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Life and Vincent

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

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Made In Metal

After much delay I've finally had my other shoulder replaced and am recuperating. Before the operation I went to see my beloved tiger JaeJae at London Zoo before he was shipped off to Denmark for the breeding programme, while another male was to be shipped in to breed with Melati.

But he didn't go then, and I finally struggled to the zoo yesterday ashe's now due to go sometime this month. He remains the handsomest tiger I have ever seen, and Melati the prettiest.

Two of the lioness sisters were keeping warm in a covered area, while the third was elsewhere out in the open. The male is still persona non grata among the ladies.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Last Day Out

As I'm off to have my left shoulder replacement on Wednesday and will be unable to drive for a while afterwards, I had to use up my free pass to Howlett's Wild Animal Park, which is the new home of London Zoo's Sumatran tiger "cub" Achilles.

He's the proud lord of his own territory now.

I just missed the snow leopards play fighting, they were retuning to their den by the time my camera was out.

The clouded leopards were as difficult to see as usual.

As a bonus I saw a housemartin feeding her young in a nest under the veranda roof of the restaurant. She flew past people's heads and they appeared not to even notice.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Maya the Jaguar and the Big Cats Open Day

Every year the Wildlife Heritage Foundation's Big Cats Sanctuary has four open days. Last year I was laid up after my surgery and had to give away my ticket. All I asked for was lots of pictures and all I got was almost none.

This year I was determined to make it, so I bought my ticket as soon as I received email notification of their going on sale. This turned out to be fortunate - later there was a 4-episode documentary about the place which featured a tiny black jaguar from a neighbouring park that had been rejected by her mother that was being raised there, and suddenly the open days were fully booked, the website crashed, and they had to add an extra day to cope with demand.

The day arrived in the middle of  a horrendous energy-sapping heatwave.

The sanctuary manager Giles Clark raised the cub, called Maya. During filming a young cheetah called Willow, who had a broken leg, was added to his care. One of my first encounters on Thursday was with Giles, seen here putting back his shades after posing for a photo with a little girl.

Compared to the really big cats, the serval looked tiny.

The Amur leopard is severely endangered, but numbers are recovering thanks to serious intervention by Russia, where their range lies, and they are just back into triple figures.

The North Chinese leopard is redder in colour than other leopards and is a very shy and secretive animal.

Maya stayed in the shade on this roasting hot day. Who can blame her?  These were my best two pictures of her.

Willow's keeper played with her till they were both exhausted, then got her reward. Cheetahs are probably the closest big cats to being able to be trained and trusted in human company.

If only trophy hunters, sadly most of them American, would shoot big game with cameras instead of guns. I can assure them it would make their dicks feel really big.

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