Bengal tiger

Salinas--March, 2008

"You went to Salinas to go on safari for the weekend?!"

"Yeah, and we had a great time!"

Lori had read about the Vision Quest Ranch B&B in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle (please read the article for far more details). In addition to the B&B, the ranch supports several other organizations. The Wild Things company features exotic animal rentals for movies, advertisements, and presentations--you've definitely seen them. The Elephants from Africa Rescue Society (EARS) is a non-profit committed to supporting elephants that have retired from circuses and elsewhere. There is also the Oxton Kennels for dogs and cats. Which is convenient if you want to go on vacation but you can't bear to leave your animals behind.

This weekend was clearly all about the animals. Lori had spoke of taking trips to Monterey and beyond, but I didn't think that would happen. And it didn't. We didn't even spend any time on the work that we brought. Between the tours and visits to our tent by animals that you've never seen before, there is little time left to enjoy some wine and cheese while watching the animal's behavior. We fell asleep to the cacophony of frogs and were often awakened by the deafening roar of the lions.

Animal Visits

Feeding Butch

The Menagerie

From our vantage point, we could watch the daily activities. The first thing in the morning, helpers distribute hay and clean up the poop. Then a corp of owners, trainers, and volunteers bath the elephants. After getting cleaned up, the elephants throw a fresh coat of dirt on their back. Then they devour the piles of hay.

In addition to the elephants, there are also a couple of ostriches named Fred and Ethel. Fred manned the perimeter and would put on an aggressive display--I suppose, if you're an ostrich--in order to scare us off. Finally, there is a zebra who often played with Butch (the elephant) and Ethel (the ostrich).

The Collection

The Little BIG Cat Room

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