IndyJunior © Bryan Boyer

Monday, January 29, 2007

We Petted a Cheetah!

Nairobi National Park was our last chance to see some big cats in the wild. Every Sunday they run a public bus through the park to view the animals so J & I headed out there and waited for the bus to show up.

After being told it would show up at 1:30 pm, and seeing 1:30 pm turn into 2:30 pm we started to think that we may not be going on this tour. It turns out the bus was having mechanical problems and wasn't going to show up. Apparently they have only one bus so that was that. No big cats, and our Africa trip ends on a low note.

Or does it?

After toying with the idea of renting a van with some other people who were waiting for the bus, we decided against it. For me, something was telling me we just weren't meant to see what we had hoped for so I reluctantly decided to save the money on the taxi and just go see the animal orphanage which was nearby.

Our timing couldn't have been better because the first animals we see were Cheetahs. AND it was close to feeding time and for me, I thought that would be cool enough. Seeing them eat big chunks of meat, I could always imagine that we were in the wild and it was a fresh Zebra kill or something....

I was also taking pictures through the fence to make it look like we were in the wild in case anyone asked later. :) This one was a pretty good shot. I could have said they came right up beside our truck and you wouldn't be able to tell.

The next thing I know, I hear J calling my name as she is heading INTO the cage! What the heck was she doing?!??! Apparently, the feeder asked if she wanted to go in and so in they went. She got to pet a couple of the Cheetahs and when she came back out, the guy pulled both of us in. Sure what the heck...they're busy eating right? I'm sure I won't taste as good as that chunk of meat...

How cool was that. We squatted down behind one, I started to pet the hind area and the Cheetah swipes at my hand with her tail! He he he....yeah, nice kitty, don't kill me was all I could think.

Not sure which one was more scary. The Tigers we petted or the Cheetahs. The Tigers were tied down at least....these ones, nothing...if I was fast enough, maybe the feeder would get caught first! ;) A VERY cool time there overall and yup, if the truck hadn't broken down, we would have missed this chance.

We also took a walk on their "Safari" walking tour. And once we got to the Lion area, this male Lion comes over to where we were standing and plops down with some of the Lionesses right in front of us. Great timing again as we had prime photo spots so I grabbed a couple.

I think he was feeling sorry for us! :D

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