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South Coast Safari


   Sep 25

South Coast Safari

I am always amazed by how many wonderful places and things there are in our County. A beach made of glass. Another that looks like bowling balls. Lighthouses. The City of 10,000 Buddhas, a working monastery which is open to the public (and has peacocks wandering around its gardens). And the B Bryan Preserve, which is dedicated to preserving and breeding endangered African hooved animals.

Megan and I made our way to the beautiful south coast, which you may remember I really enjoyed visiting earlier this year. We soon found ourselves at the Preserve, and met Frank, one of the owners, in the lovely barn:

Here Frank gave us an overview of what they do and why they do it. The animals they are trying to save have been hunted to near extinction in their native Africa, and Frank and his wife are working hard to breed and preserve these rare creatures.

We hopped in Frank’s truck and were off to meet them. Here’s Bonnie, the shy Mountain Zebra, peeking around the corner of the barn:

There are now only three types of zebra left in the world: the common, the mountain, and Grevy’s. Grevys are notable for what Frank describes as their “teddy bear ears”. As you can see, they are more graceful and less stocky than the common zebra:

That’s 7 month old Lester in front, staying close to his mama. Zebra develop the black color of their stripes as they mature.

Up next were the antelope. These are Roan Antelope, considered the most beautiful antelope in the world. There is a five year waiting list to get one of these! The alpha male and female of the herd are the largest and darkest due to their hormones. Mabel, the alpha female, had recently given birth to a new baby (left):

Apparently the baby already thinks she’s special since her mother is the queen of the herd, and she just butts in for food among all the adults. All the other babies, whether they were zebra or antelope, held back until the adults had started to eat. And the babies stayed close to their mothers.

Across from the antelope are the Kudu, called the “Gray Ghost of Africa”. You can see they blend into their surroundings. Frank has tried to replicate their native habitat:

Last but tallest, we visited the Rothschild giraffes. I can’t tell you what it’s like to have these enormously tall creatures swoop their long necks down to look you in the eye:

Incredibly, these boys are not finished growing. They are expected to grow another five feet!

Megan held up an acacia branch, which was soon devoured by Jagger (right) and Sonny:

They have long, black tongues that curl around the leaves, then they snap the leaves off, leaving the branch behind. We also fed them carrots. It’s amazing to look them in their huge eyes and have them kiss you as they eat the carrots. It was the experience of a lifetime!

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5 Comments

  1. I’m so jealous you fed giraffes! I would love to do this.

  2. suzy says:

    It was amazing – I can’t describe how weird and wonderful it was.

    Maybe you guys can come out here and see them. It’s closer than Africa! 🙂

  3. Guy Charbonneau says:

    What lovely photos of these wild animals. Than Goodness for all the wonderful people who care enough to make a home and safe haven for such beauties.

  4. LisaB says:

    That is so cool!!!

  5. Joy says:

    I’m quite green with envy! What a wonderful experience.
    jx

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