Monday, May 20, 2013

Getting my kicks on Route 66

Today I drove the longest continues section of Route 66 and possibly the US, ending up in Williams for the night. The highlight of the day was a stop at the Keepers of the Wild nature park in Valentine Arizona. This is a rescue park, meaning the take wild animals and give them a home when no one else wants them and keep them for the rest of their lives. They are a not for profit and their animals come from three sources. First family pets that the owners no longer want, second, show animals that are being retired and some zoos that have surplus. They currently have over 175 animals including lions, cougars, wolves, leopards, monkeys and tigers to mention a few. The staff is as warm and friendly to the guest as they are to the animals and if you are ever in the area you owe yourself a visit. To learn more about them or to make a contribution click the link above.

The Park entrance.

My personal guides. Shawn is the old hat at this and Karen is the guide in training, both of them were more than helpful in telling the story of each animal.


















As you can see the animals are clean and well cared for. The most disturbing, at least to me, source of animals is what they called photo-op animals. The USDA allows wild animals, up to 6 months of age to be used as photo-ops props around the country. you've probably seen ads to get your child's picture with a lion or tiger. Once the animal reaches 6 months or 300 pounds they are no longer allowed to interact like that and thus become useless in providing revenue to the keepers, then they are dumped. This is where Keepers of the Wild  comes in providing the rescue. They also rescue pets that were 'cute' until they grew up among other sources.













 Every animal is named and seems to answer to their name, at least when the attendants have treats to pass out. Seeing all these animals sure made today a good day to enjoy the good life.

20 comments:

  1. I'm glad they are there to help these animals, but very sad that it is necessary. :(

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  2. That's both sad and wonderful. I'm happy they are in a place that is clean and that the animals are well fed and cared for.

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    Replies
    1. You are so right. These folks have pretty big hearts.

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  3. I am glad you had a couple of guides to show you around. I would have been worried that without them, you'd have wandered into a tiger's cage... :cO

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  4. It is hard to believe that zoos throughout the country would not be open to taking these animals in especially when the only cost would be shipping cost and feeding another mouth. Be Safe and Enjoy the Good Life,

    It's about time.

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    1. What surprised me was several of the animals came from zoos, go figure.

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  5. Good post. It is a shame that these animals should never have been brought to this country. Some are from here but someone thought they made cure pets.

    Another place I want to visit.

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    1. I'm filling up your bucket list with place you need to see. More ideas tomorrow.

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  6. So very sad that this wonderful place is necessary. But wonderful people step up to the plate as much as they can and I sure am grateful for them. Some beautiful animals here.

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    1. A lot of those animals were up in age, but they all looked healthy.

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  7. They do look very well kept and beautiful.

    There is a couple of full-time RVers that are working at a similar park in AZ, I believe. I read them once in awhile. I will send you the link the next time I come across their blog. Where they are volunteering, they have different sections for the dogs, cats, etc. It is a beautiful place. I don't think I could work at one of these. I would feel so sorry for the poor little things.

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    Replies
    1. Marsha, with your heart you would take them all home with you.

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  8. Paul and Marsha Weaver are probably talking about Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, UT.

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  9. It's a true shame that places like this have to be set up for the ignorance of mankind to begin with. I'm glad they are there for these poor souls though.

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    Replies
    1. Anything to make a buck, but when they stop making money they get pitched.

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  10. PS, beautiful photo of that white tiger. He looks magnificient!

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