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Dates of visit:
May 6 - May 9, 2013

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Trip Highlights:
 Southern California
 Meeting Old Friends
 Welk Resort
 Oceanside
 Safari Park
 Escondido
 Temecula Old Town
 San Diego Zoo

 Kachina

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Southern California - Part 1 - Oceanside, California and Temecula Old Town, California
A Brief Visit to Southern California
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Safari Park

San Diego Zoo Safari parkThe San Diego Zoo Safari Park, formerly known as the San Diego Wild Animal Park, is a 1,800 acres (730 ha) zoo in the San Pasqual Valley area of San Diego, California, near Escondido. It is one of the largest tourist attractions in San Diego County. The park houses a large array of wild and endangered animals including species from the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Australia. The park is in a semi-arid environment and one of its most notable features is the Africa Tram which explores the expansive African exhibits. These free-range enclosures house such animals as antelopes, giraffes, buffalo, cranes, and rhinos. The park is also noted for its California condor breeding program, the most successful such program in the United States.

San Diego Zoo Safari parkThe park, visited by 2 million people annually, houses over 2,600 animals representing more than 300 species, as well as 3,500 plant species. Depending on the season, the park has about 400 to 600 employees. The park is also Southern California's quarantine center for zoo animals imported into the United States through San Diego.

Both the park and the San Diego Zoo are run by the Zoological Society of San Diego. The park is 32 miles (51 km) away from the zoo, at 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road east of Escondido, California, along California State Route 78.

History ... The San Diego Zoological Society became interested in developing the Wild Animal Park in 1964. The idea of the park began as a supplementary breeding facility for the San Diego Zoo, which would allow ample space for large animals and ungulates.

The development proposed would differ significantly from that of a typical zoo in that animals would be exhibited in a natural environment rather than in cages. In 1964, the park was assessed financially and then moved onto the next phase; this resulted in three alternative developments. There was an idea for a conservation farm, a game preserve, and a natural environment zoo. The natural environment zoo development was chosen over the conservation farm and game preserve even though it was the most expensive option. The estimated initial cost was $1,755,430.

The main purposes of this zoo were to be species conservation, breeding of animals for the San Diego Zoo as well as other zoos and providing areas where zoo animals could be conditioned. When it came to naming the park, five titles were considered: San Diego Animal Land, San Diego Safari Land, San Diego Wild Animal Safari, San Diego Wildlife Park and San Diego Wild Animal Park.

The scheduled opening day of the park was set for April 1, 1972; however, the gates did not open until Wednesday May 10, 1972. The general layout of the park included a large lagoon with a jungle plaza, an African fishing village, an aviary at the entrance of the park and approximately 50,000 plants were to be included in the landscaping. Although the park was scheduled to open in three years from the time of the ground breaking, the total development of the park was estimated to take ten years.

The first two animals to arrive at the park were the Nilgai, an antelope from the plains of North India, and the black and white striped Grant's Zebra, a zebra native to East Africa.

In the summer of 2003, the San Diego Zoological Society and Lowry Park Zoo orchestrated the capture of 11 wild African elephants from the Hlane Royal National Park in Swaziland. The zoos said the animals were scheduled to be killed due to overpopulation. However, the Save Wild Elephants Coalition disputed this, reporting that there were three other sanctuaries in Africa that had offered to take the elephants. Seven of these elephants are now at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and cumulatively they have produced thirteen babies as of 2013. In March 2012 five elephants were moved to the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona, to form a new herd. A bull elephant, two cows, and two baby bulls were moved and in return two cow elephants that had been together for years, Connie an Asian elephant and Shaba an African elephant, were sent to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Connie died from cancer in July 2012 just five months after the move. Shaba was slowly introduced into the herd in February 2013.

The California wildfires of October 2007 that officially started on October 21, 2007, burned 600 acres (2.4 km2) of native habitat preserved in the park and caused it to temporarily close. The park also moved many of their endangered animals out of danger. The fire did not reach any of the main enclosures and no animals were killed directly by the fire, although deaths of a clapper rail and kiang were attributed to indirect effects of the blaze.

Exhibits and attractions

San Diego Zoo Safari parkAsian Savanna and African Plains … The park's largest exhibits, covering over 300 acres (120 ha), are the open-range enclosures. Visitors view various plains habitats from Africa and Asia. Asian Savanna covers 60 acres (24 ha) and displays Indian rhinoceros and several species of Asian deer and antelope such as axis deer and wapiti. African Plains represents many regions and habitats. East Africa displays Cape buffalo, Southern white rhinoceros, Ugandan giraffe, several other savanna species, and a lagoon with East African Crowned Crane. The North Africa exhibit represents the Sahel and Sahara and houses scimitar-horned oryx, Barbary stag, red-fronted gazelle, and Ankole cattle. The Southern Africa field exhibits Grevy's zebras. The Central Africa region features a wooded waterhole with an island for Pink-backed Pelicans, Saddle-billed Storks, and Rüppell's Vultures. On the shores of the lake are bongos, red river hogs, and Vaal rheboks, and other forest animals. A number of smaller enclosures visible only from the tram are home Somali wild asses, kiangs (one of the world's only captive populations of this endangered wild equine), Arabian oryx, gorals, Japanese serows, black rhinoceroses, and Przewalski's wild horses.

Allegation of mistreatment ... In 1988, an 18-year-old African elephant, Dunda, was subject to controversial training methods which, according to San Diego City Attorney John W. Witt, included "chaining her four feet, hauling her down to her knees and repeatedly smacking her on the top of the head, where the skull is thick, with ax handles and the wooden end of elephant hooks." None of the five zookeepers who took part in the discipline technique were charged, due to a lack of conclusive evidence and the fact that at the time these training techniques were accepted by the animal training community. Two of the zoo keepers requested transfers after their homes were vandalized by animal rights activists.

Conservation ... The Safari Park was a major factor in the recovery of the California Condor. Beginning in 1980, it worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Los Angeles Zoo to start a captive breeding program. The last 22 condors were taken into captivity in 1987. To breed the condors quickly, the Safari Park would remove the eggs from the nests to induce the females to lay a second egg. The removed egg hatches in an incubator and is raised with a condor hand puppet to prevent human imprinting, while the second egg is raised by its parents. Captive-bred condors were reintroduced into the wild beginning in 1992, and today their population is 369, with 191 in the wild as of March 2011.

Text Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Diego_Zoo_Safari_Park
San Diego Zoo Official Web Site: http://www.sandiegozoo.org/zoo/index.php
San Diego Zoo Safari Park Official Web Site: http://www.sdzsafaripark.org/

Gallery - San Diego Zoo Safari Park
General Park Views
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Safari Park Safari Park Safari Park
Safari Park Safari Park Safari Park
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Safari Park Safari Park Safari Park
Safari Park Safari Park Safari Park
Safari Park Safari Park Safari Park
Safari Park Safari Park Safari Park
Safari Park Safari Park Safari Park
Sausage Tree (24 inch average length) - Tropical Africa
IUCN ( International Union for Conservation of Nature) Legend
NT = Not Threatened
V = Vulnerable
E = Endangered
CE = Critically Endangered
EX = Extinct in the Wild
Gorilla Forest - SE Niger, Cameroon, C. Africa (E)
Safari Park Safari Park Safari Park
Safari Park Safari Park Safari Park
Safari Park Safari Park Safari Park
Safari Park Safari Park Safari Park
Safari Park Safari Park Safari Park
Significant Animals on Display
Safari Park Safari Park Safari Park
Bontebok
South Africa (NT)
Chilean Flamingo
(NT)
East African Sitatunga
Sudan/Tanzania (NT)
Safari Park Safari Park Safari Park
Slender-tailed Meerkat - South Africa (NT)
Safari Park Safari Park Safari Park
Red River Hog
Gambia, Cameroon (NT)
Great Egret
Worldwide (NT)
Shoebill Stork
South Sudan/Zambia (V)
Safari Park Safari Park Safari Park
Cavendish Dik Dik - Tanzania (NT)
Safari Park Safari Park Safari Park
Safari Park Safari Park Safari Park
Pink Backed Pelican - South Arabia, Northern Africa (NT)
White-Breasted Cormoran - Central Africa (NT)
Safari Park Safari Park Safari Park
Eastern Giant Eland
Cameroon, Sudan (NT
Sudan Red-Fronted Gazelle
Sudan (V)
Western Egyptian Vulture
Europe, Africa, Asia (NT)
Safari Park Safari Park Safari Park
Hooded Vulture
Central Africa (NT)
Okapi
Republic of Congo (NT)
Southern Gerenuk
Somalia, Tanzania (NT)
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Kori Bustard
Northeast Africa (NT)
European White Stork
Europe to South Africa (NT)
Secretary Bird
Senegal, Somalia (NT)
Safari Park Safari Park Safari Park
W. African Crowned Crane
Senegal to Zaire (NT)
Greater Flamingo
Western Africa (NT)
Lesser Flamingo
South/East Africa (NT)
Safari Park Safari Park
San Diego Zoo
Safari Park
Abdim's Stork
Sub-Saharan Africa (NT)
South African Cheetah
Namibia, South Africa (V)
To be enjoyed!!
Africa Tram
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San Diego Zoo
Safari Park

Safari Park Visitors

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