Summer campers at the Texas Lions Camp were treated to a Sensory Safari conducted by Hill Country Safari Club Chapter President Ed Hitchler, Chapter Treasurer Rebecca Williamson, board member Jan Strauss, along with chapter members Mark German and Alec Strauss.
Ken Wilson, chapter member and owner of Ken Wilson Realty in Kerrville, started the Sensory Safari at Texas Lions Camp in 1994, and the chapter continues this annual tradition. This summer, chapter volunteers taught approximately 30 campers and counselors about various wildlife, horn vs. antler distinctions, habitat and even some nicknames, such as the “grey ghost” of Africa.
Originally designed for the visually impaired, the Safari Club International safari experience has expanded to include wildlife zoos, natural history museums, libraries, senior citizens and the disabled.
“In this unique event, knowledgeable leaders describe the animals and their habitats as participants touch, and sometimes hug, the displays,” a spokesman for the Safari Club said in a press release. “Donors have supplied a full-size grizzly bear, Rio Grande turkey, whitetail and mule deer antlers, mountain lion rug, skulls and skins, caribou antlers in velvet, axis antlers, kudu horns, water buffalo horns and skull, as well as shoulder mounts of deer, sheep, goats, hartebeest and many other interesting animals. Whether stroking the thick fur of a bear or the soft velvet of an antler, or feeling the sharp teeth of a mountain lion, the participants have the opportunity to experience what many people have not.”
Texas Lions Camp is a residential camping facility whose primary purpose is to provide, without charge, a camp for physically disabled, hearing/vision impaired and diabetic children from Texas.
Safari Club International’s primary focus is promoting wildlife conservation and hunters’ rights.