Thursday, May 28, 2009

Out of Africa -- in Winston, Oregon

(Paul in the tour bus)

On Memorial Day our family joined a bunch of other homeschoolers and toured the Wildlife Safari.

This was a 500 pound Siberian Tiger. The stick in the picture is not poking him. We had an encounter where we watched a park person feed some of the animals raw meat with a shish ka bob skewer. He was surprisingly gentle when taking the food -- almost licked it off the skewer.

We had an elephant car wash. This was the car in front of us. After spraying the car, the elephant would pick up the sponge and soap down the car and spray again. It was quite silly -- the adults I was with seemed to think it was funnier than the kids. (Maybe I'm not as easily impressed?) ;)

This is a mean lookin' cheetah.

Look how intent and ready to pounch on that piece of meat.

Now look at this sweetie. She was purring at us and actually licked the park person's hands through the fence. The difference was this cheetah girl was her upbringing.

It seems that when she was born, she was single born. No other sister or brother kitties in the litter. So mama's milk dried up. The mama actually took her cheetah baby and walked her out of the 'den' and left her, knowing that she wouldn't be able to care for the baby.

So, an Anatolian Shephard mama dog was nursing at the time, and went ahead and fed the cheetah kitten, too! Neat-o, huh? So one of the pups, Ella, and this cheetah baby, Sanurra, were raised as companions. They share a pen at the Wildlife Safari. They are separated during feedings and at night.

Here's Sannura again.

(Aubrey and Paul -- with Robert on top -- resting in the middle of our homeschoolers group)

(Robert and Paul listening to the tour guide)

(nursing bison baby)

("I'm so hungry I could eat a whole zebra!" ~Simba from The Lion King)

And that's all folks.
Lots of fun, and sherbet, ice cream bars and popsicles afterward.
Also, Aubrey went home with a friend and spent the night and Anna and I went to critique group afterwards.

Tuesday was spent recuperating at home and Wednesday was spent running errands and feeling exhausted and depressed about the housework that was looming.

Today was much better. I vented and snuggled with Paul last night and we cleaned today. I even organized the fridge, freezer and pantry and put up LABELS.

Tomorrow we are leaving for a long weekend in Seattle to visit my mom.

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