7.28.2013

Omaha, Day 2

The day started off with a plan to go see some wild animals in Omaha's Conservation Park & Wildlife Safari, located a bit outside Omaha (20 miles or so). They purported to have owls, elk, bison, deer, black bears, eagles, herons, pelicans, and wolves... wait, wolves!?!? I'm in.

For $6.50, yes, that's right... less than the cost of a movie, you get admission. This is also a drive-thru safari style place, so you just sit in your car (save for the bear and wolf enclosures) and do a steady 7mph the whole time.

Huge elk in a huge elk herd greet you right as you start the "ride". Can you get more American than this??? Well, without taking out a rifle and mowing this huge beast down...

Now, I unfortunately do not have any pictures, but the wolf enclosure was well worth the price of admission in and of itself. You get to step out of your car and walk up to their enclosure. There are 6 wolves (3 boys, 3 girls) on the property and they kind of hint that you may or may not see them. After all, they are wild animals and do what they want. Well, we weren't standing on an overlook more than 3 minutes when we heard howling. I think we all thought some dad was being a dufus, but it kept going. As we heard a few more howls, a light-colored female silently loped under our overlook and moved closer to the howls. She showed herself up on the hill and joined in on the howling. Soon, three or four of them were basically having a conversation via howls. It was pretty cool. A bit later, she moved to lay in the sun near the fence. I could have almost touched her, but thought that might be pushing it.

After that, I don't want to say the rest of the park was a let-down (see bison below... not "buffalo" either), but how can you top live wolves? They had a large herd of bison, including two albino and even a calf that looked only days or weeks old. But, you have to drive your car right through their "pen", so it's a bit stressful wondering if you're going to make it out without them charging your car and basically tipping it over like a tin can.

What do you do after wildlife viewing? If you're my sisters, shop of course. We hit a super deep-discount department store. This place is where other department stores send the stuff that doesn't sell (kind of) and they had racks of clothes as far as the eye could see. The girls loaded up on shoes and I did find something in the small men's area, snow boots. They were a good deal and Lord knows you can never have enough snow boots in MN. Alright, I'll go with it.

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