© Courtesy of The San Diego Zoo
Separate from the zoo is the park, a significant sanctuary for wildlife that houses some 3,000 animals representing more than 300 species. A botanical collection represents 3,500 species and 1.75 million specimens. More than half of its 1,800 acres have been preserved for native species habitat. The Park is near Escondido, California.
Here, visitors can choose from 10 different safaris that allow them close-up views of their favorite African plains animals. In the Caravan Safari, guests can climb into the back of a covered, open-air truck to admire African and Asian mammals and birds, with the chance to feed giraffes.
Guests on the Cheetah Safari get to witness the fastest land mammal - running. During Shiley's Cheetah Run, the sleek cat races on a straight 330-foot-long track that allows it to really stretch its legs and reach a maximum speed of about 70 miles per hour.
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Cheetah Safari offers a trackside seatto those who choose this experience. From these seats, visitors will observe the quickest of all mammals as it seeks its prey (which is actually a mechanical lure).
Before the cat appears, visitors are invited into the Cheetah Safari seating area for an encounter with another African animal. After the striking animal has completed its sprint around the track, the cheetah and its trainer will actually visit with you.
On the Raptor Flight Safari, visitors interact with a Harris's hawk and a crowned crane. This hour-long safari experience includes a 20-minute public flight demonstration and special participation for Raptor Flight Safari guests.
Guests on this safari will "fly and catch" a hawk and encounter a crowned crane.
On a Cart Safari, visitors can choose between seeing animals native to Africa or Asia.
The Jungle Ropes Safari experience allows anyone seven and older to balance, climb, walk and swing through the trees. Challenge yourself with this daring experience that offers three different courses, each one containing more than a dozen elements. These elements include aerial tightropes, rope bridges, swinging log steps, and moving platforms. Jungle Ropes Safari is for adventure seekers ready to try out life in the treetops. At some points, visitors are more than 35 feet from the ground.
This is a 90-minute experience, during which visitors will use a Smart Belay system to "sail" through the courses at one's own pace. Each course offers a different challenge level: one, two, or three. Visitors will don a safety harness and be instructed by zoo staff before entering the Challenge Level 1 course. After that, your "path" is up to you.
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