Today was probably one of my favorite outings in Oregon. My brother, sister, step-mother, father, and I drove to Bandon, about a 30 minute trip from Gold Beach, to visit the West Coast Game Safari Park. It's like a little zoo, but my favorite part is that all the animals are out of an enclosure (except the bears, tigers, monkeys, and a few more critters). Right when we arrived, there were deers there to greet us and a few moments later, a group of goats came to say hello. I instantly fell in love with this place. I don't like zoos because you look at an animal, maybe take a few pictures then go to the next animal, and maybe see a show every now and then. But what I like about this safari park is that you get to feed, hold, and interact with the animals.
After making our way past the deer and goats, we found an apricot skunk that we were able to hold. Next we got to hold a opossum, which was pretty big and kind of heavy, and then held a white ferret afterwards. After my siblings and I took turns passing the animals around, we waited in line to play with a baby tiger. The tiger was pretty lively. He even had little cat toys to play with! When it was our turn, my brother, sister, and I got on the floor and started petting him and when I reached down to touch him, the tiger rolled on his back, grabbed my hand, put it in his mouth and started gnawing on it! Luckily it didn't hurt.
We only had about 3 minutes with the baby tiger, so when our time was up, we walked around to see what else we could see. We noticed most people were holding sugar cones with food pellets inside. We wondered what that was all about until we realized it was food for the animals. Each cone was 50 cents, and after we purchased ours, that's when the deer came running to us. It's like they have a radar that knows who has the food. We fed the deer and goats, and all of a sudden, out of no where, a huge llama comes walking behind us! It startled us at first. We tried to pet him but he wouldn't stop walking as if he had some place he needed to be. Some rams got a little carried away throughout the day. My sister ran out of food, so they came over to me, hit me with their horns to get my attention, and when they saw I didn't have food either, they went back to my sister and cornered her. She had to block them with her bag. They really like that food!
We saw some tigers, bears and monkeys, but they were all kept in enclosures, so we were only able to take a few snaps, say hello, and observe them a bit. My favorite animal that was there were the donkeys. I think I spent about two hours with just one of them. This donkey never left my side and fell asleep on me a couple of times while I was petting him. We totally had a connection.