Today I'm taking you to Williams, Arizona (near Flagstaff.) The famous Route 66 runs through the town and Bearizona is just outside of it.
Bearizona has two parts. One is a drive-through zoo where one has to keep the windows closed and drive slowly so as not to run into bears, buffalo, wild goats, rams, deer or wolves.
The other part is a walk-through zoo surrounded by a substantial fence with a carved bear guarding the entrance. In that area we saw porcupines, raccoons, more bears, some small wild cats (maybe lynx), foxes and enjoyed a demonstration of birds of prey. There were a few peacocks running about loose. And they had a cage of money-grubbing Ravens. If you slipped the end of a dollar into the cage, one of them would take it and place it into a donation box.
I have mixed feelings about zoos. I am an animal lover who enjoys seeing live animals that I would never see in the wild, yet I hate to see them locked up. I know that keeping some endangered species in captivity is the only way to preserve them, but I don't think we're short of bears or rams, yet. These animals seemed to be well cared for and they live in settings as natural as they can be without being in the wild.
|Bearizona, near Williams, AZ|
|Close-up of bear sculpture.|
|Raven, trained to grab money|
and place it in a plexiglas donation box.
|Young bears are kept in a|
special section inside the
large fenced area. I think this
fellow is climbing a fake tree.