Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Abandoned Dinosaurs and Tigers

This last weekend we went to Eureka Springs to my best friends wedding (there will be a separate Blog about that once I get some pictures to go with it - I was a little busy and didn't get to take any). Nathan was valet parking at the wedding and spotted a dinosaur in the woods while driving some wedding guests. The next day we decided to go check it out. We figured out it was once a very popular dinosaur theme park call Land of Kong that had the world's largest King Kong statue, world's largest Noah's ark mural, and over 100 life-size dinosaur and cave man replicas! It was open from 1967-2005 - how have I not heard of this before? We went to Eureka Springs a lot growing up and I have never heard of this at all. We threw around the idea of sneaking in and looking around, but decided not to. It was pretty grown up and there were no trespassing signs everywhere so we decided to just look from the road. The place looked so cool, even all run down - I really wish there was somewhere like that to take out little dinosaur lover Noah!

After that we went to Turpentine Creek Tiger Refuge. It is a 465 acre refuge for tigers that have been rescued from bad situations. They also had some lions and tigers and a monkey and wolf. We went on a guided tour and got to see the tigers up really close - it was really cool. Noah seemed to really like it, even though he was "all out of walkings" until the end of the tour so we carried him through most of it. Some of these poor tigers were abused with cattle prods and others kept in captivity and then let loose in the wild with no way to take care of themselves. They are not using much of the 465 acres due to the expense of housing the animals ($22,000 to build each habitat area for the animals). I believe the guide said they are only using about 22 acres currently. I want to go back and visit again someday and see how it grows.

It was nice to just have Noah and be able to focus on him for a day, but SO strange to only have one kid. I am not sure what we did with our time and attention (and arms) before Ryan came along :)

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