The Wildlife Heritage Foundation is a big cat sanctuary in Kent, SE England. Apart from "experience days" - photography, keeper-for-a day etc - it is not open to the public. But for four consecutive days each July it has open days, and on Friday my friend and I went to one.
Can you imagine? A whole day of nothing but big cats? Heaven!
The secretive louded leopard is usually hidden in the foliage of the zoo enclosures I've failed to see them in. So who knew they had such long tails?
I did know they had such beautiful heads, though. And that they are really quite small.
Just next door were the Pallas cats. She looked sweet-natured and cuddlable.
He wore an unmistakeable scowl. Who knew cats could actually scowl?
His keeper thought it was specially for her.
There was a complete pride of white lions, and a white tiger.
But the animals themselves left the best till last. The black jaguar Athena only appeared when the majority of the day's visitors (1500 I believe) had gone. This beauty had a mate till he died last year. Apparently he could be a bit rough with her, so her ears are rather small...from being bitten and nibbled. Bet she's glad he's gone!
When I got home to my own little panther I could again imagine I was stroking the black velvet coat of the big one.
Incidentally, Mac was anxious for an outing yesterday, but he kept running into Twiglet, then running away. I saw him disappear upstainrs. Then I went out the front door, where he's always trying to get, and there he was, crossing the road to my side, white chest patch and all.
I rushed inside, and there confirmed that Mac was in the house. Apparently he has a double. Panic over.
Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.
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