Monday, January 9, 2012

A delightful backroads discovery....Giraffe Ranch eco-adventure

**This one's for you Kayla! (My sweetie just loves giraffes!)

Unforgettable, educational, surprising...........these are just a few adjectives that come to mind when describing this unique eco-adventure located on the backroads of Pasco County north of Tampa.

Giraffe Ranch, which is situated on 47 acres of rolling terrain shaded by beautiful oak canopies, is a surprisingly personal and interactive wildlife experience that is very much like embarking on your own private safari.
Charles "Lex" Salisbury and his wife Elena Sheppa have created a wonderfully unique wildlife preserve and working ranch, with experiential learning in mind.

Lex is the former director of Tampa's Lowery Park Zoo and together they share interesting information prior to, and throughout the tour---which BTW has strict size limits to retain the personal element.

All of the animals have lots of roomy habitats, and you can see the care that has been taken to ensure their days at the ranch be happy ones.
Although the giraffes are the stars of the ranch, there are many other interesting animals--we saw antelope, warthogs, Dexter cows, zebras, ostrich, Haflinger horses, Lemurs, all type of fowl, and lots more.
You can even take a camel ride, or experience your tour by camel-back! But since it was about to rain, I wimped out and boarded the safari truck with the canvas roof!
The clean and carefully thought-out habitats, the amazing depth of knowledge shared, the hands-on interaction with the animals.....
....are all what make this experience so unique......
.....and refreshingly personal.
I believe they were about to acquire a pair of rhinoceros when I was there (some of the animals are on loan from the San Diego Zoo since the ranch is fully accredited and licensed).
You know, I'm actually not much of a 'zoo person'---I always find myself distractedly imagining a world where the animals all run free---but I truly enjoyed this unique place--you acquire knowledge without being 'taught', and really feel like family by the time you leave!


Sylvia said...

Hi, looks like an adventure, will have to take the kids there.

Happy New Year,

Anonymous said...

we have to take Kayla and Jaden there

Anonymous said...

Love your blog!! Have lived my whole life in Tampa and am now in South Georgia. Reading your blog is like taking a mini trip "home".