Oregon Safari

An unexpected yet delightful attraction near Winston, Oregon, is the Wildlife Safari. Over 500 animals from the Pacific Northwest and around the world roam freely on this 600 acre property. Your two-hour drive through lets you admire these 75 species up close. The experience is a wonderful adventure.

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Red-necked North African Ostrich at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon

The tallest ostrich species is this red-necked or North African ostrich. The bird stands over nine feet tall thanks to his enormous pink neck and long legs. Once widespread in Northern Africa plus parts of Egypt and Morocco, it is now considered critically endangered. This 300 pound, flightless bird can be seen at the 600 acre Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon.

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Reticulated Giraffe at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon

One look at this reticulated giraffe and you would guess the photo was taken in Kenya, Ethiopia or Somalia. Instead, it is from Weston, Oregon. The Wildlife Safari does a splendid job of creating natural habit for all of its animals. Unlike a zoo, you climb aboard an open jeep that bounces along dirt roads as if you were in Africa.

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Female Common Ostrich at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon

This female common ostrich from Africa holds several records among birds: its height at six to nine feet, its weight at 220 to over 300 pounds, the largest vertebrate, the fastest at over 40 m.p.h., the largest eggs at almost six inches and the fewest toes at two. Yes, when threatened, they do lay their heads on the ground in an attempt to hide. But they hold their head high at the Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon.

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Three Damara Zebras at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon

These three magnificent zebras are called Damara. This is a subspecies of the Burchell’s, which in turn is a subspecies of plains zebras. Confused? I am. They roam the plains of South Africa in herds. Zebras are very sociable. This is why they typically stand together. You can get a close look at them at the Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon.

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American Bison Bull Profile at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon

This is a profile of an American bison, also called an American buffalo. A bull’s weight ranges from 700 to over 2,000 pounds. In the 15th century, approximately 60 million American bison roamed the plains. After extensive hunting, those numbers declined to less than a thousand and almost became extinct. Today, bison herds can be found in several national parks, private ranches and public parks such as the Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon.

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Female Roosevelt Elk at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon

Of all the large animals on exhibit at the Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon, the Roosevelt elk’s natural habitat is probably the closest because they live in the Pacific Northwest forests. A herd of 5,000 is at the Olympic National Park in Washington state. The park was created by President Roosevelt in 1909. This gorgeous female elk, also called a cow, can weigh around 600 pounds and live 12 to 15 years in the wild. In protected facilities such as Wildlife Safari, an elk can reach their 25th birthday.

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Aoudad Barbary Sheep at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon

Barbary sheep, also called aoudad, are native to the mountains along the North African continent. They graze brushes and grasses during the early morning and late afternoon in order to avoid the heat. From their three foot standing position, they can propel their weight of 80 to 300 pounds into a seven foot leap. The shaggy beard suggests this is a male. He is one of over 600 animals you can see during a drive through of Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon.

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Young Roosevelt Elk in Creek at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon

The “Oregon Wild” website deservedly boasts about its population of Roosevelt elk such as this young elk standing in a pond. They live in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest during the summer and migrate to the lower, grasslands in the winter. They can also be seen at the Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon. He will grow up to be about 875 pounds with antlers measuring up to four feet.

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Guanaco Llama Full Profile at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon

There are approximately 400,000 to 600,000 guanaco llamas living wild in the mountain regions of western South America. This brown and cinnamon colored one lives at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon. Notice his wool. It is soft, warm, comparable to cashmere and is used extensively for clothes. The Wildlife Safari organization is “dedicated to conservation, education and research of native and exotic wildlife.” In 1986, they were accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

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Guanaco Profile at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon

The guanaco, also called the lama guanicoe, lives in herds of females and youngsters along with one dominate male. The animal is native to the mountainous regions of South America along the central and southern coasts. Standing just below four feet and up to 200 pounds makes them the largest wild mammal in the country. This adult guanaco lives at the Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon.

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Llama Profile at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon

This full grown llama stands about six feet tall, weighs up to 450 pounds and originates from the northwestern part of South America. They are used primarily as a work animal and also for their meat. This one’s job is to delight tourists. Wildlife Safari in Winston was founded by Frank Hart in 1972. Since then, it has grown into the only drive-through wild park in Oregon. Visitors can see over 500 animals among 75 species. Most of them are free range, living in habitats similar to their native country.

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White-naped Crane at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon

Dangerously few wild white-naped cranes remain in the Northern parts of China, Russia and Mongolia. This is why it is great to see zoos and animal management parks such as Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon, provide a natural-setting for these birds. Formerly called grus vipio, it stands four feet, weighs about a dozen pounds and has a distinguished red circle around its eyes.

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Emu Close Up at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon

The emu reminds me of a former frat brother: both are over six feet tall, have disheveled thinning hair, large beaks, are naturally curious, tend to stare at humans, make loud sounds, rarely drink but drinks a lot on occasion resulting in red eyes. The emu is a native of Australia and is featured on the country’s coat of arms along with the kangaroo. This emu resides at the Wildlife Safari in Weston, Oregon. He boldly runs up to your car window and begs for food … just like my cheapskate frat brother use to do.

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White Fallow Male Deer at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon

There are several subspecies of fallow deer. They range in size, coloring and location. This is a white fallow deer, also called Leucistic (not an albino). It is the rarest of the species. A wild herd lives in central Illinois. They are bred at the Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon. This male will maintain his broad antlers for three years, averages 200 pounds and can run up to 30 m.p.h.

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Alert White-tailed Deer Doe at Full Profile at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon

This alert, white-tailed doe was deciding whether to raise her flag before running at 30 m.p.h. Her coat is transitioning from its grayish brown in the winter towards its summer brown. She can weigh 90 to 200 pounds. There are over 40 subspecies of white-tailed deer across southern Canada and most of the U.S. This one lives at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon.

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Greater or American Rhea Close up at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon

The greater rhea, also called the American rhea, is endemic to eastern South America. Their name is derived from the Greek mother of the gods. This flightless bird looks similar to an ostrich. However, it is smaller at about five feet tall and weighs 80 pounds. Another difference is the rhea has three toes versus the ostrich’s two. They are a threatened species in the wild but are becoming popular among farmers for their meat, eggs, leather and oil used in cosmetics. This bird is one of the last you will see during your two-hour drive through the Wildlife Safari in Weston, Oregon.

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Two Black Swans Swimming at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon

The native country for these black swans is Australia. This graceful, swimming pair is among the 600 animals on exhibit at the Wildlife Safari in Weston, Oregon. The black swan’s most distinctive feature is its bright red bill leading to its long, curved neck. The wingspan can exceed six feet. They looked so peaceful until it was shattered by their bugle-like cry.

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Blue Budgie Parakeet Sitting on Branch at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon

Walk into any pet store and you will probably find a parakeet for sale. The nickname for this small, long-tailed bird is blue budgie. The formal name is the budgerigar. In the wilds of Australia, their coloring is predominately green and yellow. Their domestic cousins have been breed to reflect a rainbow of colors. This little guy is a male, indicated by the blue cere or area around his nostrils. He was very talkative when we met him at the aviary in the Safari Village section of Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon.

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