On the Kilimanjaro Safari…
This is kind of funny. At this point in the ride, the driver points out the white birds, but kind of ignores the black ones.
See, the black birds are just native Florida vultures. They’re not really part of the show, but it’s not like Disney can just chase them off.
FUN FACT: if you startle a Florida vulture (okay, technically it’s an American Black Vulture), it will probably regurgitate the last thing it ate before flying off. It really does that to decrease its overall weight so it can take off faster. Good to know in case one swallows your car keys, I guess.
So you’ve probably figured out that for a lot of these I’m just pulling stuff I think is interesting off of Wikipedia. But the write-up for the bontebok just confounds me. Bonteboks are extinct in their natural habitat, but they’re also popular for hunters because they’re easy to sustain. I can’t wrap my head around how those two concepts can go together.
I can’t decide if these are a greater kudus or nyalas. The markings seem pretty similar. Let’s just split the difference and say they’re antelopes.
African wild dogs are SO FREAKING CUTE. Interestingly, their most common prey in the wild is the Thomson’s gazelle. There’s supposed to be Thomson’s gazelle out here somewhere, but I didn’t see any. Weird.
Here we have a pink backed pelican and a hungry hungry hippo. I’m sure they’re best friends.
(no, really. They are. Hippos are mostly herbivores.)
This here’s an ankole-watusi. Those ginormous horns are for both protection and cooling (they disperse heat). Pretty cool trick. Now I wish I had horns.
A ride on Kilimanjaro Safaris is ideally only supposed to last about 22 minutes, but you can stop at any time if an animal moves in front of a ride vehicle. This ankole-watusi, for example, slowed us down for about five minutes. SPOILER: Apollo’s Chariot at Busch Gardens Williamsburg won’t stop for animals.
During the course of the ride, guests travel through three distinctive environments: the forest area, the wetlands, and the open savannah.
Everyone always seems to love the giraffes.
Supposedly the Safari ride has both Masai and reticulated giraffes, but I only seem to have pictures of the Masai ones (they have drastically different markings). Maybe the reticulated ones show up later and I didn’t realize they were different.
The Masai giraffe is the largest subspecies of giraffe, which I guess explains why they’re less common in zoos. It makes sense that the breeds that are more endangered are in captivity more.
Everything you see on the Safari tour is real, with two exceptions. There are no termites in the termite mounds. If you think about it for four seconds, you’d realize that bringing something like that into a park isn’t a terribly smart idea (the ostrich eggs seen elsewhere on the ride are fake as well).
If you tilt your head just right, you can see that the flamingo island is actually a Hidden Mickey.
Apparently folks constantly think the crocodiles here are fake because they move so little. These people also think dogs can’t look up.
Mandrills are the world’s largest monkeys. They’re also world class assholes, constantly kidnapping little panda bear babies (what, no one else is going to admit that they play that stupid Panda Pop game?)