Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rhino and Lion park

We took J&C to the Rhino and Lion Park situated in the Cradle of Humankind on Saturday morning. We'd heard the lions were rather large and wanted to see them up close. While I fully support what the lion park is doing by breeding rare white lions and wild dogs in captivity (and hopefully releasing them into the wild), the experience felt canned. You know, like the canned lion hunting we read about in the news (if you are sensitive to unnecessary brutality, don't watch the canned lion hunt video clip).

The Wonder Cave
You walk down 87 steps, climb into a rickety lift which takes you 60m underground.

The lift coming down from the entrance.

Praying Mary

The Mushroom which is approximately 2.5 billion years old

Big Cats :

At the entrance to the animal creche is a closed off touchy feely enclosed area where for R30 (about $5) you get to spend 5 minutes playing with a cub. The one on the ground being petted is about 8 months old. One of the main reasons we took J&C was to let C pet a lion cub. She's been talking about doing it since last September when we were at Zebula. This little one though was far too active for me to feel comfortable letting her go in. Hell I didn't even want to go in when the keepers all rushed up to pull him off a woman's foot.

Odi the leopard

One of the animal trainers told us that he gets miffed because he gets few visitors. His enclosure is way across the other side of the animal enclosures. She told us to call to him and he might be bored enough to come to the fence. After a few minutes spent calling to no avail, an ex employee (and Odi's trainer once) stopped by for a visit. Odi immediately sprang up and stalked / ran to the fence when he heard his name being called. Then he stalked the man up and down the length of the enclosure. At one point he rubbed his head up against the gate and then got pissed because the man wasn't really touching him. When he growled, something in the primal part of my brain said oh shit!

A half grown cub

At 1pm on Wednesdays, Saturdays and public holidays the lions are fed. We checked out the feeding area before going to the caves...the cow carcass from earlier in the week.

One of the two white lions walked between the vehicles circling the clearing where the pride was eating. Not something you want to come across in the wild, less than 2m from your window out of nowhere.

A cub tried to follow a female through the reeds to the watering hole just behind where all the cars were standing. Check out the blood soaked face.

The tigers
The one time I saw a tiger was at The Farm Inn a few years ago. It was hiding behind some bushes in a large enclosure and we didn't get too close. These 3 were right up against the fence. Huge beautiful monsters (I'm reading the Sookie Stackhouse books right now. I could not imagine walking amongst the wereanimals without shitting myself after seeing these 3.)

On the way out, we saw 2 rather large rhinos. This is what poachers kill for.

1 comment:

Ei said...

God those Lion pics are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing, C.