Saturday, July 4, 2009

Bear Country USA and President's Park

Since we were just in the Black Hills a year ago, Dad and I decided to visit some of the lesser known attractions this year — Bear Country USA and President's Park.

Bear Country is a drive-through wildlife park with plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with the critters!  There are fences to keep the animals apart from each other, but they can come right up to the vehicles if they want to.

The bears were being fed while we were there and there were pieces of raw meat and slices of whole wheat bread scattered along the roadside.  Curiously enough, most of the bears seemed to be more interested in the bread than the meat.  One of the largest bears came right up to the car and we had to wait for him to amble across the road in front of us before we could move on.

We even caught a couple of bears in the act of doing "the naughty", though the little female didn't seem to be enjoying it that much.  Maybe bears aren't that different from humans?

We also saw reindeer, Artic wolves, timber wolves, mountain goats, Big Horn sheep, miniature mules and even a white buffalo!  For the kids, there is a baby animals petting zoo, too, but we didn't stop to see that this trip.

Since we had received a free pass to President's Park while in Mitchell, we headed there next.  This attraction is fairly new and doesn't seem to be well-known yet.  There are 20-foot-tall busts of each one of the presidents along a pleasant half-mile walk.  Each president also has his biography on a plaque nearby.  The bust of President Obama was in place, but not quite finalized.  Note the wet plaster at his neckline!


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