Now to start our morning off! I picked up the ladies @ 9:30 and we headed for the 20+ miles to Two Tails Ranch in Williston. This is our group anxiously waiting (the ladies are waving!) for the gate to open and let us in! There were three cars in front of us already!
They had chairs set up outside of the elephant pen for us to listen to the founder give us some information on the farm and elephants.
In order, from L to R: Eunice, MaryLee, Marcia, Betty and Carol!
The tour started with the founder, Patricia Zerbini giving us some wonderful information and insight into the lives and decline of the Asian elephants. Pat had so much information and knowledge to share with us...you can tell her life is all about the elephants and her wanting to share that knowledge with the world!
Everyone had questions, even some teenagers in our group engaged with Patricia.
This is Luke! He was in the area behind where Pat was giving us our orientation. You can see he has his tusks on the rock and his right foot, resting! And just FYI (this is for you Alice!), the Asian elephant is the only one with crossed tusks.
This was Luke holding a paint brush and painting a picture!! Pat would dip the brush in paint and "hand" it to Luke! Just so cute!
It was so interesting to hear Pat talk about the Asian elephant being Endangered and how the African elephant is on the 'vulnerable list' right now. They'll be endangered next. I've often thought myself how cruel it is to have this beautiful animal in captivity but when you have folks like Patricia and her team who are trying to save these animals, you can see where it's better to have them in captivity then to have their fate be dieing for their ivory. In addition, the loss of habitat, due to humans and again, killing of wild elephants because of the crop damage they do is certainly putting these animals in jeopardy. Guess I'll get off my soap box because it's slipping...mainly because I'm not as informed about the decline and about folks like Patricia, but she certainly gave me food for thought! And I'm going to learn more!
This was Carol feeding the elephant...I have a video of her and I which will be at the end, in addition to my getting up on the elephant!
There were also birds (blue front amazon that looked just like Gracie!), giant tortoise, zebra's and even a small museum which had a collection of fossils, artifacts and items for sale.
What a great day with the ladies! We stopped for lunch in the small town of Williston and had a good meal! Thank you for my lunch, Carol!
I think everyone had a great time and also got a new perspective on the life of elephants! I'm going to bring Bob here next year! He'd love it!
So for your viewing pleasure, here's this old grandma getting up on the elephant! I want to go back tomorrow!!! I'd even volunteer to work there!!! If you are in the Williston, Ocala area, this is definitely a tour you want to take! Great for kids of all ages! Even us grandma's!