Friday, September 13, 2013

Furry Friday: Lions, Tigers and Lemurs, Oh My!

A few weeks ago I went to Dallas to visit my best friend, Katie. I'm sure you've seen her on the blog before. We met in 9th grade band class where we excelled in playing the clarinet and aggravating the band teacher. Though we haven't lived in the same city (or state, unless you count Texas, where we were six hours apart) since the start of college, we try to see each other in person as often as we can.
Katie works at the Dallas Zoo, and one of her co-workers volunteers at the C.A.R.E. big cat sanctuary in Bridgeport, Texas. She invited us to come for a tour of the rescue. There are over 40 big cats on the premises, but they also house a few other random critters -- like these adorable ring-tailed lemurs.
The lemurs went crazy for the blueberries we brought in.
This is Tawny, the mountain lion. The facility has a few mountain lion rescues, and I was horrified to hear the story of one who was declawed during its life as a "pet" at a college fraternity.
Many of the big cats at the sanctuary are tigers, both white and orange. Katie and her friends get to work with animals every day, but not many regular people get to handle lemurs or be separated from a tiger by a few feet and a chain-link fence. I was awed to be in their presence. I was also fascinated by how much their behavior resembled that of a house cat -- purring, rubbing their face on the fence in that blissful way cats do, etc.
Many of the cats were pets(!!!) or in a traveling show at one point so they're relatively tame, but -- as snuggly and sweet as they look -- you couldn't pay me to get beyond the chain-link fence! I was glad to hear the employees don't go in the enclosures while the cats are present either.
This was my favorite animal of the day. So gorgeous!
Look at those chompers!
We also went to the Dallas Zoo while I was visiting. It was so fun to see Katie's daily environs at the Children's Zoo! She works with creatures like donkeys, horses, possums, birds, rabbits, naked mole rats and more.
The zoo has an albino alligator! If you look closely, you can even see its red eye.
And here I am in the aviary, feeding the birds. Astonishingly, you can't tell in the picture, but we had just about sweated to death in the 100+ degree heat by this point!

In addition to the cat rescue and the zoo, we visited the Dallas Arboretum, went to the famous Sprinkles Cupcakes (twice) and Katie taught me to make sushi. It was a fantastic little getaway and I had a blast with my best friend!

1 comment:

  1. What a fun time you and Katie had. Being up close with the cats looked like a fun experience. Playing with the lemurs too, how fun! Glad you and Katie got a chance to spend some time together doing some fun and amazing things.


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