San Diego Wild Animal Park?

Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 08:34 PM
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San Diego Wild Animal Park?

I am flying on Friday to San Diego for a meeting, but will stay until Sunday morning so I can revisit San Diego. I've been to the zoo many times, but never to the Wild Animal Park. Is it worth it? The zoo is incredible, and I would be happy revisiting, but will gladly visit the Wild Animal Park if it ranks a 6 or 7 out of 10 (and I rank the zoo as a 10 as far as zoos go).

Michael
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Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 08:57 PM
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i think it really depends on a lot of factors, one the weather as the wild animal park is about 35 miles north east of downtown in Escondido and it can be really really hot there. That being said we spent last Saturday there and it only got to about 85 and was not too bad at all. Not sure what this weekend will be like but it can easily get to the 100's out there so check the weather first. If you do go i would recommend going early when it's coolest.
Being a long time member I'm biased and really like both places but i would definitely rate it well above a 7. They are so different with the animal park being spread out, giving the animals much more room. There is something extra going on every hour, maybe a keeper in an enclosure doing an enrichment behavior or an animal ambassador out to be seen. There are also some new private small group tours that are offered that i would like to go back for soon.
The big male lion was up against the glass wall last saturday morning in lion camp and i kept thinking how close i was to him and that you could never be this close in the wild. there are also 7 cubs that were born last Nov. plus the 2 females.
that being said, it is not africa and with all your extensive travels i would not want you to be disappointed. If you only have one day to see San Diego there is so much to see and do besides the zoo or animal park.
Maybe Patty will see this and give her 2 cents.

joyce
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Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 09:05 PM
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here's a link to my photos from last saturday, sometimes pictures tell more than words. i have 2 albums included, one is just the highlights of the cheetah run safari and the other is more of the cheetah run and other parts of the park.

http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=...localeid=en_US
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Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 09:56 PM
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If they offer the Photography Safari, do it! In an open vehicle you are able to travel inside the large enclosures. Feeding the rhinos and giraffes was fun. We practiced our photography but many just went along for the ride.

Have Fun.

Keri
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Old Jul 23rd, 2008, 08:01 AM
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Michael - We are expecting this weekend to be very hot in SD. At the WAP it will probably be around 90, so go early and take the Photo Safari. They are currently doing renovations at the Zoo so some of the inclosures are temporarly closed for remodelling. What ever you decide SD is a beautiful city to visit, enjoy the beaches while here. Have fun!

SD
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Old Jul 23rd, 2008, 08:31 AM
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Thanks, I think I will go early on Saturday (I'll still be on NY time, so it won't be difficult to wake up very early and get to the park early).

Plus, I'd really like to see a caracal close-up (like in your photos). I have only seen one in the wild, and that was from 40 feet or so and at night (so no photos).

Thanks

Any other recommendations, but not the beach. While I live in NY, I have a house on the beach for the weekends, and while our beaches aren't as nice, I do spend a lot of time on the beach.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2008, 10:39 AM
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I don't know if you're always able to see a caracal up close at the Wild Animal Park. According to their website, you can see them during an Animal Encounters presentation. I believe Joyce saw the caracal as part of the Cheetah Run Safari http://www.sandiegozoo.org/calendar/...un_safari.html although I don't know if they always bring the caracal out during the cheetah run. Joyce can probably give you a better idea of where/when you can see a caracal as it's been almost 2 years since we were last at the park and I think they've made some changes since then.

They do have a variety of optional tours many of which require advance reservations including a night time caravan http://www.sandiegozoo.org/calendar/...ighlights.html
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Old Jul 23rd, 2008, 10:43 AM
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http://www.sandiegozoo.org/animalbytes/t-caracal.html
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Old Jul 23rd, 2008, 11:15 AM
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the caracal is not on exhibit just an animal ambassador. He jumped up on the bench next to my husband and brushed up agaisnt him, which was okay for the caracal to do but not for us to touch him. Then my husband just turned to look at him closer and the caracal let out a huge hiss at him. Unfortunatley i didn't get that on film. If you could get on the cheetah run safari i'd recommend it, and they have moved the time up to 9am, and want you there at 8:15 so you get to enter the park before it opens. If you do this you will need to purchase your entry admission on line as the ticket booths are not even open then.

I hope you already have your hotel room and rent a car booked. it's comic con weekend and everything gets sold out.
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