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Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Aitana Again

Yes, we've been to the safari park for the 3rd time this year. We thought it was the perfect place to take Shamus and Rose.

This time, Samus drove, which was ideal. He has a Mercedes van, with doors that slide back on both sides, So Rose and I sat in out seats, real safari style, with the animals sticking their heads inside! It was grest fun. We had a nice slow drive around, before having lunch, somewhat later than planned. As it was quiet, we got to touch the elephants again, although the first time around we skipped the lions and tigers.

We were too late to join the feeding caravan, but followed around afterwards, while many of the animals were still happily munching. In the event, this turned out to be a good thing, as, when we almost caught up with them, we saw that there were some 10 cars or so, so it was better to be on our own.

At one point, a dad with 3 children stopped in front of us, and the little girl (6?) threw a carrot at some zebras and camels. I was a bit cross, because you are not meant to feed them yourself. However, one of the camels obviously thought this was ok, and he wanted one too. He climbed up the small bank and followed the little boy around the car, in search of a carrot. The boy (about 8) ran around the front of the car, and around the side (towards us now) absolutely terrified. His face was a picture! The dad disappeared from view, as he reached down to grab his 2 year old by the arms, he then ran all the way around the car (being chased by the camel) to the drivers side, opened the door, and literally threw the child in, as his two older children ran away into the park screaming. Dad jumped into the car, and drove off, (I'm not sure how he didn't sit on the smallest child!) leaving the bewildered 6 and 8 year old in the park! The camel obviously realised he wasn't going to get any more carrots, so he wandered back to the other animals, as dad stopped a few hundred yards away, allowing the crying children to get back into the car. Hilarious! (They obviously breed them tough in Spain, as a little later, the 3 children were out of the car again!)

When we went through the lion enclosure, all 5 males were looking magnificent under a tree, but, since I wasn't allowed to have the door open (although I was slightly tempted!) it was impossible to get a good photo. I'm still astonished at just how big adult tigers are. I think their feet are about as big as my head! Beautiful animals.

Yes, I do think that they should be in the wild, but many of these have had poor beginnings, and being here, with this level of freedom, is certainly much better than being in a normal zoo. A really good day out, certainly worth the €17 entry fee.

As we walked around the Daktary park at the back, there was a zoo keeper with the pythons. He offered to put it around Shamus's neck and he happily agreed. Afterwards, he looked at Ed, and asked if anyone else wanted a go - I knew Ed wouldn't but I leaped forward at the chance. It was really heavy, and felt very strange as it crawled around my neck. I could feel the muscles moving, but the scales themselves didn't rub against me as I expected. A brilliant experience. After we had had a go, there was another group of adults nearby, but they all declined the offer! The keeper put the snake on the floor, and one of the men dared to poke it, then they were a bit braver, and touched it. I'm not belittling them, 12 months ago, I would have been the same.

In the back, there was also a baby tiger, which had been abandoned by it's mother. At the moment, it was in with the racoons, so it had someone to play with. I would have loved to take it home, but it wouldn't be very practical!

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