Out of Africa, in Camp Verde, was a mix of frustrating and fascinating for me. It's a privately-owned preserve, mainly with big cats, and I love the fact that the enclosures were absolutely huge
. On the other hand, there was a whole lotta chain link there--and while they had platforms to shoot pix from where shooting through
the chain link wasn't a factor, the animals seemed to like hanging out by the fence anyway, so the stuff was still in the shot.
They have a show called "Tiger Splash" where the keepers run around an enclosure with a pool in the center and let the tigers chase them into the water, while they trail balloons and suchlike stuff behind. And, again...shooting through chain link. With an autofocus camera, that's not necessarily a good thing. I got several nice shots of "fence."
But then, I'm one of those people who go to places like this mainly for the photo ops. The show was entertaining, the animals looked incredibly healthy (including the three-legged leopard, who was injured before she came to OOA), and we had a several experiences there that were really cool:A giraffe tried to eat the Hubby's mustache.
A zebra and a sable antelope tried to climb into the bus during the Hoofed Stock tour.
The hyenas decided that Da Boy looked like a tasty morsel and chased him while he ran up and down the fence.
The aforementioned Tiger Splash really was very neat.
The feeding of the critters. They tossed these giant hunks of meat over the fences in most cases. Sometimes a whole turkey or chicken went sailing into the enclosure.
We got to hear the hyenas laugh during the feeding. That was just...wild. I've never heard it live before, and hearing it on TV just doesn't give you the full effect of it. Seriously.
Da Boy got to pet a fifteen-foot Burmese python. It took some talking to get him to do it ("Hey! That little girl over there isn't scared of it!"--yes, we shamelessly played to his male ego), but he was glad he did it.
Anyway, it was great, and I'm glad we went, but I'm not sure we'd do it again. More of a one-time thing.
Anyway, pix. ( 25 under the cut. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my.Collapse )