Animal Kingdom Savannah Grasses

Kennon-Green & Co. Fiduciary Financial Advisor, Wealth Management, Global Value Investing

Leaving for Safari

We'll be spending most of the day in the Animal Kingdom park, which is the largest African wildlife preserve in North America. I'm going all white with polarized sunglasses because it is between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

If ever there were a time for a khaki hunting suit from Brooks Brothers, a silver engraved Fratelli Rizzini gun, and an interesting title such as “Colonel” or “Judge”, today would be it.  We are going to take the in-park Safari tour of the African wildlife preserve that the Disney company put together with the United States National Forest & Wildlife Agency.

I’m looking forward to the experience because, as many of you know, one of the five focuses of The Kennon & Green Foundation is wildlife preservation and the avoidance of species extension.  Mankind has essentially found itself as the dominant life form on a veritable paradise rich in both resources and biodiversity.  I consider is profound moral evil to permit the extinction of genetic assets.  

Furthermore, it is in our interest to do so.  By looking to millions of years of nature at work, we can better understand superior engineering techniques and materials (e.g,. the strength of spider silk), organizational theory (e.g., the starfish versus the spider), adhesive chemicals (flies climbing windows), aerospace technology (flight of various birds), energy efficiency (e.g,. shark’s bodies are covered in dermal denticles called placoid scales that “reduce frictional resistance” allowing swift movement through water with reduced metabolic expenditure), space travel (e.g., bionics professor Ingo Rchenberg discovered the cyclist spider in the Sahara dessert that, when frightened, cartwheels away, doubling its speed; this has been used as a model for the “Saltomobil”, a prototype spacecraft that doesn’t require any wheels or chains to move), and much more.  

Tree of Life at Disney Animal Kingdom

The entire Disney Animal Kingdom is built around an enormous "Tree of LIfe" that features carvings of animals in its trunk.

Mt Everest at Disney Animal Kingdom

The Mt. Everest roller coaster at Disney Animal Kingdom provides a great backdrop, as well as a fun ride. Despite my usual aversion to roller coasters, I have a general rule: I will almost always ride one if there is a Yeti involved.

Bird Island at Disney Animal Kingdom Wildlife Preserve

The tour began with a view of birds on an island surrounded by hippos, which were walking on the bottom of the lake. Hippos are vicious and will kill men by essentially chewing them to death. They are incredibly territorial. Never, never go near hippos in the wild. They are vicious and brutal.

Bird on Knees

This is some weird bird that snaps is legs in half and rests on its knees! Look closely and you'll see.

Animal Kingdom Savannah Grasses

The wildlife preserve at Animal Kingdom replicated the savannah grasses of Africa that serve as the migratory highways of a big part of the world's animals.

Baobab - The Upside Down Tree

A Baobab, or upside down tree, has a legend attached to it: When God planted it, the tree kept walking so God pull it up and replanted it upside down to keep it from going anywhere. Some scientists believe the trees can live to be more than 2,000 years old but it is difficult to tell due to the lack of growth rings. The tree can exist without leaves for 9 or 10 months of the year.



Lioness on Rock

A lioness resting on a rock ...

Cut Off By a Rhino

A rhino decided he would start walking toward the road and almost cut us off ... we would have had to wait for it to move, no matter how long it took.

Elephants at Disney Animal Kingdom

When we passed the elephants, at one point a mother elephant was wrapped trunk-in-trunk with her baby and teaching it different skills. It was awesome to see.

Ostrich at Disney Animal Kingdom Safari

An ostrich can run up to 40 miles per hour. They had these enormous nests of eggs laid randomly throughout the wildlife reserve.

Flamingo Island at Disney Animal Kingdom

When it is born, a flamingo is grey but by eating shrimp, their bodies absorb certain nutrients that transform their feathers to pink.

Rare Animal at Disney Animal Kingdom

This animal - I don't recall the species name - is endangered. There are only 500 or so on the planet, and you're looking at 5, or 1% of the global population, in this picture.

Giant African Fish

I liked the giant African fish at the Animal Kingdom wildlife preserve. It hung out and watched the people as much as we watched it - and it's eye movements looked more intelligent. That may sound weird, but it looked as if he or she were actually looking around and processing what was going on in the room.

Tigers at Animal Kingdom

The tiger area, in a different part of the Animal Kingdom reserve, was the coolest enclosure. If I had been an animal, I would have wanted to have the tiger's home. They had this really awesome waterfall that isn't shown here ...

Macaw at Disney Animal Kingdom

The Macaw were just out in the open in the Animal Kingdom, sitting in their tree as a squirrel tried to steal their food and evade them. I voted for team mammal and wanted the squirrel to win (which it did).

It’s brutal out here today but being in the shade helps.  We’re going to see if we can get into our lunch reservation early to get out the heat.