When you think about getting up close with wild animals, what is the first place that comes to mind? Does it have three letters and rhyme with moo? Then you probably don’t live around here! When I think about animals, the first thing that comes to MY mind is Busch Gardens.
WHAAAAT? A THEME PARK? Yes. A theme park. What many people don’t know is just how much BG loves and rescues animals. They have been conserving and caring for animals for 39 years. Currently their parks work with and support over 100 environmental organizations, and they work hard to spread awareness and teach about conservation to all of their guests. Pretty awesome, right?
Now, we’d hoped to get up close and personal with some birds in the bird house we put together, but so far, no bird seems to be interested in pooping out some eggs close enough for us to watch. Big fat bummer. Luckily for us, we live a stone’s throw from Busch Gardens and last week we won a behind the scenes animal tour! It’s like it was meant to be.
Busch Gardens offers a number of different tours for just about anything at the park you can think of- but the ones we’ve always wanted to go on were the animal tours- especially now since the boys have been learning about animals, habitats, and conservation lately. They set us up on the “Wolf Training Up Close” tour.
When you visit Busch Gardens, you can’t help but to stop at Wolf Valley to watch the wolves prowl their sanctuary. They are downright beautiful. Over the years we’ve watched as they brought in new pups, and their most recent addition, Boise, was rescued off the side of a road in (you guessed it) Boise Idaho. He was thought to be a German Shepherd puppy; little did they know! If you go at the right time, you might even be able to catch a few of the wolves in a show. Wolves doing tricks, whaaaat? How?? That is what the up-close tour is all about. That and SO much more!
Boise was a little too bashful to come out for our tour, but we did get some quality time with his pack mates. I don’t want to give too much away- but if you go to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, take some time away from the rides and go hang out with the wolves! We learned all about their temperaments, how they think, how they act in their packs, how and why they get trained, and even got to help train them ourselves! Not much compares to having a wolf stare straight at you waiting for his next command.
Here are some of my favorite pictures from our tour (and although I did not get the trainer talking to us the whole time on camera, she and ALL the trainers were some of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet!)
I got to give it a shot, too!
And probably my FAVORITE part? The howl!
Here’s a video of my boys howling along!
Trust me when I say that it is an experience you will remember! I can’t wait to go behind the scenes at Busch Gardens again!
Dear people writing articles on ways to get siblings to get along, I'll save you the time. The answer is "Don't let them play together"
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Hard pass from me pic.twitter.com/VayvW1eopK
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Parenthood is when you start counting the minutes to bed time before 11am.