Having seen (and chased) countless sheep around the block, we started to wonder just where the wild things are. A few of my coworkers recommended Orana Wildlife Park, a magical place of refuge for a huge variety of exotic animals. Conservation is the name of their game, where 70 species of critters roam about in roughly 200 acres of streams, banks, trees, and even moats. Focusing mainly on conservation, the large open range zoo’s mission is to protect and carefully breed endangered animals.
As with most of our animal encounters, the day was animated with special characters. Our visit felt like a page out of The Lion King, minus the crazy hyenas, Scar’s treachery, and Simba’s tragic loss and all…
The intense prowling cheetahs waiting for their steaks made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. The racing meerkats reminded me of Meerca Chase from Neopets. While trying to get a good shot of the lions, Harold grabbed me by the seat of my pants before I toppled over the wood railing. Though I try to be at the top of the food chain, my humble respect goes to the lioness who made sure I knew exactly what it meant if her paw ever touched my head. Oh well, as T&P say, hakuna matata!
A couple of sketchy sweat stains later, I perked up immensely upon seeing a family of giraffes. What’s even better, we got to feed them! Despite the scratchiness of their long, slimy blue tongues wrapping around each twig/your hand, they made me want to find and hug Geoffrey all over again… I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a Toys R Us kid!