Texas safari: how to distinguish a bull from an antelope? I Remember
from the childhood: to our small town there arrived the menagerie - blue cars placed on waste ground perimeter, having formed a rectangle. In cars animals from all over the world: jackals, burros, monkeys, camels, foxes, deer...
Sluggish, exhausted, with glassy looks of slaves, they dejectedly stood, sat and lay behind lattices of cages, only wolves and a tiger rushed about in the closed space, grinning.
Not that I felt sorry for them - rather, it was the first subconscious rejection of unfreedom. Later, already young daddy, I carried a family in a stationary zoo in Kaunas: as experts, one of the best in the territory of the USSR claimed. There lived both elephants, and giraffes, and seals, but in memory the polar bear got stuck. Summer, a heat, the felted yellow wool, heavy breath, near the concrete basin is not present even a hint on a shadow. And years for five before I happened to see a polar bear on islands in the Kara Sea, in its native habitat: the handsome in the shining fur coat, a strong, independent and dangerous animal!.
Since then in zoos I - a leg. Near Newfoundland observed mating dance of killer whales, on the way to the Canary Islands - smiling dolphins and a flock of flying fishes, at the coast of Panama - lonely proud albatrosses and family clans of pelicans. And the growling, bleating, jumping and creeping animals - only on the TV, in the company of the unfading optimist Nikolay Nikolaevich Drozdov.
It is more interesting to observe animals alive, not on “box“. And the animal needs freedom. And as alternative to close cages of menageries in many countries safaris - parks appeared. One of such parks - “The African safari in the Texas style“ - is near the city San - Antonio, the State of Texas where we also go.
Contrary to the name, a safari not absolutely African, among animals there are many natives of Asia and America. Visitors move on park in own cars, it is authorized to feed “owners“, the forage bag to you together with the entrance ticket is handed by the cashier. It is forbidden to go out of cars. Artiodactyl cavicorn live here in the basic: this class includes both antelopes, and bulls, and rams. Yes, gazelles with buffalo s relatives, despite different weight categories! Even zoologists sometimes doubt whom to what subspecies to carry.
The first goat met by us in the territory of park appeared... ram. Jubate ram. With goat a beard and horns. To mix not subtly, the jubate ram is considered “transitional model“ between sheep and goats. Slightly are at some distance grazed, pinching from time to time a poor grass, the king of the American prairies a bison and his African relative a gnu antelope. It is difficult to confuse these with someone, but when they are nearby with each other - amazingly, nearly one person!
Right there the broad-fronted bull gayal roams. Here family of Asian buffalo s: in India it is a livestock, they differ from our Russian cows, perhaps, only in huge horns. To approach closer and we will not feed, such horns easily and it is easy pierced any car. We continue the movement.
The antelope oriks, or sernobyk roams about a stony glade. You look separately at the head - it seems an antelope; you look at a trunk - characteristic bull ridge; however everything together is not bad combined. Jumped out from - for trees the male of an antelope of Koudou easy and tonkonogy, a look cocky, even slightly aggressive; the head is rather heavy, on a face as if the mask of the aggressive African tribe Masayev stiffened. Bubal keeps more simply as an ordinary rural goat. More precisely as a cow - bubat treats a subfamily of cow antelopes. And, as real “bumpkin“, it is extraordinary hardy.
On a roadside of an asphalt path we are met requirements by an antelope Mendez, or an addax: it is possible to identify it on an accurate bang, a hairstyle obviously not from Sergey Zverev. Among thickets of a high bush very unusual copy is found: a small horned head on a massive trunk. The first that came to mind, - the fairy tale about doctor Aybolit and an exotic kilimandzharsky animal Pull - Push. But the copy is from the Himalayas, the antelope to a nilga is called. It - a blue bull. Here also understand here “racial“ accessory...
Walk in the park of a lama also ostriches, zebras and deer. On separate from all territories, behind a strong grid - the chain-link, hippopotamuses live - that nobody was crushed, camels - that spat at nobody, and giraffes - that got nobody. The personal island is allocated to lemurs. Ordinary domestic chickens have an individual hen house and a popugaynik - at parrots.
And let the safari - parks cannot be considered as absolute freedom, “Iron Curtain“ of menageries all - is destroyed by them.