Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Up close with cheetahs and tiger cubs in South Africa


Regular readers, will know that I love animals...

So when I had the chance to get up close and personal with these beautiful animals, I felt so blessed....

Before I went into their enclosed area, I was given a briefing...

1 - only go down on one knee so you can stand up quickly
2 - kneel behind them or slightly to the side.. never in front
3 - only pat the top of their head and back... never their face, tail or stomach



I was a bit nervous because I have the greatest respect for wild animals and their killer instincts and I knew that one wrong move that made them feel threatened in anyway and I could be ripped to shreds....

So I went in, and spent some time with them....

It was one of the most amazing experiences ever!



At one point the one that was with me got bored and walked off... because my time with them wasn't up yet, the trainer picked up a rope with a ball on the end and started spinning it around...

I watched their faces...

They became very curious...

The ball on rope kept spinning...

And in the next second, they were up and running and in front of me!


So suddenly I had 4 cheetahs in front of me! In the blink of an eye! Well, when they can move from zero to 80 kilometres per hour in 3 seconds, I was so glad I wasn't the ball, one of they prey or standing in front of them as they sprinted to the ball on rope!

Next I visited the baby cheetahs!

There were two of them and they were SO NAUGHTY! They could barely sit still for 2 seconds and I'm lucky to get this photo....



They were so cute!!!!

And last, I visited the tiger cubs...


They were also so naughty!

Running around and playing with their toys...


At one point, suddenly the tiger cub jumped onto my leg.... It's only two months old and I looked at it's paws and though it didn't knock me over from jumping onto me, I could still feel it's compacted power and understood how powerful these animals can be..... Though it wasn't trying to hurt me at all and was only playing, the trainer immediately growled and tapped it on the nose to know that it shouldn't do that.. They don't know how strong they are... And I wouldn't want the claws in those paws digging into me!


I'm sure you're curious as to what their fur feels like...

I expected it to feel like Skitso, Joberg or Tippex's fur (my cats at home)...

Maybe thick but still kind of soft.. they are after all, described as really big cats...

The best way I can describe their fur is it's like touching dry, over bleached hair....

And the little cheetahs and tiger cubs were sooooooooooo cute .... running around and playing with each other.....They reminded me so much of my cats.. the way they play.. but I knew I could never touch their stomach... anyone who has a cat knows that when you start touching their stomach, it's an invitation to play and they will start biting and clawing your hands...

Not a good idea with these guys!


My greatest respect and salute goes to all of the trainers and worker at this Cango Wildlife Ranch who work tirelessly to ensure these beautiful, stunning creatures are not driven to extinction....

And now my cats look like mice because they are so small compared to the cheetahs and tigers!

Special thanks to SHELL who invited me to join their group of winners from their Made to Move Competition ...

More photos and stories to come from South Africa!

Have a great weekend everyone.. I know I will be... It's my birthday!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

the tiger cubs are sooo cute!! wish they could've stayed that small for long so i can pet them..which is impossible.. :P

that sure is the most unforgettable moment in ur life aite? cool..! sure u're having a lot of fun there.. i'll wait for more pics then :D

SHISHA said...

Happy Birthday Sasha... Its easy for me to remember your birthday..same with my husband...

Being your silent reader for long..... now only come out..;)

megan said...

i think its cool you did that.Iv always been curious about animals since i was about 4 i hope you had a great birthday and that maybe i could do that someday ,or probably in 20 years because im only 10 hope i could see more pics!!!