The Aoudad of Timbavati Wildlife Park
Greetings friends and welcome to this week’s post! First let me begin by saying welcome to September. The summer season is drawing to a close and while some businesses in our area are shutting their doors for the year, we are still rocking and rolling through the fall! We’re actually open all year long for tours. Ok moving on from the opening volley here, we have a double topic this week. For Search Engine Optimization (SEO) purposes, I need to type the word “Aoudad” in the first paragraph LOL.
Ok the picture you’re seeing here is our very own herd of aoudad. They are hanging out in an exclusive pasture at Timbavati Wildlife Park. Visitors who ride the Safari Train Ride are treated with our Aoudad Encounter. What exactly is an aoudad you ask? Let’s take a look and see.
The name “aoudad” was given to the Barbary sheep by the Berbers who are a North African people. The sheep as seen in our picture above are great climbers and love the mountains in North Africa. Their horns are made out of keratin just like our fingernails. Every winter the horn gets a new ring on it kind of like a tree does annually.
The aoudad is an herbivore it enjoys grasses, flowers, leaves and shrubs. They live in dry places more often than not. Because of this, they are fully capable of getting all of the water that they need to survive out of the plants that they eat. When they find a water source, they will drink and wallow in it to their heart’s content.
An Aoudad Pasture
Now let’s shift to the second and I believe even more interesting topic, their pasture! As I stated earlier, the pasture that we have the aoudad in is exclusive to the Safari Train Ride. What I didn’t say was that their pasture used to be a go kart track. That’s right our founder the late Mark Schoebel had a vision for this part of the park when he decided he wanted to pull the track and put a pasture here. The second picture is what it looked like after the asphalt was pulled up but before the underpass was filled.
Mark had a vision of creating an environment that animals like the aoudad could use and climb over so he didn’t have the tunnel demoed and he just re-purposed it as a mini mountain for them. Mark’s projects and his vision for this project needed to be completed. In his absence and with the resolve to move forward, this and many other great projects that Mark was working on were completed by his son Matt Schoebel.
The picture that is featured on this blog post is the culmination of one of his final projects. It’s also something that I was very honored to photograph when I was alerted that “ALL” of the aoudad had lined up for a family photo. Our GM Rob came and got me and said “You have to get a shot of this because this was what Mark explained to me he was seeing when he began building this.”
It’s Completed With Love
It’s no easy task to pick up your father’s work. You miss that daily, hi how are you or being asked to do something counter to what you had planned. When you think of that loved one or parent you just ask yourself what would they do? They would finish and from the train cars that were being built to this pasture that Matt completed. These labors of love were completed in honor or Mark and with the resolve of his legacy.
You know what? He was right. I absolutely had to get a shot of this. Now we can all see what he saw when he envisioned it. Thanks for reading and we will see you all in the park!