Since Eamon's 6th birthday happened over his school's spring break, we decided to make it a little extra special and go out of town for it. It also gave us a chance to say hi to family and friends down in Southern California, which is always great.
Annick found a super-cool activity at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Its an overnight camping program called "Roar 'n Snore" where families can reserve a space in one of the tents they have available inside the park. You get to your tent as the park is closing and then there are a bunch of programs available to do when nobody else is in the park. The campground is right next to the elephant exhibit, and the elephants are very close to the tents.
Here's the view from the front of our tent
The main reason Annick chose this particular park was the cheetah run. San Diego Zoo Safari is one of the few parks in the world with permission to let their cheetahs run off leash. You may have seen this on TV -- they put a ratty old stuffed animal on the end of a long long string and pull it very quickly down a path. The cheetah can't resist the temptation and runs like mad after it. Every once in a while, the cheetah actually catches the stuffed animal, which is what happened on our visit. When that occurs, they let the cheetah run a second time. So we got a double treat, because we got to see Ginger the cheetah go tearing down the path twice!!
Every cheetah is paired with a large sheepdog for companionship. Apparently the zookeepers have found that cheetahs and sheepdogs get along swimmingly -- who would've guessed?! Cheetahs are very shy, but the dogs help teach them that they can trust the zookeepers and make them more comfortable around people
Anyway, Eamon was out of his mind with amazement as the cheetah ran past. It was lots of fun.
Ginger the cheetah with her sheepdog companion
The Sheepdog does the run