Male Florida Panther
The Homosassa Springs, FL wildlife state park functions as a wonderful small zoo. The animals and birds here are orphans, rehabilitated from previous injury, or were born in captivity. These animals, for many reasons, would not be able to successfully live in the wild. Nearly all of these animals are Florida natives (The hippo came from the San Diego Zoo originally, and is over 50 years old).
There are bears, manatees, deer, eagles, flamingos, bobcats, foxes, Red Wolves, all sorts of other larger birds, two endangered Florida Panthers, Whooping Cranes, and alligators. I highly recommend this park. The adult entrance fee is $13.00 and less for the kids. The park is just about 90 miles away from Orlando and is near the Gulf of Mexico, North of Tampa. The park’s wildlife walking path is shady, paved and is about a mile long through the exhibits.
I will share more pictures in my next post. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.
Cara Cara bird
“Lulu” The Hippo
Black Bear and (visiting) Great Blue Heron
A couple of days ago I was in the yard with my camera and heard the distinct sound of cranes. I looked up and saw a flock of Sand Hill Cranes in a “V” formation way up in the clouds. I was delighted to see this fly over. So, my little farm is in the flight path of the migrating Sand Hill Cranes. How wonderful! These cranes have flown from the Mid-west and Canada to spend the Winter in the Southern states. There is a state-run wildlife area, called the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge, where the cranes stay the Winter that is located about fifty miles Southeast of my place.
The Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge is a gathering spot for hundreds of Sand Hill Cranes and a much smaller number of Whooping Cranes every Winter. There are planted corn fields, and a lake at that wildlife refuge. A really good spot for these beautiful big birds to spend the Winter! I was super happy to have seen these cranes both at the wildlife refuge, and during their flight over my home here. I took these pictures in my yard on January 8, 2012. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!