Tuesday, March 6, 2012

South Africa: Baby Lions

On our way from Addo heading to Port Elizabeth we stopped to visit a cheetah breeding center because of course, I wanted get in on as much baby animal interaction as possible.

Ok, fine, maybe I begged and pleaded my mother to drive 40 minutes out of our way through the middle of nowhere but you already know I already have a penchant for holding baby pandas, why not add a few cheetahs and lions to the list?

When in Rome South Africa... right?

Daniell's Cheetah Breeding Farm was worth the detour, we left completely elated after meeting another cheetah and two baby lions! Or maybe we were just woozy from the excruciating desert heat?


During the tour, we learned a lot about different wild cats from out guide. Specifically, how the animals are rehabilitated and released back onto private nature reserves. Did you know that (supposedly) there aren't any known cases of a cheetah attacking a human? Interestingly enough, they are easily domesticated. Although that would be awesome, I couldn't imagine anywhere else in the world aside from Africa where having a pet cheetah seems responsible.


Alright, let's get on with it since you probably only visited this post to see the baby lion pictures, so here it goes... You might want to sit down because the cuteness can get overwhelming...


Aren't they adorable!? These two little guys were orphaned as tiny cubs, rescued and hand raise for the first few months. Our guide mentioned that this was an extra special experience because in a few weeks they would be completely cut off from all human interaction in preparation for their release back into the wild. We visited just in the nick of time!

The fuzzy cubs loved to be scratched and tickled just like a kitten. Don't they big paws look funny? At only a few months old I could already feel their strength when they nibbled or batted at my arm. Imagine how huge they're going to be, I wouldn't want the chewing on my finger in a few months,  that's for sure!

Playing with baby lions definitely made up for the 17 hour flight!


If darling baby lions don't put a smile on your face, I'm not sure what will!
Happy Travel Tuesday!

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