Friday, January 11, 2013

On Safari … two weekends ago !

Can you believe that my niece Wendy and I actually went on a safari and it was within 20 miles of my home !!

I had heard of this educational zoo in Cameron, North Carolina, for a few years but, as is so often the case, when something is local you tend to disregard it. I knew that it was a sanctuary for rescue animals but I had my mind set on a small enclosed area with some cats & dogs & perhaps a few tropical birds to add color. Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The Aloha Safari Zoo is a wonderland. It’s true that they are not all of the “show animal” variety. After all, these are rescued animals and some are missing limbs and others have less visible defects but they are mostly just exotic animals that would have perished if it had not been for the love and care of a local man named Lee Crutchfield. His first “rescue” came in the form of a monkey that he received as a gift and just 7 years later he now has a 60 acre zoo complete with over 300 exotic animals, ranging from Watusi cattle, with horns that span 6 feet in length to a zorse (an offspring of a zebra and a horse.)

All of the animals have heart wrenching stories and it’s amazing that he’s been able to save them. Here are just a few examples:
This sweet “little” giraffe is their latest acquisition. She would not survive in our chilly winter climate so they’ve provided a barn complete with heat to get her through to the summer. The highlight of our tour was the “safari ride”. It meanders through the 60 acres on a dirt road bordered on both sides with fenced acreage of paddocks where the majority of the zoo’s animals reside in specialized habitats. They seem to love the attention and you can actually pat heads and gawk to your heart’s content. It’s a photographers paradise.

Volunteers and donations make this zoo a possibility and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Y’all come if your in the vicinity !


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Aww ... that's so nice.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG All these exotic animals. I wonder who cares for the abanconed snakes?

I am familiar withe several parrot refuges not in my state. Most require warm temperatures.

I did not know one could crossbreed a horse and zebra. Dianne

12:46 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

What a great idea to be able to save them and give them a good home. I hope that they continue to keep the place open.

2:35 PM  
Blogger KGMom said...

Sounds like a great place to visit.
I am a great fan of various places that rescue animals. I have been a contributor to the Elephant Sanctuary.

7:53 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

That's a great idea for a day trip with my neighbors!! I will look into it, and if we come, maybe you can meet us there!

10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not too keen on zoos as such, but that place sounds just great.

4:59 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

What an amazing place in your own back yard Ginnie and what a sweet man Mr. Crutchfield is!!
Love Di ♥

7:26 AM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

When we make our southern road trip (delayed for now as we try to sell our home) we will definitely include Aloha on our places to see, Ginnie. Thanks for the post about a very worthwhile endeavor.

4:58 PM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

How neat. And wonderful that you could see and enjoy!

4:20 AM  
Blogger ellen said...

What a special place. I am glad you went for a visit.

1:51 PM  
Blogger possum said...

We will keep this on our list of places to go when I come visit, right? All I can do is hope!

Lucky YOU! What a great place to have near-by!
The giraffe is going to need the barn this coming week!

9:54 AM  

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