The Wilds – Wildside Tour

Written by Danielle and Andrew Livelsberger
Photography by Andrew Livelsberger

The Wilds is a non-profit conservation preserve that focus’ on animals, trying to provide education to the masses as well as care for and reintroduce near extinct species back into the wild.   They have several tour options.  The most immersive is the “Wildside Tour”, in which up to 8 people travel off road into the habitats and get to experience the animals that are there up close.   Kind of like an African or Asian safari in the midwest of the United States.   The Wilds is located about an hour east of Columbus Ohio in a town called Cumberland.   The facility is 10,000 acres and was re-purposed in the 1950’s as a conservation area.  It was formerly a strip mining location.

The wife and I decided to forgo the usual July 4th (american independence day) festivities and spend the day experiencing The Wilds once again.  We had been here before, but it was many years ago, and we had never taken this specific tour.

Here are a few images from that day.

Pere David’s Deer – only survived because of European captive animals programs.  This male is looking down at the alpha and his herd

They attract females by covering themselves in dung and mud, then ripping clumps of grass and flowers from the ground and parading around with them in their rack. This was the current alpha male

Female zebras

Scimitar-Horned Oryx

Female white rhino

My wife getting a quick phone pick of the rhino herd

Male ostrich is very interested in us….and air biting.

We first met a female ostrich, but she was chased off quickly by this male…then he came back up to our truck and wanted to follow us around for quite a while.  He was very curious

Banteng calf hiding in the tall grasses with mom

The Sammy Davis Jr of  Fringe Eared Oryx’s

African Painted Dog.  Was hyper active because the facility was currently mowing grass outside the habitat

Giraffe wants his romaine lettuce

18 inch tongue wraps around that yummy stuff

Close up

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