I posted some pictures of my 12/27/12 trip to Safari Park, which is part of the San Diego Zoo. I was a member many years ago but let that lapse when I got too busy doing other things to visit but we joined again this year so I'm hoping to get back down there more regularly, if only for a few hours at a time. As Diamond Members, we will also get invited to 'special events' so I'm looking forward to having more fun at this park. It's really gigantic and there were whole sections we didn't visit this time so I guess that means we HAVE to go back to be thorough, right?
One of the strangest animals we saw there was a HUGE bird - in this first picture, you can see it next to some other birds, which look tiny - but honestly, they were what we would have called pretty large birds to begin with - they just look tiny next to this giant.
Here's a closer look at this guy - have no idea what type of bird it is and a woman who said she has studied birds was stumped, too. At any rate, this may be the oddest bird I've ever seen and it was easily 4 feet tall, perhaps more - we saw it across the Mombasa Lagoon so couldn't really measure the size.
UPDATE: I found out the name of the bird above - it's called a Shoebill and they are indeed 4-5 ft tall. I got some information about it from Wikipedia so if you want to know more, here's the link - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sh
We were visited by a 'hungry bird' who was begging for food - reminded me of our dogs at mealtime, haha!
They have some gigantic aviaries that you can walk into and see the birds flying around, sitting on branches, etc. Here are a couple of the more colorful birds we saw.
We attended a bird show and saw some amazing birds there - this is some kind of a crested crane
The native turkey vultures knew some of the birds were getting fed and circled around hoping for a snack.
Quite a few of them watched the show from a nearby tower
During the bird show, we saw quite a variety of unusual birds - here are a few of them, starting with a raptor of some sort, can't remember if it's a hawk or vulture or just what but it was pretty amazing.
We were entertained by a barn owl flying around us
We saw some Andean condors, which are gigantic
That's all I have time to upload now so will finish off my Safari Park pictures tomorrow. Hope you enjoyed these!!