Good Days With The Mays

Personal blog for Jess and C.J. May

Beware of Ostriches

On Sunday, February 5th, C.J. and I visited the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch in San Antonio, TX. At this ranch, visitors are able to travel through the Safari Drive Thru in their own cars. The ranch/refuge consists of 450 acres of land with over 40 species from all around the world. C.J. and I drove our car to the ranch and opted to buy a bag of food with the hopes of befriending a few animals. 

The beginning of the drive thru trail immediately took us by some friendly animals. I assumed most of the first animals we saw were goats and deer, but turns out they were oryxes, gazelles, and antelopes. Next up, we passed by a few buffalo; I made sure to get some videos to show my grandpa (he used to raise buffalo). As we kept driving, we encountered Texas longhorns, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, and cheetahs. Some of the more dangerous animals, like the cheetahs and rhinos, were in their own enclosures. 

I’ve never been afraid of ostriches, but as we slowly drove up to these odd creatures, a new fear would soon arise. C.J. and I were waiting behind another car, and we watched as they lured in an ostrich with their bag of food. Before long, the ostrich was sticking his head in the car windows, making the children cry. But those were kids, of course they were scared. I’m much braver. 

The traumatized family drove off, and the ostrich set his eyes on us. I was excited to get close to this animal, and I held out my bag of food for the hungry bird. But manners were clearly not something this ostrich had ever learned because he lunged at my bag of food and tried ripping it from my hands. Unfortunately for him, I had quick reflexes and grabbed my food bag away. This didn’t make big bird too happy. He stuck his beak in the car and bit my seatbelt; the audacity! I wish I could’ve established some dominance, but I panicked and yelled at C.J. to drive away. Moral of the story: Ostriches are cuter from a safe distance. On a happier note, I fed an emu who was much nicer.

After finishing the drive thru trail, C.J. and I parked our car at the ranch and explored the bird enclosure. This little building housed a variety of different species of birds. We paid a couple of dollars for a bird food stick, and when held out, the birds would land on the stick or our hands. It was very cool to get to see so many birds up close. Once the birds ate all of our food, we went to the nearby monkey/ape exhibits. 

Bird party!

Some of the species that we got to see were gibbons, squirrel monkeys, and lemurs. Although these primates were in enclosures, we were still able to see them close up. Some other nearby enclosures housed cranes and baby wallabies. We were also able to walk up to the giraffe enclosure and see the spotted giants up close. 

I think these are wallabies
Sticking his tongue out
Such a sassy animal

After saying goodbye to the giraffes, our time at the ranch came to an end. C.J. and I both really enjoyed this experience and would definitely go back again. I liked that this refuge had so much land for the animals to roam around on. And while some animals still did have to live in cages, there seemed to be a lot of space for them to be comfortable. All in all, visiting these animals was the perfect way to spend our Sunday. 

Until next time, 

Jess May

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