Fun Thing #3: Enjoy Warthog Piglets!
I bet you didn’t anticipate that one! With Mother’s Day almost upon us, my thoughts turned to mothers and babies. What could be more fun than baby animals?
My friend Judy, an ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation volunteer, was in town, so we decided to check out the wildlife at The Living Desert and Gardens in Palm Desert. We discovered adorable Warthog piglets (cue the Lion King soundtrack) and shy baby giraffes. The Africa area of the park reminded me of my own mother (sending a hug up to northern California), who lived in Kenya and worked in a bush hospital for three years. The Living Desert also has a North America section, where we spotted (thanks to our tram driver, Carmen) a young Bighorn sheep.
What I Loved:
Animal welfare is a priority for me. Can the animals retreat from the prying eyes of the public? Is their habitat comfortable, clean, large enough, and natural? Are they well fed? Can they escape the heat? If they are herd or pack animals, are they alone? I am happy to report that the only stressed animals I saw were the wolves. Signs at their enclosure explained there was a fly problem, and that the park was working on solving it. The wolves did have a pack, water misters to cool them, and a habitat designed with roaming and privacy in mind.
Tips if You Go:
Plan to arrive close to opening. The animals are most visible in the morning. By the time the desert heat sets in, many animals disappear into their caves, dens, or under shady trees where they are difficult to see.
Spring for an all day tram pass ($6.00). You’ll get a comfortable overview of the park, and the tram operators will help you spot the animals. After years of visiting the Living Desert, I finally saw some Bighorn sheep, but as I mentioned above, only because Carmen, our tram driver, told me exactly where to look. Animals are experts at camouflage!
52 Fun Thing To Do In 52 Weeks – The List So Far:
1. Visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
2. Experience a Bamboo Forest.
3. Enjoy Warthog Piglets.
Now back to revising The Viking Mist, Book Two, The Two Realms Trilogy. If you haven’t read Book, One, The Beltane Escape, you can read an excerpt here.