Pet a baby alligator? Sit at
a picnic table and have “lunch” with a baboon? Stroke the soft fur of a kangaroo? Allow a monkey to inspect me close up
and jump on my head? Rub the belly of a wolf hybrid? Feel the scales and the strength of an albino Burmese python? Hear
a cockatoo “sing” (more like yelling)? Touch an armadillo, skunk, serval, fennec fox and more???!!! YES! Make tracks to
Animal Tracks, one of the best animal encounters I’ve ever had.
Our tour started off with
seeing (not touching) scorpions and a huge, ugly African bull frog (think Jabba the Hutt - no, really), then touching
the 14 foot python. Then, onto mammals including possums, ferrets, a skunk, porcupines, raccoons, cavies, a Bengal cat,
a pig and the critters I previously mentioned. Note that the animals you actually encounter are up to staff discretion.
Most of the animals you can touch (but not all) and as you do, or even as you just look at them, the staff is doing an
incredibly wonderful job of explaining all about the animals, as well as why they are here since they are all rescues
and can’t be returned to their natural habitats. Many were kept illegally (and foolishly) as exotic pets. I learned so
much, was overjoyed with being able to actually handle such animals and I appreciated the cleanliness of the cages. Each
animal is lovingly trained to be social so that visitors have a unique experience and are educated about them. All tours
are by reservation only. Tip: Look at the grocery wish on their website before you come and bring some food for the
animals when you do.
A public tour is one where
anyone may come; a private tour is just you and your party. Here are just a few of the tours offered (check the website
for others): The Ranch Tour, for ages 13 and up, is a two-hour tour of the facility where you might have a hands on
experience with reptiles, ferrets, an armadillo, opossums, a fennec fox, wolf hybrids, cavies, a pig, a serval,
kangaroos, and Chrissy, the baboon. The tour is $45 per person for the public tour; $100 per person for a private tour.
The Monkey Experience, for ages 16 and up for the public tour, ages 10 and up for a private one, is a one-hour time of
monkeying around by possibly interacting with capuchin monkeys, a squirrel monkey and the baboon. This tour is $85 per
person for a public tour; $125 for a private. Children’s tours, which can be for all ages though geared for ages 8 and
under, is a one-hour experience to meet some of the most popular animals (but not monkeys). It is $25 for ages 13 and
up; $20 for ages 2 - 12; children under 2 are free. Note that VASQUEZ ROCKS (pg. 90) is just down the street.