Once a year at work we have a ‘Fun Day’. Basically a day off where we have a social outing somewhere together for the full day. The destination is a surprise until the morning we go. We ended up going to African Lion Safari. I’ve never been, so I found it pretty interesting and mostly enjoyable. I told bdot about it and she seemed to be fairly appalled, assuming the animals are mistreated etc.. I’m somewhat spilt on it. Ultimately a captive animal is a captive animal… but in reality if these big cats (Lions, Tigers, Cheetahs) and Elephants were in the wild they would be hunted, probably to extinction. I really do believe that… So having them out for show in this situation has to better than that. Is it ideal? No, of course not. Ideally the animals could live in good numbers in the wild, but that simply isn’t realistic. Yes the animals ironically seemed to be less wild (ALS’ theme is Go Wild) but they get daily Vet care and They said live beyond normal expected ages. It seemed a lot of staff were also from Guelph University from some animal related field. They also stated some stats about having impressive ‘in captivity’ reproduction stats for certain animals. It felt less like a zoo, maybe just a zoo with really large cages. Most of the big animals has a massive area to explore. Curiously they always seemed to be huddled into groups… I assume since they were accustomed to human feeding and simply hang out waiting to be fed? Other than a zoo however what chance would I have to see a Giraffe or Lion so close? Selfishly I enjoyed seeing a lot of the animals uncaged able to do whatever they wanted. I often found their personalities quite fascinating.
It was a loooong day for me. It was stupid hot. I don’t do well in stupid hot. Not well at all. By late afternoon I was seeking reprieve from the sun under a shaded shelter. We had a reserved area set aside for our visit. We had a well orchestrated lunch and two special visits. The first was from Maggie the Elephant. I was pretty impressed with Elephants actually. Apparently they know close to 50-60 commands easily putting my dog to shame, who I usually consider to be fairly well trained. We ended having a tug-of-war with the, cough, 8000 pound elephant. It was amusing and very staged. As soon as Maggie was trying the entire staff went flying. smirk We also had a visit from a cheetah cub who’s name I’ve forgotten. She reminded me a lot of my cat. Not wanted to be on a leash and apprehensive about being surrounded by people. She was a beautiful animal. It would be awesome to see her run full out. We also saw a Bird’s of Prey demonstration which was cool. They basically just showcased the birds. They would fly to a perch then fly back to the handler. Pretty ho-hum. I’d prefer to see the birds hunt or something but I guess that might not be PG-13. The elephant show felt more circus-like. They had the elephants kicking soccer balls, painting, bowing and other curious physical tasks. They seemed like really intelligent animals that should be used for more than riding around which you could also do. I didn’t. After both these shows in blazing sun I was pretty much melting. I took a lot of photos, I’ll post more later.
When I got home I was in rough shape suffering from mild heat stroke. I had a nasty headache, very stiff neck, upset stomach and was slightly dizzy. Basically a fracking mess. After some attention from Dr.bdot (thanks hon) and downing a bunch of drugs I went to bed. I think it was the earliest I’ve gone to bed in well over a year. Sigh. The night was a right-off. I didn’t even eat dinner. Sigh.
I’m happy it is a long weekend coming up! Sunday we have a family reunion which is also Canada Day. Happy Birthday Canada.