Friday, April 19, 2013

Wild Animals in Pine Mountain, Georgia

This is a continuation of our stay in Pine Mountain, Georgia, where we rented a small cabin in F. D. Roosevelt State Park.  It was still sunny on Monday 8 April, so we decided to visit an animal park outside of town.

We arrived at Wild Animal Safari in the morning.  We decided to visit this park as we had visited another drive-through park in West Palm Beach, Florida in March 2010 called Lion Country Safari and enjoyed it - click here to see my post on that park. Below is a picture of a giraffe I photographed in Florida.

In Pine Mountain Wild Animal Safari in March, one can drive their own vehicle in the park or a Zebra Minivan can be rented with slats instead of windows.  We drove our car and bought some animal food pellets then we started the 3-mile Serengeti Adventure drive in the park.  We were following a van filled with children and could hear their peel of laughter when animals approached their vehicle.  This is a wonderful place for kids.  The animals are used to be fed by visitors and step up to your window.  I had the window partly opened and one large cow came and licked the window then another slobbered on the glass.  It was not easy to take their photos as they were so close to my nose and the window glass was dirty. (Click on collage twice to embiggen.)

The animals come toward the vehicles but if the windows are closed they wait for the next car or walk away - they are used to all this.  The giraffe looked into our window as you can see by my top picture.  I did not need a telephoto lens!

A big mama sow with her 3 piglets walked toward us.  The piglets were adorable.

There were many cows, antelopes, deer, ostriches, lamas, zebras, buffalo, etc.

The camel was behind a fence but you could place food into his mouth.  I did not because I knew that camels can bite, so I just threw the pellets on the ground.

The animals have lots of room to roam around as there are hundreds of acres in the park.

Coming to the side of the road the animals look at you with expectation - I wonder if the park feeds them little to ensure that the animals will wait for food pellets given to them from vehicles.

Then we drove by a lake turned red with Georgia clay.

Colony of turtles thought it was just fine.

Some animals are behind fences but their area is large.  I understand that many of these animals were rescued and would not have been able to survive in the wild anyway.

After the ride we went on to the "Walk-About" which is more like a zoo with a reptile enclosure and more animals on display.

Some cuddly baby bears were sleeping and looked so sweet!

There was also a petting zoo and I wished we had our little grandsons with us, but we followed a family with 3 small children and they were having a fun time.

An animal I had not seen before, with beautiful eyes, is called a Patagonian Cavy - found in South America from Peru to Northern Argentina

An Alpaca with some of its hair sticking up was reminiscent of a unicorn.

I took about 280 photos but cannot show them all here.  I'll finish with a pretty peacock in all its splendor that looked at us then jumped on its house and gazed the other way.

We went back to our car and left.  It was after 2 o'clock by then so we hoped we could find some lunch in Pine Mountain.  We drove to the center of town.

We went into the "Bakery and Cafe at Rose Cottage" - a bakery and antique store combined I think since there were articles for sale.  My husband had the "grilled hot smoked ham, sauerkraut and horse radish cream on flaxseed bread" at $8.75 and I had "roast sweet peppers and onions layered in toasted flaxseed wheat with hummus" at $7.50 and it was delicious. They came with a choice of salad or soup.  I chose the fresh squeezed lemonade with ginger and that had a nice interesting taste.

After lunch we walked around a bit.  There is a marker explaining that a railroad used to come through town.  I wish it still were an active railroad.  The tracks area has been covered up and grass grows there now.

We looked at the flowers around the fountain, which turned out to be more like rhubarb to my untrained eyes, then we sat on some inviting benches to feel the atmosphere.  Several cars went by, but not much else happened.  One thing did bug me - the name of a store.  I can understand that it is chic to use foreign words, but they should be used correctly.  In French, adjectives and nouns must agree with the gender - feminine or masculine.  For example "voyage" is masculine so you say "Bon Voyage" bon (good) being in its masculine form.  But "Cuisine" is feminine, so you'd say "bonne cuisine."  This store advertized "Bon Cuisine" it would be the same if you went into a French town and a store was called "The 2 Womans" instead of women - it hurts the eyes.

There were several interesting shops in town.  The Pine Mountain Trading Post contained antiques, vintage and collectible whatnot and a Book Nook with a variety of new and old books.

The Emporium had a good selection of antiques.  In a small area, on the side of the store, The Cup and Chaucer had many second-hand books and coffee.  We were tempted by several books but restrained ourselves since a quantity of unread books are waiting at home.

It was still early afternoon so we had plenty of time to drive on Highway 190, admire the view, then go back to F. D. Roosevelt State Park, and that's what we did.  But I still stopped along the way to take pictures of a stunning old-fashioned wisteria bush - a great display of strong vines with lovely mauve romantic flowers.


Ann said...

what a wonderful way to spend the day!!!
One day i'd love to take our grandkids to the San Diego Wild Animal Park here in So. Calif. it is only a few hrs away. my parents took my kids when they were little. funny..i live that close and have never been.! now that the youngest doesn't need the big car seat,just a booster..we have room in the car for the 3 and my husband and myself!,it is a doable thing!! yay!!!
oh,that red Georgia clay!! my aunt used to complain every time she had to wash my cousin's baseball uniform! she complained of the clay and kudzu!!!
hope you have a wonderful weekend!!
i so enjoyed the photos!!!

Sally Wessely said...

This place is amazing! I can't believe how you were able to get up close and personal with all the animals.

You sure enjoyed a wonderful day. Thanks for sharing.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I had just read an article about a lion, a tiger and a bear that live together in an animal sanctuary in Georgia and thought it might be the one you wrote about. However, when I checked, it said it was called Noah's Arc Sanctuary but they seem very similar. This place also takes rescued animals.

It sounds like you and your husband had a fun and full day.

Cloudia said...

you are a talented photog, esp with animals. The top shot deserves to be widely seen!!!

from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
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> < } } ( ° >

Nadezda said...

Interesting park you'd visited!
I love giraffe deer and lamas. I wonder the goat babies play in a small 'house'!
The other animals near the pond are wonderful. I love tigers, they are as big cats, elegance and dangerous.
Thank you for sharing!

Kay said...

What a fabulous day! The photos of the animals were so much fun to see and the wisteria was truly glorious!

claude said...

Merci pour cette belle visite.
J'adore la tronche de la girafe sur ta première photo.
Ici aussi il y a un parc animalier que l'on peut visiter en voiture.
Tes photos sont très réussies.
La glycine est très belle.
Merci beaucoup pour ta gentille carte postale.

Elephant's Child said...

What a magical day. I was in awe as you took us through the Animal Park. So many beautiful animals (I have a huge weakness for giraffes, turtles and all of the big cats).
I admire your fortitude in NOT buying books. A huge to-read pile doesn't stop me although it should.
And that wisteria made me very misty-eyed. There was a very large on at my childhood home and when the house was purchased and demolished last year they ripped out the wisteria as well (though I note it is coming back and has already cracked the concrete in the driveway).
Another brilliant post - thank you.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

How fun that this safari is close to you. Hard to believe it's Georgia and not the wilds of Africa.

DJan said...

Amazing pictures, especially that first one, VB. I am glad you mentioned that many of these animals had been rescued and would have died otherwise. They look like they have enough room to move around freely, in many cases anyway. I love that alpaca, too; it does remind me of a unicorn. :-)

Pat said...

Absolutely incredible photos. How long does it take you to prepare the lay out for your blog? Gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

Incredible animals, some of which I have never seen personally. I would love this safari/zoo. I am surprised that you were allowed to take photos in that store, as it is forbidden in such places as Kahala Mall here in Hawaii. Lovely wisteria, too!

Ginnie said...

Amazing post and amazing photos. Were you ever a professional photographer? You've captured the animals perfectly.
Also, I was surprised at the low cost of those luscious sandwiches.

Jeanie said...

This is pretty nifty -- it looks like you are THERE (meaning Africa) and not HERE (meaning Georgia!) Love that wisteria in the last few shots. That doesn't do well here and I just love it!

David said...

Vagabonde, I've had the animal park or zoo in Pine Mountain on my radar for some time now. Thanks for the photos! It looks as good as it reads on paper. Great photos as usual! My primary goal in the town itself would be to keep my wife out of the shops... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

OldLady Of The Hills said...

What a WONDERFUL place that is.
I love all of the pictures of the dear animals. It looks like they have a good life there....Those little Piglets are Adorable---but then, ALL of the animals are fantastic!
You always find the best places for Lunch...! And I love a place that has lots of goodies you can buy. In one of the pictures I could see the Head of a Bunny---Now I would have bought him, for sure.
The Wisteria is GORGEOUS! Such a beautiful color....My Favorite!
Thanks, my dear for this GREAT Treat!

troutbirder said...

It sure looks like a fun day for kids of all ages. I love that sort of thing...:)

Vicki Lane said...

I loved all the animal pictures -- especially the one of the giraffe. You certainly find a lot of interesting places to visit!

Anonymous said...

♡✿♡ ♡✿♡ ♡✿♡
MERCI Chère Vagabonde
pour tout ce beau partage !

Que cette girafe est belle sur la première photo et quel plaisir de découvrir tous ces animaux !!!

J'adore les fleurs sur la dernière photo ! FORMIDABLES !!!

Grosses bises et bon dimanche à toi Chère Vagabonde !!! :o)
♡✿♡ ♡✿♡ ♡✿♡

joared said...

We used to have a Lion Country Safari in Southern California. Don't recall now why it closed, but wonder if it was associated with this one you enjoyed? Sounds much as that one was described to me.

We enjoyed visiting San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park with our children from soon after they first visited and for many years afterward. We would stop at a nearby Nut Farm, then went there one year where the children could select their own pumpkins.

Your photos are excellent and commentary most enjoyable.

Thérèse said...

Quel bel accueil lorsque le blog s'ouvre devant les yeux.
Une place merveilleuse pour faire découvrir les différents animaux à ceux qui ne les ont jamais rencontrés visuellement. L'alpaca semble être juste sorti d'une séance chez le coiffeur!
Quelle glycine!

Perpetua said...

Another wonderful post, Vagabonde. Your photos are superb and so varied. It always feels as though I've made the trip alongside you. :-)

I was interested that you were allowed to feed the animals as that is normally forbidden in the zoos and animals parks I've visited over here, except in a few special cases.

Al said...

That sounds like a lot of fun, nice shots!

Marguerite-marie said...

j'adore!!! une belle récréation, les zoos ne sont pas faits que pour les enfants ou alors je suis vraiment encore très enfant. On peut me laisser une journée je ne m'en lasserais pas.
se promener avec toi est un vrai plaisir et comme Thérèse l'Alpaga, venant de faire sa permanente me plait de même que la girafe et les petits oursons. j'ai visité ainsi un immense parc au Canada.
je vais revenir pour revoir certains animaux et déjeuner avec toi.

Amanda said...

It must have been fun! The plants around the fountain look like collard greens to me or related to the same family.

Marja said...

oh I didn't know you call them wisteria We've had a white one growing on our fence. Love them Love the antique shop In Holland I used to visit them. And of course I love the Zoo Here the animals got a lot of space as well but not as much as they do have in Georgia
When I first saw that Patagonian Cavy I thought for a moment that it was a kangaroo Never saw it before either

Pat said...

I love the giraffe's face - like some long suffering Mum.
And the colour of the wisteria is just how it should be - too often they are faded looking.
You must have been exhausted after that day - so full of different experiences and a great addition to your memory bank. Thanks for taking us along.

Ruth said...

I agree the top shot is great! Could be a poster. It's nice to see such exotic animals close up.

You did the same things I would do: lunch is always important, and antiquing, though I don't buy much now, except flower vessels for the restaurant (not ours, but I do the flowers weekly).

Viola said...

What a lovely fellow that met me when I came to your blog! =) many beautiful photos and looovely animals! :)

Ginnie said...

After your last post, I wrote our friends, Bob and Peggy, about wanting to visit this State Park one year...and now that I know there's also this incredible Wild Animal Safari, all that much more. There's something similar to this north of San Diego that we visited years ago when the kids were little. It was an experience I'll never forget!


Wow what a neat park... I am sure it was a allot of fun to visit... Love those turtles. Pretty neat seeing so many... OH, how I loved seeing the flowering trees... Truly beautiful... Hugs Judy

A Normandy kitchen said...

What a great day out at the animal park and really like your photographs, the baby bears are adorable!

Jim said...

Good to meet you and thanks for stopping by today.
Your photos are really good and it was almost like being there at that drive-through zoo. What a lot of animals there!
Now if I can only make my wisteria grow like that one!! Beautiful!!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

A safari in Georgia! I wanna go!! I love these pics.

Jenny Woolf said...

Looks like a fantastic park and a great place to take kids..... the antiques are fun for the grown ups!

Fennie said...

My, what a grand post - and such a beautiful park. Interesting story about the railroad too. Loved your pictures of the alpacas though I can never know which is an alpaca and which a llama. Am surprised you didn't see unicorns, though maybe they are a European beastie rather than American. I have never heard of unicorns in North America. Sid you see Jaguars - or are they only in S. America. You must have large cats roaming on the prairies.

Jocelyn said...

Gorgeous photos, as always. I very much appreciate the way you captured the subtleties of animal saliva coming through the car window...and the way you corrected French grammar. You've got range, my dear.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed these photos. This park looks like a great place to see Africa animals, too, without making the long trip.

Mandy Southgate said...

You see some really lovely places! I would have loved to play with a bear cub!!! I've petted baby lions and cheetahs in South Africa and wallabies and wombats in Australia but would love to pet a bear cub!!

I love the spots on the deer. Very cute.

Daphne Michaels said...

It's crazy how close you got to the animals. I remember going to Chehaw Wild Animal Park in Albany and spotting some alligators there. Definitely not the animals I would want to get into a close encounter with. Haha! But I did enjoy seeing the other wildlife, and the kids enjoyed the petting zoo. :)

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