Custer State Park is one of the few places in the world where you are able to have amazingly up close and personal encounters with wildlife in their natural habitats.
Today, we entered Custer State Park from the Southern entrance passing Wind Cave National Park.
Here was our first up close encounter with Tatankas.
We then took the Wildlife Loop Road, 18 miles of winding two way road through open grasslands and rolling hills speckled with pine trees. The drive takes nearly two hours as J.J. often stopped for me to photograph animals. At times, he had to wait for them to cross the street.
We stopped at the area where burros make their home. They are descendants from a herd that once hauled visitors & supplies to Black Elk Peak. Now, one of the celebrated wildlife in the park, these large but seemingly tamed burros approach people begging for handouts. Honu was blocked by a large male donkey. Since there was not much we could do to persuade him to move, J.J. went out and took some close up photos while I remained inside the safety of Honu.
This was a truly a bountiful day for wild animal sightings including pronghorn, bighorn sheep and prairie dogs. I am looking forward to seeing elk, mountain goats, white tailed deer and mule deer, and coyotes, but only from a distance.
Aloha -- Cathi