Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Luxury and Big Cats

I am very glad to be able to report than the smaller portion loved his birthday surprise.  And he was surprised too.  I am also really glad I had managed to keep it secret.

So where did we go, and what did we do?

My city has a zoo.  A privately owned zoo, the National Zoo and Aquarium.  For a number of years they have been arranging animal encounters where you can meet, pat, feed the animals.  Some years back we patted cheetahs and fed a bear and a tiger.  Wonderful experiences.  This is the zoo my youngest brother volunteers at, and for a month each year he does 'work experience' and works there full time (describing himself as Australia's oldest work experience participant).

More recently they have introduced the Jamala Wildlife Lodge.  Visitors can stay in Jungle Bungalows, Giraffe Treehouses or the Ushaka Lodge and get up close and personal with the animals.  This trip I chose a Jungle Bungalow and the chance to sleep in close proximity to tigers, lions, cheetahs, bears or sun bears.  (And as an aside one of the zoo's sun bears was destined for bear-paw soup (an obscenity) before she was rescued and housed here.)  You are able to give preferences, but the final decision is made by the zoo staff.  Our first preference was to stay in the bungalow next to the tiger enclosure, but we were allocated the one next to the cheetah.  Were we disappointed?  Slightly, but only slightly.  And that disappointment wore off quickly.

The addition of Jamala Wildlife Lodge is a major step to bolster the programs that are run by the zoo.  A significant amount of the net proceeds from Jamala Lodge and animal encounters are donated to registered conservation funds that protect species in the wild, prevent habitat destruction and/or discourage poaching, including Free the Bears and the Snow Leopards Trust.  A commitment has been made that at least $100,000 will be donated this year.

 The website and brochures describe Jamala Wildlife Lodge as luxurious - and that it was.   At every point.

This was our bungalow.








The biggest luxury for us though was outside.  Every window overlooking the enclosure was full length.  Outside was Jura, an adolescent and very beautiful cheetah who from time to time cruised inches away from the windows much to our delight.











 Lucky, lucky, lucky.

Included in the booking were sumptuous refreshments, starting with afternoon tea when we arrived, canapes and drinks before dinner, a three course dinner and wine, and a wonderful buffet breakfast.

We also had the option of two zoo tours, with pleasant and knowledgeable guides.  We took up both options.  Of course.

The one in the afternoon was through the main part of the zoo, and included watching a number of animals receive treats from the guide.

The next, after breakfast the next day, started before the zoo was open to the public and took us to some newer (and as yet unopened) areas of the zoo.  And we got to feed some of the animals and give a wombat a scrootch on the top of its very bony head.  Bliss.

There are many, many photos to come but I am just going to show a few in this post of some of the other big cats.  It was a very hot day, and as cats do, they were mostly totally 'laxed.






And, remember I said that I had opted for this gift as an experience? When I booked I was asked whether it was a special occasion.  I mentioned it was the smaller portion's birthday treat, and they gave him a gift.

His own cheetah.



The attention to detail, and cheerful helpful attitudes helped to make this an experience to cherish.  And we do.  And will.  And neither of us have ruled out a return visit, despite the fact that considerable saving or a lottery win will be required.  The service and facilities were exemplary, and the experience amazing.  Sentiments which were echoed by every other guest I spoke to. 





154 comments:

  1. Hi EC - it sounds such a wonderful thoughtful present - and obviously totally satisfied you both ... what a great idea. Lovely photos etc - and then the lodge next to the quarters and area that the felines lived in ... just glorious to see. I've been lucky enough to have seen cheetah, lion close up in the wild - but the chance to be able to be so near them for a while - bliss ... ours they ran off! I'd love to do the tiger one ... but can quite see why you'd like to start saving now for another experience ... I'm very jealous - and such a clever idea ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary Melton-Butcher: To see lions and cheetahs in the wild would be a whole new experience. And amazing. The owners of the zoo apparently love Africa and visit at least once every year. And yes, the tiger experience would be incredible too.

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  2. Wow Wow and Wow!This was an amazing opportunity and gift for many. I am very thrilled seeing this. My family would enjoy this and you are correct, the room is very clean and comfortable by the photos you provided. The photos are fantastic and how cute that the one carries his ball. I have read that giraffes are lower in numbers. Maybe with the right research and funding Australia can help with this. I really enjoyed this post. Thank you for sharing with us.

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    1. Ginger Dawn Harman: Not only did that white lioness carry her ball we watched her go into the water to retrieve it. Full of water it must have been heavy, but she carried it out easily. Sadly, two many animals are now endangered, and we all need to work to preserve them.

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    2. Yes! We can help our environment. That lioness would have me captivated with the ball. I wonder how much of it is preparing her to carry a cub. Or heck, why can't a lioness just have a bit of playtime.

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    3. Ginger Dawn Harman: I firmly believe that animals (and birds) do play. And long may it continue.

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  3. OMG, while only slightly disappointed that it was not the purchase of a posh English car, what an experience. I am already thinking this experience could be a wonderful thing for my partner's next significant birthday.....or could I let him know about this for mine this year.

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    1. Andrew: It really was incredible. The attention to detail, and concern for the guests comfort and viewing pleasure was amazing. And you could do it for your birthday and again for your partner's.

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  4. Well that is just spectacular! What a wonderful way to experience a zoo. Brilliant concept!

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    1. We are: Clamco: It is an incredible concept isn't it? Others of our zoos have accommodation and overnight stays, but this one takes it to a whole new level.

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  5. Oh my goodness. I don't know what to say. It's fabulous. I wonder if I can get this on my to do list..

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    1. Anna of the Mutton Years: If you can, do. It was indeed fabulous.

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  6. I have chills! What a wonderful birthday surprise and what a wonderful place to go. I want to go there someday. On my bucket list now.

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    1. Granny Annie: It was absolutely marvellous. Words fail me.

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  7. so glad it went well for you...

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  8. What a wonderful experience! :D
    I do love the big cats, all of them, with tigers a favourite.
    I'm looking forward to more photos.
    I confess to being a "big cat" on a hot day, I lie around and nap a lot.

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    1. River: We love the big cats too - though we were told that for technical reasons a cheetah is not a big cat. They are bigger than Jazz though - whatever he thinks.

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  9. Cheetahs outside your living room window; what a treat! And what a beautiful room! I don't think I would sleep at all since I would not want to miss anything. A very good memory.

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    1. Sue in Italia/In the Land of Cancer: I didn't sleep a lot. Happy dozes. And yes, it was a very, very good memory.

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  10. What an amazing experience! I wish our zoo had something like that. With the open windows, I'm assuming the bungalow is in a place where the public can't just stare in at you while looking at the cheetahs.

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    1. Alex J. Cavanaugh: The bungalows are very well sited. Not all of the animals enclosures can be seen by the general public - which gives them some privacy. And the windows of the bungalows can only be seen (if at all) from a distance.

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  11. I said "swoon" and didnt know just how right I would be.

    Wonderful! I'm so pleased for you both

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    1. kylie: I suspect we would have swooned with happiness - except that we would have missed out. I did interrupt a shower - rushed out dripping wet because Jura chose that moment to wander up to the bungalow. He had brought a bone with him and lay down just outside the window to gnaw on it.

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  12. Never have I heard of such a thing, and please sign me up!

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    1. Marty Damon: It was the stuff of dreams.

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  13. wow

    it's nice they bring the humans in to entertain the critters, huh.

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    1. Author R. Mac Wheeler: Rather a lot of wows. And other superlatives. And I was very very glad to be able to provide some entertainment.

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  14. Now I want to go! Should I win the lottery, I hope you will meet us there for drinks and wildlife. You are a great gift-giver! Warmly, C

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    1. Your lioness is especially nice

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    2. Cloudia: In some ways it was a selfish gift. It was at least as much a gift to me as it was to himself. The lioness was gorgeous - and will probably feature in Sunday Selections this week.

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  15. How incredible! I also have never heard of such a thing. It is something that I cannot imagine happening anywhere in the States. Sometimes I am very envious of your life in Oz. Thank you for sharing this bliss with me! :-)

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    1. DJan: As an earlier commentator said, it is a brilliant concept. Really clever, a delight for the visitors and of benefit to our ever diminishing animals.

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  16. How wonderful that a place like this exists and that you and your partner got to visit. It looks absolutely fabulous.

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    1. Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe: It was truly incredible. We feel so very lucky.

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  17. Extraordinary! Fabulous. Incredible. Or, in my real vernacular, how cool was that! It is becoming so apparent zoos are the last hope of the planet's fauna. Such a great support.

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    1. Joanne Noragon: I am ambivalent about zoos mostly. They have come a long way from the concrete jungles of my youth, but... And sadly you are right. They are the last hope for some of our precious fauna, and in some cases we have left it too late. Which shames me. And angers me.

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  18. Oh my gosh, EC. An experience of a lifetime. Definitely bucket list material.
    So glad you got to do this. And kudos for you for thinking of it.
    Hugs

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    1. Sandra Cox: Definitely a life time experience. Magic.

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  19. I always wanted to have a relationship with a large cat although I know they don't make good pets. I have settled for the domestic ones. Thanks for the tour and the visit to the Jamala Wildlife Lodge.

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    1. Jono: We have had domestic cats who are certain that they are big cats. Jazz certainly. And I too have dreamed of relationships with the big cats.

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  20. That would be my dream trip. Better than any castle.

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    1. donna baker: MUCH better than any castle.

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  21. What a wonderful experience. The pictures are great. I looks forward to more.

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    1. Marie Smith: Wonderful doesn't begin to cover it. The cheetah moved fast, and some of the photos are blurred. I blame it on the cheetah's movement - but it may also have been my hands shaking with excitement.

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  22. Dear EC
    What an amazing experience and a lovely surprise gift too. Animals like these need protecting as we are soon going to lose them in the wild, which is a sad and depressing thought. Humans can do so much damage but the others can do so much good.
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Ellie Foster: We have already lost too many species in the wild, and are likely to lose more. Which makes my heart ache. I am so pleased that some people are trying to change the tide.

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  23. This place is so super cool and amazing!!!So happy for you and your partner. Very very nice pictures!!!
    Dana

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    1. Jessi Lashakmitis: Welcome and thank you. Super cool doesn't begin to describe it.

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  24. You are the perfect wife ... what a treat and what an experience to share with the SP. I can't imagine sleeping next to Cheetah's ... did you even sleep? I would love a visit like this, though I know my FH probably wouldn't go ... I could take a friend. First I have to make my way to Australia (it is still on my Bucket list, I just have to live long enough to get there :). Wonderful, Wonderful EC and Happy Birthday to SP.

    andrea @ From the Sol

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    1. Andrea Priebe: No perfect partner here. I loved it at least as much as he did (and worried a little that I was giving myself the present). Fortunately he loved it too. If/when you get to Oz, this should assuredly be on your bucket list.

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  25. What a wonderful gift and experience for you both! Extending Happy Birthday wishes from Florida.

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    1. e: It was truly delightful, and more than lived up to the publicity. Thank you for the birthday wishes.

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  26. What a fantastic experience for the two of you.....and that bungalow looks really nice.

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    1. only slightly confused: The bungalow was a treat. Decorated in 'african safari' style, and I suspect the art works were brought back by the owner from his many trips there. And the experience? Words fail me, but the smiles are huge.

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  27. I don't have enough adjectives to describe how awesome this looks! Incredible room, photos, and cats. :) You both must have been like kids in a candy store. What a wonderful experience. The views are simply stunning, both of the outdoors and your young visitor. I'm not sure I could have been pried out of there.

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    1. River Fairchild: Definitely kids in candy store. And we are both still smiling. It was hard to leave our room. We kept waiting 'just a few more minutes' to see if the cheetah would cruise past again...

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  28. A beautiful place to stay, the cats are always with you. I love it.

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  29. What a great idea to make humans appreciate the precious species we have to protect (all of our wildlife). I just hope we never end up with only these protected species living. Thanks for sharing the pix and I hope you do share more of them.

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    1. D.G. Hudson: I would really, really like it if appreciation for the species who share our world was more widespread. And am so very grateful for those who work to keep them safe. And yes, I also worry that some day (not far away) there will only be caged representatives left. Which is a tragedy. And criminal.

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  30. What a unique and beautiful experience, and to think it also helps animals is wonderful! Kudos to the person(s) who came up with the concept, and to those who pay to enjoy it! Wins all around. It must have been just amazing!

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    1. jenny_o: Definitely wins all round. And I hope (so much) that the animals are the biggest winners.

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  31. I still have that greenish tinge. But I'm delighted for you and the SP that you went.And loved the experience.
    And, of course, chuffed that you share it with us.
    Thank you.

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    1. dinahmow: I expect I will be boring people to sobs with this for some time to come. It really was an incredible experience. The people who shared other animal's space raved about it too. Which is as it should be.

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  32. Oh my! Lucky you.

    About the bear paw soup, maybe you remember Gary Larson cartoons. In one of them, there was a restaurant with a sign advertising frog legs, and there were all of these frogs leaving out the back of the restaurant in wheelchairs. Bear paw soup! The thought of some bastard eating something like makes me murderous, and I’m not kidding. If I could kill innocent dogs for a humane society, I could kill people who victimize animals for dumbass reasons, but since I eat fish, eggs, and dairy, my own hands are far from clean.

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    1. Snowbrush: I do remember those Gary Larson cartoons. And wince. I described bear paw soup as an obscenity, and it is. As is the traffic in rhino horns, and ivory and tiger pelts and, and, and...
      As a dairy and egg (and occasional fish) eater my hands are also grubby.

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  33. Replies
    1. Sandi: We gasped a lot while we were there. Happy gasps. Awed gasps.

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  34. How absolutely wonderful!! What a terrific thrill, experience and every other adjective in the book! I think I would've had tear-filled eyes all the time from excitement. Your emotions must have been most active from such beauty all around you.

    A fantastic birthday gift that you both were able to enjoy....memories...memories...memories...

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    1. Lee: It was incredible and yes, I shed some excited tears.

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  35. Oh my goodness, lucky,lucky, lucky for sure, what a wonderful experience and birthday gift you gave, indeed! What a marvelous idea, and i can just imagine you were just bubbling inside holding back this wonderful secret! Love his little gift to take home too, priceless this birthday present was!

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    1. Karen S.: The take-home gift was icing on the cake. Icing on an already delicious cake, and it exemplified just how well thought out the concept is. And how beautifully executed.

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  36. That is a most thoughtful and useful, fun, exciting and killer-good gift.

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    1. The Happy Whisk: And the packrat got something to take home and cherish as well. It really was an amazing time. I will be writing to thank them too. I complain when things don't meet my expectations, it is only fair I say when they have been exceeded.

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  37. Totally wonderful experience, and I was right when I guessed the zoo but so wrong about the Rolls! I love the fact that the cheetah was just outside the window, and I also love the black bathtub, presided over by an enormous lion. What a fabulous concept. Love the cuddly gift, too.
    Toronto Zoo has an overnight safari experience but no luxury... it's tents I think, and only for kids.
    And regarding your comments on the Chihuly.... coincidence that we have seen the same exhibitions, you saw the Chihuly that has been here in TO, and I saw the Fiona Hall sardine cans in ACT!!!!!

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    1. Shammickite: Dubbo and Taronga zoos have overnight experiences too, but they are much less luxurious. And less private. This is a phenomenal concept and so well executed. The cuddly toy was a lovely gesture too.
      It is amazing that we have seen the same exhibits isn't it? And both of them were stunners. Very different work by very different artists, but amazing.

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  38. What a cool experience! I would love to stay in such a place and see beautiful animals graze the windows. Ah. That was a wonderful birthday gift.

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    1. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson: It was amazing. Really, really amazing.

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  39. What a wonderful experience! Enjoyed your photos so much and thanks for taking us along.

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    1. Bookie: Thank you. It was my pleasure and I am glad you enjoyed it too.

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  40. Looks like you had a great time and the bed looks very comfortable.
    Merle................

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    1. Merlesworld: We did have a great time. The bed was indeed comfortable, but I was too excited to do more than doze. Himself fell into his usual coma though.

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  41. Wow
    Wow
    Wow

    What a truly amazing experience. I loved all of your photographs and reading about this visit. What special memories you now have.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Lowcarb team member ~Jan: Wow is right. The memories are precious. And I am still smiling days later.

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  42. This is incredible! What can I say that hasn't already been said?
    Thank you

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    1. Martin Kloess: We ran out of superlatives quickly too. Oooh. And ahhh. And smiles. Big, big smiles.

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  43. Wow! What a wonderful, imaginative b'day present!

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    1. Molly Bon: What a wonderful imaginative business venture. It appears to be going really well and from what we saw is fully deserving of that success.

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  44. So wonderful. Well done you! Something to remember always - and maybe a return visit one day. Such a great concept.

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    1. Alexia: Definitely a memory to hug to our hearts.

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  45. Looks absolutely amazing. I might save this later for whenever my wife and I get down to your part of the world. We ADORE zoos, aquariums, and museums.

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    1. Robert Bennett: I hope you can. I really hope you can.

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  46. Wow, wish American zoos would do this, perhaps they do? I have fed giraffes at the Battle Creek zoo which was lovely, quite my favourite animal in the world) but this was over and above, here's to a lottery win, EC, for you!

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    1. Gillie: It sounds as if the giraffe tree houses would be made for you. I gather they stuck their heads in at the windows, and planted giant kisses/licks on people. I would need to buy lottery tickets before a win was an option.

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  47. Oh boy what a fantastic experience. The bungalow looks amazing, and it sounds like you were treated like real VIPs! I bet you took hundreds of photos!

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    1. LL Cool Joe: Everyone was treated like a VIP. And yes, there are a LOT of photos.

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  48. OK this present was much better than a luxury car! What a wonderful birthday gift! With the lodge, meal and the guided zoo visit, plus the floor show from the puma I know it was a feast for all the senses. I am in such serious envy. I began thinking of a nearby animal themed surprise I could share with TheHub and the only thing I could come up with is a visit to The Coon Dog Cemetery. It is only a couple of hours drive from here, but is so rural I fear the most luxurious lodging I could find near it would be a Motel 6. So much for luxury in Alabama. Envy, envy, envy!

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    1. Anne in the kitchen: My city is widely regarded as boring, backward and full of politicians. The last is true. It also has some amazing treats - and this is one of them. Mind you, I suspect you are being unfair to Alabama.

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  49. That cheetah is just gorgeous. And to see her right outside your window.....

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    1. Sandra Cox: To see a cheetah literally inches away was incredible.

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  50. What a magical time and to be able to see those animals through the glass...wonderful.

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    1. Margaret-whiteangel: It was magical. Memories to hug to ourselves.

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  51. Wow! Now that is the way to celebrate a birthday. You pulled off a great surprise. I can't image being that close to those wonderful creatures. Love the photos, E.C.

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    1. Mason Canyon: I thought he knew. I was sad about it, but was convinced he knew. I am so glad he didn't - and loved it.

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  52. I think this must have been the best present ever for your smaller portion. It sounds perfect. You designed a unique, unforgettable gift. It shows your love for your partner, but also for nature and beauty. Thank you for sharing the photos.

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    1. Myrna R.: He is also a big lover of nature. I hope it is among his best ever presents. Though it is setting the bar high for future significant days...

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  53. OMMMMMGGGGGGGGG,
    This is a dream vacation!
    Your bungalow is divine.
    The BIG CATS are AMAZING.
    Being that close up must have been surreal.
    Also, your bathtub!
    Did your hubs LOVE?
    Fabulous Post, Sue! xxxxxx MEOWWWWWWWW

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    1. My Inner Chick: He did. We did. A huge treat for both of us.

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  54. I am so glad you kept the secret and that he was surprised. What an experience! I think the accommodations look beautiful and look at those views. Was it at all scary being so close to such powerful animals when you were sleeping? So happy for both of you that you had the chance to do this. :) Fantastic pictures!
    ~Jess

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    1. DMS ~ Jess: Not in the slightest bit scary being close to the animals. It never occurred to me that they would have the slightest interest in us. We were MUCH more interested in Jura than he was in us.

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  55. Gosh, what an experience. I'm intrigued.
    Those animals looked so healthy and happy and well cared for. Some zoos....not so much.
    I'm grateful every time I see a well-loved animal.
    Thanks for sharing this splendor!
    -Jennifer

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    1. Jennifer Richardson: It was very obvious as we went around that not only were the animals cared for they were very much loved. The guides described the 'enrichment' programs they use to try and keep the animals happy as well as healthy. And yes, some zoos fail on that count, but they are much better than they were.

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  56. That is an incredible gift idea! It's also a place we'd like to visit. We must visit your part of the world.

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    1. Rick Watson: Even without the overnight stay the zoo is a lovely place to wander. With it? Definitely bonus time.

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  57. E.C.! Wow. I have never heard of any sort of zoo here doing what your city zoo does. Again, wow.

    I would settle for just giving a wombat a scratch on the belly never mind having a bungalow set right next to a big cat preserve. I love how Jura, giving not one fig, saddled up to the bungalow window for a sit-down. You must have been agog to have that cheetah so near!

    What an amazing gift to share with someone. The wee plush toy is just the cherry on the cake.

    Thank you for sharing your experience.

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    1. Bea: I was in the shower when Jura wandered up with his bone and settled down outside the window. Dripping wet I came out and grabbed for the camera. Jura didn't care. Magic.
      Both of us were touched at the gift of his very own leopard - which has pride of place here in our lounge.

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  58. A great present and a wonderful experience. We all should be so lucky.

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    1. Sienna Smythe: Thank you. I know that I had a wonderful experience, and believe he did too.

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  59. What a cool experience! That bungalow is gorgeous.

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    1. Jenny Baranick: The bungalow is considerably more glamorous than home. And we don't have a resident cheetah either. Sigh. Though Jazz considers himself to be a black panther.

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  60. I'm so glad you got to do that - it sounds delightful. And I'm glad he loved it. I would have had a long soak in that tub!

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    1. Lynn: It was delightful. I am not sure I could have got into (or out of) the bath, but the temptation was there.

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  61. Isn't that little stuffed cheetah cute:)
    I wonder if they have anything like this in the U.S....
    Have a great one.
    Hugs

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    1. Sandra Cox: And wasn't it a lovely gesture? I hope you have a great day and weekend too.

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  62. Oh wow, what beautiful creatures! And you have them locally?

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    1. John Wiswell: The zoo is about twenty minutes drive from home. Really very close indeed. We need to go there more often.

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  63. I think that presents that give memories are the greatest gifts of all

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  64. Oh my goodness, that does look absolutely amazing. How wonderful that you got to see them through that glass so closely. What a great birthday gift!

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    1. mail4rosey: We were only inches away from Jura. And not many inches at that. Still smiling. Still awed.

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  65. I can't even begin to tell you how incredibly jealous I am! What an experience! I would love to do something like that. Man, and how much would I LOVE to scratch a wombat's head!
    Too funny, by the way, that you blogged about the zoo, because so did I as well. However, mine is not a quarter as exciting as your visit.

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    1. Carola Bartz: I had already seen your zoo post - and am completely awed by your photos. And yes, it was an incredible experience. And patting the wombat (whose name was Hannah) was a treat too.

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  66. I like that they can roam around still and not enclosed in a small cage. Majestic creatures.

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    1. Lux G.: Small cages make my head and heart hurt. And they are indeed majestic creatures.

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  67. What a fabulous experience! You must have been thrilled! I also like that the animals can roam free. Small cages hurt my heart too. :-( Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Wendy: It was fabulous. I liked that the animals had space and in an ideal world would like them to have much more.

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  68. That gift from the hotel is real cute.

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    1. Haddock: It is. And a lovely and unexpected gesture.

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  69. Wauu... you got really lovely photos of these big cats.

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    1. orvokki: Some of the cheetah photos are blurred and I am not certain whether it was moving (which it did) or my hands were shaking with excitement...

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  70. That was an experience all right. Not only do the accommodations look very comfortable, including the dinner, but the cheetah at the door is something else. Too bad the place had no cat door, you would have been in heaven, with a cheetah keeping you company in bed for the night.

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    1. Strayer: I wonder whether cheetahs are bed hogs in the same way that Jazz is? And you are right. Heaven.

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  71. Hope your weekend has been fabulous, EC:)

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    1. Sandra Cox: Hot. But not as hot as Friday was, and as next week will be. I hope your weekend is excellent.

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  72. Lovely bungalow and the luxury of being so close to those beautiful creatures.
    Stay cool as we in Perth are trying to do. lol

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    1. Mimsie: It was luxury. I have seen your temperatures and shuddered. We have been hot but not as bad as you. A brief respite today before it ramps up again.

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  73. What a lovely birthday present.

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  74. Unbelievable! Good for you for arranging it as the greatest surprise ever! SP really owes you now.

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    1. rhymeswithplague: Thank you. He owes me nothing. We both had a lovely time, and I was pleased to be able to find a present he enjoyed.

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  75. Wow - what an amazing experience! Even though I hate to see animals behind bars, these seem to have a lot of room.

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    1. Lady Fi: Yes. On both counts. It was amazing and I too hate to see animals behind bars.

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  76. You're right! I LOVE this post. This has got to be one of the best birthday surprises EVER. What a fabulous experience for both of you. Definitely worthy of a do-over. :)

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    1. Susan: It is most definitely worth doing again. Saving, saving, saving.

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