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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Taste of Things to Come

On Sunday my cousin who lives in Kent told me she'd seen on the local news that the huge, gazillion acre animal park near her has two new tiger cubs. I had a little look on their website, and found that two little girls were born on June 27th. Of course, a visit was absolutely imperative, so I drove my friend down there today.

It was not a very pleasant day, but the rain was supposed to clear up. It sort of did, but the day remained grey. There was no sign of the tigers when we arrived, so we went on a lengthy visit of this massive, VERY hilly park with a view to returning for the 4pm tiger talk.

The dholes are Asian hunting dogs. They look a bit like big foxes. These seemed quite calm.

Samira is a disabled lion. She was born with a neurological problem caused by an abnormality in her spine, but because she was bitten by her father, it was years before they found out the real cause of her disability. As a cub she had sessions in a doggy therapy pool. There were no signs to say she had been moved up next to the snow leopard enclosure, so because she was rolling over in ecstacy rather than walking with her wobbly gait, we didn't even realise at first it was her.

Now for the reason for our visit: the tiger babies. Mum has plenty of teats, but they still fell over each other to get a good feed. Considering they were just 2 months old today, they are already big, sturdy, brave, feisty girls. Dad was in a mood, yet they still braved approaching him. He gave mum a growl and stalked off, only returning to turn tail on the audience and try to spray them. Fortunately he was pretty easy to read, and they managed to duck out of the way in time.

This little girl was half suckling, half asleep (complete with feet off the ground). Her sister is just to the left also either feeding or sleeping.
I have some movie footage of the cubs playing, and also of some margays and the Scottish wild cat female, but it's late and I'm shattered, so I'll leave that for tomorrow.
(If you click on the pictures you can see more detail.)


Anonymous said...

Oh Val, these creatures are absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing the zoo with us.

Anonymous said...

That one with the cub's back paws in the air and cute butt sticking up is beyond adorable. It's such a treat to see these from you; really just beautiful shots...thank you, Val!

renee said...

I really enjoy your animal pictures and zoo escapades! And I especially liked your home project and chick tales!!

Thanks for sharing!!

JoJo said...

They are so CUTE!! I love the fox-dog too.

Did you hear about the person who was trying to smuggle a tiger cub out of Asia today? Thankfully the poor baby was discovered in the airport!

Music Wench said...

Thanks so much for sharing those photos!

Jean said...

Thanks for the photos, the babies are beautiful!

ann said...

gorgeous - and the cubs share rachel's birthday - aaaaaah!

Ruby said...

Exquisite photos, Val! Thank you SO much for sharing!

potzina said...

They're too cute! Thanks for sharing those wonderful pix and your experience.

SnarkAngel said...

As usual, you spoil us with great pics of all these cuties! Thanks for the treats! XOXO

jazzy said...

They do have a therapy pool? Wow! Obviously the keepers do a good job; Samira seems to enjoy herself.

val said...

It's not the zoo's, Jazzy, a local private one heard about the lion and offered the sessions.

jazzy said...

Bless them!

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