hump in between their shoulders and bulls can weigh up to 2,200 pounds. 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.