giraffeAn African Bush Safari provided an opportunity to see and feed some of the animals in the Out of Africa Wildlife Park near Camp Verde, Arizona. The open air bus allowed easy access to feed a camel through cutouts in a fence and later a giraffe who placed its head in the bus and stuck out its tongue to retrieve green-leafed snacks from passengers. We also saw zebras, an ostrich, Watusi cattle, and other African deer-related animals. After eating lunch on a picnic table overlooking the Tiger Splash Arena, we had excellent seats for watching a tiger and white tiger switching between play and devouring food treats. We walked around the area adjacent to the food court where we observed Fisher, a caiman, resting near his water hole. The ring-tailed lemurs were actively encouraging guests to feed them leaves from outside their exhibit. A rhinoceros iguana and black and white Argentine tegu were active in this exhibit, too. Bart, a sloth, was sleeping in his exhibit as was a Patagonian cavy in its exhibit. We observed guests who paid an additional $5 to feed a tiger. Just down the way an employee was feeding a grizzly bear. We then circled back to Critter Corner for the Giant Snake Show. Tapestry, a 17-foot reticulated python, was picked up out of its carrying box by several snake loving guests. Then several people who admitted a fear of snakes were enjoined to overcome that fear. One woman was moved to tears by the experience. We visited the park with a 2nd and 3rd grader who were eager to have the opportunity to touch this huge snake. After this experience, we went back to the Tiger Splash Arena for a show featuring two hyenas. It was interesting to hear their mooing and laughing sounds. On our way out of the park, we visited a reptile building where we found Tapestry at rest and were amazed at the size of several yellow anacondas and the variety of other snakes. Back on the dirt road while we were walking toward the exit, we saw a cougar, black leopards, and prairie dogs. Other activities in the park include ziplining or taking a helicopter trip. We visited the gift shop before departing.

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