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. Naturally, we both wanted get as much baby animal interaction as possible. Ok, fine, I may have begged and pleaded my mother to drive 40 minutes out of our way through the middle of nowhere. But it's no secret that I have a penchant for holding baby pandas, why not add a few more cheetahs and lions to the list?

Daniell's Cheetah Breeding Farm was definitely worth the detour! It's possible we were a bit woozy from the excruciating desert heat but we left feeling completely elated after meeting yet another cheetah and two adorable, fuzzy baby lions!


During the tour, we learned a lot about different wild cats from our guide about 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, it's because they are easily domesticated. Although a pet cheetah would be awesome, I couldn't imagine anywhere else in the world aside from Africa where having a pet cheetah seems even remotely responsible.


Alright, let's get on with it. You probably only visited this post to see the baby lion pictures, so sit down because the cuteness may be 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 met them just in the nick of time!

The fuzzy cubs loved to be scratched and tickled just like a kitten. Don't their 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 definitely wouldn't want the chewing on my fingers in a few months from now, that's for sure!

Playing with baby lions was definitely worth the17 hour flight to Johannesburg!


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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