Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Lions and tigers and…my dad

My dad visited the weekend before last.  He flew into Charlotte to spend a few days with my sisters and their families and then the McHusband and I met Bri, the girls, and my dad in Asheboro for lunch and the Daddy Exchange.

That night, the three of us ate dinner at Firebird’s, walked around North Hills a bit, then headed home for some dessert and an early bedtime for my dad and me.

The next day, we had brunch at The Draft House then headed to the Carolina Tiger Rescue.  When I’d mentioned earlier in the week the possibility that we’d be going there in part to take advantage of the beautiful weather in the forecast, Vickie thought it was a good idea as well so she, Terry, and Zachary were at the Rescue for the 1:00 tour as well.


After hearing our tour guide’s spiel about the Rescue’s history and the rules of how we should act while we were out among the animals, we headed out to see what we could see.

There was a shy bobcat.


A hungry serval.


An unsocial tiger.


And some lazy lions.


The lion on the bottom is a male, but he doesn’t have a mane.  That’s because he was neutered at a young age so he didn’t have the testosterone necessary to grow a mane.  It makes perfect sense, but it’s not something I’d ever thought about so it was very interesting to learn.


Next up were the kinkajous, which were two of the most interesting animals at the Rescue.  They are carnivores, like everything else at there, but their diet consists mainly of fruit and they love cherries, which is what our guide used to get this guy out for a visit.




The center uses numbers from 1 to 4 to assign each animal an aggression level.  The kinkajous may look awfully cute and seem like  friendly little fruit-lovers, but they are one of the most dangerous animals at the Rescue and have earned a 4.  Our guide told us they go for vulnerable spots like eyes, noses, and mouths.  And if they target a man, well, I’ll let you figure out what other vulnerable area the kinkajou prefers.


A sleepy cougar.


Imagine the McHusband's voiceover: “The elusive Zachary, rarely seen in daylight, seen here crouching in the grass…”


Time for the star attraction, Jellybeans, who is a Bengal tiger.  He joined us for a quick snack.



He’s an old guy so he laid down while the guide told us more about him.


We saw some more lazy lions, but this time the male had his mane.


Luckily he was tempted by that delicious treat we all know as Raw-Chicken-on-a-Stick so he got up and gave us a better look at him.



This next picture gives you some idea of his size.


And that’s the last of the animal pictures.  There were two more tigers that we passed, but they were snoozing in the back of their enclosure and we were out of Raw-Chicken-on-a-Stick so they chose to continue with their naps.  Their story was interesting though: People called 911 after seeing two tigers wandering along the street outside of Charlotte.  Sure enough, animal control picked up two six-month-old tiger cubs.  The probable explanation is that they were used as props for pictures with tourists but they’d outgrown their cute and cuddly stages and rather than find them homes somewhere, the owner just let them go.  Better than inhumanely killing them, I suppose, but still not a very good solution to say the least.

We got Terry to take a couple pictures of our little group before we left.  No raw chicken or cherries necessary.



1 comment:

Gma said...

That Bengal Tiger is beautiful!