The door to the minivan was open, and I saw the Zebra approaching in front of me. I held my camera in one hand and had a bag of food pellets in my lap ready to throw out some food and to try to stay alert enough to close the minivan door should the animals get too close. Not the brightest move I learn quickly while admiring Zebras who apparently are far smarter than I ever knew. As I snapped pictures of the one beautiful posing Zebra in front of me, another one was sneaking up on me from the rear of the vehicle. The passengers in the car alerted me of the sneaky fellow, and I quickly slid the door closed just in time. Zebra watching was a success at the San Antonio Texas Wildlife Safari.
The funny thing about these wildlife safari attractions for me is that while I’m there and snapping pictures and admiring all the exotic animals, it is sheer joy and admiration. When I get home and look at all the beautiful photos I try to remember what the animal in the picture is… and well I’m at a loss for most of them.
San Antonio Texas Wildlife Safari
The Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch is a dual attraction for families and adventurers that include the Natural Bridge Caverns next door. Difficult to see both in one day as they are individual attraction parks with lots of activities unique to the other. (A post on the Natural Bridge Caverns is coming soon!).
The Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch includes 400 acres of wild land, hills with creeks and lots of trees, the home to over 500 animals including exotic breeds, native to Texas and some endangered species.
Meeting Buddy the Giraffe
I never thought I would ever get the chance to pet a giraffe up close and personal, but thanks to the San Antonio Texas Wildlife Safari this was a dream experience I will never forget! Buddy is one of two twins Reticulated Giraffes born at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch on May 10, 2013.
As soon as we entered the educational centre, the curious Nakato (a.k.a Buddy) started wondering in to see what was happening. He poked his head and long neck awkwardly through the gate and before I knew it I was face to face with a beautiful Giraffe whose head I was petting with my hand.
After a few minutes of sniffing us out, he made his way back to his mum and sister who were enjoying a bite to eat.
Drive-Through Wildlife Safari
Forgive me animal lovers I did not take good notes as we drove through the Safari grounds. I was so busy taking pictures and in awe of how close we were to these animals I did not keep track of what was what!
Something that surprised me about the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch is that we could purchase food pellets and feed them to the animal from inside the car. I remember being locked inside my car at African Lion Safari in Ontario and repeatedly warned that opening a window was not allowed.
But here the relaxed rules meant interactions with the most adventurous animals that wanted to partake in some food and some great photos of animals who preferred to stay put where they were.
There were small beautiful and friendly animals like this little guy.
Then there were the Ostriches. I don’t know what it is about these guys, but they always look angry, mean and ready to peck your head off. When it came to food pellets, they were pretty aggressive.
Walk around the Park and Petting Barnyard
In addition to participating in the drive-thru safari, there is also an opportunity to walk around the park and gaze at a few more animals.
The Lemurs had their little house on an island and were particularly frisky and playful.
We made our way to the barnyard petting zoo where the African Pygmy Goats were anxiously awaiting our arrival (or was is the leftover food pellet bags we were carrying?)
Feel free to stand behind the gate and feed them, however; the gate door is open, and you can venture inside and get up close and personal! Beware these guys get super excited and will start to jump on you and swarm you to get some food!
We had a fantastic day at the San Antonio Wildlife Safari Park, and I highly recommend a visit if you are in the area. Be sure to take lots of water with you and leave lots of time to see all the amazing animals.
Planning a Texas getaway? Check out our Texas Travel Guide here.
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