Some friends of mine and I took a road trip out to The Wilds, where they practice conservation and restoration ecology. It is tens of thousands of acres of re-claimed strip mined land, donated by AEP. They have restored the soils, brought in grasses, and populated the area with all kinds of animals.
Here is the fun safari bus that we rode to travel through the acres of wildlife. They have paths running through different areas. Each area has multiple types of animals which are sorted by how they interact with each other, not what part of the world they are from.
Some of the animals were hanging out snacking.
Here's a part of a family grazing near one of the many lakes on the property. This particular lake also is full of carp.
It was quite a warm day, so this guy was just hanging out under the shade of a tree napping. I think he had a great idea.
I have many more photos of the beautiful animals living here. I will share them in future posts. Additionally, The Wilds have a lodge and other places you can stay overnight. They also have an assortment of tour options. Next visit I would like to take the sunset tour.
We had a great visit including a packed lunch overlooking the fields and a few stops off the tour to get out and walk around the areas. I recommend taking a trip and supporting the conservation and education efforts of this park.