Fowler opens fields for sneak peak at wild - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fowler opens fields for sneak peak at wild

August 30, 2003

Albany- Follow Jim Fowler through this gate and you'll get a clear view of what he sees as the future of Chehaw.

"It's the unpredictability and adventure that counts," Fowler said.

And it would be, he says, the ride of a lifetime.

"But see, we'll go in with bears and with mountain lions and wolves and everything."

Out here, with the help of a little feed, it's animals out of Africa.

"These are Eland antelope. These are the largest antelope in the world."

For this herd and their striped friends, this field is their world and we're the visitors, getting to watch them roam and run, but without any gates or cages, the way Fowler says people should be seeing animals at Chehaw.

"It gives you the idea of what it's like to be up close and personal. And having animals do something. Not just sitting around sleeping."

Not far away, the Ostriches may be behind a gate, but they're not afraid of anyone and they come so close, you see just about every hair on their odd little heads. Getting to zoom in on Zebra stripes with our own eyes in a ride where animals would approach us is the way to bring people and money to this part of the country.

"Look at that site right there. You'd have to go to Africa to see anything like that. So they big question is so why? The only justification for a place like Chehaw or for here even, is that we have to make people care about the natural world."

And Fowler says he can do that if the people who run Chehaw will quit closing the gate on the ways to make it a park unlike any other.

posted at 11:11 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com