Wildlife Adventure

A few weeks ago, my friend Adèle told me she had a something special planned for my birthday, which is next week. She told me to pick a day, but she wouldn’t tell me what we were going to do. I picked today. Last week, she told me that I needed a few things for our special day. This is the list she sent me:

– camera

– notepad

– running shoes

– skates

– bathing suit

If you’re thinking what the…? I know. So was I. I tried to think of what activity could require these items. Someone suggested maybe a scavenger hunt. I thought maybe some kind of rallye. Then I began to wonder if I really would need these items, or if it was just to throw me off track.

I showed up at my friend’s house today, not knowing what to expect. A few other friends were there too. My friend Lyli told me to close my eyes, and she would give me a clue. So I closed my eyes and held out my hands in which she placed… a bag of carrots! Wait, what? Then Adèle asked me where I could possibly use a bag of carrots. Was there any place I had been dreaming of going to for years that would require carrots?

This is the point where I jumped up and down squeeling “Parc Oméga!” Parc Oméga is a wildlife park where you can drive around and feed the animals. They only have Canadian animals and I had been trying to get my friends together all summer to go with me, but it never worked out. Also, I was right about the list being designed to throw me off, all I needed was my camera. And the carrots, of course.

Four of us headed out with lots of energy, music and carrots. The park is about an hour outside the city and when we got there, the first animals we saw were elk. They were very greedy and kept sticking their head in the car to get more carrots. My friend Claudine kept yelling “Roll up your window!” while I mostly just made very high-pitched sounds.

We also saw wild boar. I threw some pieces of carrots on the ground for them, but I didn’t really want them eating out of my hand.

We were told not to feed the males, because it’s mating season and they are quite aggressive, but this little guy did not seem very aggressive. He still had his Bambi spots! He got a carrot.

This guy, however, looked a little less innocent. He was chasing the females and stomping his feet and being all manly. He didn’t get any carrots.

How could you say no to this face?

We saw some Arctic foxes, but we couldn’t feed them. They looked like fluff balls, but somehow I doubt they would have let me pet them.

The caribou didn’t come anywhere near us. I think maybe it’s because we didn’t bring any lichen.

One of the rules is “Don’t get out of your car” except when you get to some of the walking areas. I find it quite strange that we were told not to feed the males from the safety of our car, but we could walk around with them. It looked like they were playing tag, but I’m guessing that wasn’t it.

I tried to feed this little guy, but he was skittish and wouldn’t come close enough.

I pretended to feed Adèle the carrot, so he would know what to do with it, and he was all “Dude, that’s my carrot.”

Even after all that, he still wouldn’t eat it, so I found another deer who wanted a snack. They chew with their mouth open. How rude.

We were freezing so we got back in the car and saw some bison. This one was scratching his butt, which, compared to the rest of him, is quite tiny.

These two were very impressive, and they knew it. I think they practice posing at night, telling each other how strong and beautiful they look.

This one was so adorable, he got the last of the carrots. We wanted to break the “don’t get out of the car” rule and pet him, but we restrained ourselves.

This one heard from his elk friends that we had carrots, and he wanted some. Sadly, we were all out.

We also saw wolves. Two of them were playing, when another one came and messed up their game. One of them left, then the others followed him and sat on his head. True story.

We saw coyotes, baby boar and a moose. We stayed until it was too dark to see anything else, then we came home. Such a perfect day! Much better than what I was imagining when I saw the list, which included skating in my swimsuit and taking pictures while running. This was much better! I am very lucky to have such great friends! xxx

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