National Geographic : 1969 Jul
Riding two tons of killer whale, trainer Jim Richards thrills spectators at Sea World, a 50-acre oceanarium and marine circus in Mission Bay. Eight-year-old Shamu stretches 16 feet in length. Pretending sickness, Shamu visits "Doctor" Richards (below). After ex amining her-putting his head in her mouth - he pronounces her cured. Shamu rewards him with a kiss. One afternoon I stood with the zoo chief atop a barren hill overlooking a portion of the proposed reserve where animals from East Africa would live. Behind us lay irrigated fields of alfalfa; to the front-wilderness, nothing but stark, brushy, boulder-strewn, hilly, soul-satisfying wilderness. "You would enter the area by the main street of Nairobi as it looked early in the century," said Dr. Schroeder. "We'd re-create it, even to the front of the old Norfolk Hotel. You would view the animals from a narrow gauge railroad. "We've had people here from East Africa who felt right at home," he added. "Looks like parts of Kenya, doesn't it?" "The animals won't even realize they've left the East African bush," I assured him.* Father Junipero Serra, too, would have felt right at home in that stark setting, I reflected 138 later. The hill where he raised his cross in 1769 and built his mission must have looked much like the proposed reserve: dry, rugged, with little tillable land. The choice had been one of expediency. Most of the Spanish colo nizers had been sent by ship, and more than half had died of scurvy. Father Serra and Portola arrived by land, but their men also were in poor shape. So they picked a con venient hill to build on-and fortify. This site is now a handsome park, with the Serra Museum on its crest and a concrete-and tile cross marking the point where the Fran ciscan is believed to have raised his wooden one. Nothing above ground remains of the old mission, though excavations now are uncov ering parts of the foundations. At the foot of the hill lie many interesting buildings, most *See "Kenya Says Harambee," by Allan C. Fisher, Jr., NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, February 1969.