Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Sunday Selections #310

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files.
 
The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.  Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen.
 
Like River I usually run with a theme.  This week?  Those of you who saw my last post will not be surprised I am returning to the zoo.  


On our final morning at the zoo we were given a lavish breakfast before heading off on the second zoo tour.  I am not a big breakfast eater and wandered outside onto the terrace.  Despite the cloud and the early hour it was already hot.


Looking down from the terrace I could see into the white lion's enclosure.  They were up, but not moving fast.

First Jake* appeared, and ambled out of sight.  (* The guides called the animals by name when they were talking to or about them - which I liked.  They obviously had an emotional commitment to the animals in the zoo - which I loved.)



Then it was Mishka's turn.  She wandered down to the water's edge.









Then she too wandered under the overhang of the terrace and out of sight.  A few minutes later I heard noises behind me.

Turning around I discovered that Mishka had brought her ball to us.  It seems that their den is under the overhanging terrace and off it is the small enclosure you see in the next photos.  Do I like seeing anything behind bars?  No.  The difference on this occasion is that Mishka chose to be there, and could leave at any time.






And bars or not, she appeared to be completely relaxed.  Which was lovely.

146 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. dinahmow: I wish you could have been there.

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  2. Maybe lions, like other kitties, like to be in small enclosures. You had a magical time.

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    1. Sue in Italia/In the Land of Cancer: I hadn't thought of that, and you could be right. And yes, we did have a lovely, lovely time.

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  3. Dear EC
    What amazing animals (and great photos).
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Ellie Foster: I do love the big cats. So much.

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  4. It's lovely to be so close but completely safe.,
    Merle,,,,,,,.

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    1. Merlesworld: It was lovely - and the safety question never occurred to me. Which show just how safe we felt I suppose.

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  5. She looks so calm and friendly and she doesn't mind getting her feet wet.

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    1. Andrew: She didn't mind getting her feet wet at all. And her front because the ball was full of water when she first picked it up. It must have been heavy too.

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    2. I wish my teeth were so strong!

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    3. River: Me too. And my neck muscles.

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  6. So beautiful animal. And this zoo seems to be very wonderful.
    I liked your photos.

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    1. orvokki: I think that, as zoos go, this IS a good one. And the animals were beautiful.

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  7. What a gorgeous animal. I know you loved watching her!

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    1. Bookie: I did love it. And was totally surprised when she 'popped up' behind me on the terrace.

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  8. There's a lot of people I'd like to see behind bars...permanently. And I quite liked working behind bars!

    Mischka looks so relaxed and content. It was probably nice and cool under the terrace...and not being locked in, being able to come, go and stay at will is wonderful.

    I might go and join her in there if that's a cool spot because I sure can't find one here at present!
    What a wonderful place to visit and stay...the zoo...those animals are magnificent.

    I hope you have a good week, EC - stay cool. Cuddles to Jazz. :)

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    1. Lee: She did look totally relaxed didn't she? Which was yet another tribute to the zoo management. I have seen the temperatures up your way and shuddered. Ours have been bad too. And will ramp up again next week.
      I hope you and your furs can find somewhere cool.

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  9. With my love for animals, my dream would have been to open an animal sanctuary. We have the land, but can you imagine the cost of fencing and feeding and on and on.

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    1. donna baker: The land is just the beginning. The other costs are huge - and ongoing. A wonderful dream though. And for this family a wonderful reality which I hope they can continue.

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  10. How amazing to be that close to a live lion!

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  11. Replies
    1. Joanne Noragon: I said that often and often as we went around. And it was a permanent refrain in my head.

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  12. Beautiful. I think some animals like cozy enclosures/dens. It feels safe. As for bars, I suspect it was you who was behind bars. ;) Love that the keepers give them names.

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    1. River Fairchild: If it was her only option it would have hurt my head and my heart. As free choice? It was a huge privilege to see her. The animals respond to their names too. When a keeper called Mishka her head turned immediately. Not for the visitors though.

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  13. Such a gorgeous creature, EC. What wonderful pictures!

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  14. I once went to an animal park and I use that loosely in Arkansas and a puma was caged in a small cage pacing back and forth, I still cry to this day over the fate of that animal, so nice to see these lions relaxed and peaceful

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    1. Linda Starr: That would break my heart. Zoos/animal parks often were like that, and I hope that more and more of them have changed.

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    2. I once saw a lion like that, just slumped in a tiny cage in a small zoo. Heartbreaking. Put the people in cages if they want to see the animals and let the animals run free. That's why I like those safaris people drive through...though, that might have its own issues!

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    3. Sandi: Humans cause more damage to the animals than they cause us. Which is another reason to cage us.

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  15. Amazing place. How far we have come, in animal enclosures, since I was a kid. What are now habitats used to be cages.

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    1. Martin Kloess: I remember those animal prisons. Concrete and bars. Awful.

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  16. Just like a big, friendly house cat! Though I'd still be careful... ;-)

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    1. Sandi: I wasn't tempted to reach through the bars and scratch her chin. Much.

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  17. Mishka is just beautiful, I want to reach into my screen and pat her. Jake's mane is stunning. I've never seen white lions before.

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    1. River: White lions are the same as tawny lions - with a recessive gene. A nearby zoo on the South Coast has quite a family of them - and the cubs are adorable. Totally adorable. And yes, both Mishka and Jake were stunners.

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  18. What utterly stunning creatures! I've also never seen white lions before, and certainly never in the flesh. Wonderful pictures - thank you so much for sharing these. I greatly envy you this experience.

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    1. Alexia: I could easily spend days and days and days here. And would learn new things and see new things every time I turned around. And marvel at it. Next time you come to Oz perhaps you can take a detour up this way.

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    2. I would really love to do that! :)

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  19. Those white lions are g.o.r.g.e.o.u.s and I love the way she brought the ball to where you were. Seems such a gentle creature.

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    1. Mimsie: Aren't they beautiful? And she certainly didn't have any aggressive interest in people at all. Curiosity, yes.

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  20. AH! Absolutely gorgeous animals and so special that she brought the ball up to you

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    1. Margaret Adamson: We felt very privileged. We WERE very privileged.

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  21. HI EC - what a marvellous sight being able to watch Mishka up so close and personal ... incredible visit you had - no wonder it's been such a treat and a 'saving up' for another visit. Love the fact they've space and places to go .. and share their ball with humans - not too close.

    Brilliant choice of present ... wonderful memories and photos - lovely - cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary Melton-Butcher: I was perfectly happy watching Mishka from the terrace. I felt, and was privileged. To see her even closer was even more icing on the cake. Both of us thoroughly enjoyed his present. And hug the memories tightly.

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  22. They are just gorgeous. It's good that they are happy, maybe zoos like that can create a win-win with happy animals and awareness of habitat loss etc

    Thank you

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    1. kylie: I hope that a good zoo can do just that. And contribute to the survival of some species as well. And yes, the lions, and rather a lot of the other animals could only be described as gorgeous.

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  23. I don't like the caged look but I do love the pictures that make it appear she is free roaming. She does not just look relaxed she looks healthy.

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    1. Granny Annie: She positively gleamed with health. As did every bird/fish/animal I saw. Which is as it should be.

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  24. She recognized nice people when she saw them. I love that she brought you her ball.

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    1. Lynn: I doubt that she has met anything but kind people since she came to Australia. And hearing the story of how she arrived she was much loved in Africa too.

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  25. OOOOOOOOO,
    such delight
    such JOY!
    Thank you for showing us these most magical creatures.
    For me, this will be my HEAVEN.
    WITHOUT CAGES)))
    xxxx

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    1. My Inner Chick: Definitely no cages. And heaven without animals wouldn't be.
      Isn't she gorgeous? And her shyer mate too.

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  26. Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful photos! I think that lioness is smiling at you in those last photos.

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    1. Ginger Dawn Harman: If she was it seems only fair. All the people watching her were smiling. Broadly.

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    2. Yeah! Smiles all around. I seem to be having problems in my comment section on my blog so I shall answer you here.... I too have a problem with sewing now. Mostly my eyes when I am cross stitching. I still would like to learn to quilt but the Amish do a wonderful job! Really enjoying your book recommends! Letters of Not is my nightly ritual now! Almost finished.

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    3. Ginger Dawn Harman: I adore Letters of Note. Have you checked out his website? It gets updated regularly (daily?) with more gems.

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  27. To be so close to these wonderful animals is just so special.
    Lovely seeing all your photographs.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Lowcarb team member ~ Jan: Thank you. It really was a special interlude.

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  28. how wonderful that these beautiful creatures have a home & NOT a cage!!

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    1. fishducky: Isn't it? And I am pretty certain that it is a home.

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  29. Beautiful Lions, white Lions. Looks like they are relaxed living there.

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    1. Bob Bushell: They do look relaxed don't they? And beautiful. So very beautiful.

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  30. These animals are so beautiful and majestic. Thank you for sharing these photos.

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    1. Truedessa: Aren't they gorgeous? And I am glad you like them too.

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  31. What beautiful creatures! And I too don't like to see them behind bars, but as you said, she could leave any time but chose to hang out with you. Bliss! :-)

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    1. DJan: The fact that she chose to be there made all the difference. And yes, bliss is a good word for it.

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  32. Handsome animals. And a better set up than many zoos...

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    1. Molly Bon: Zoos have (mostly) come a long way from the concrete monstrosities I remember as a child. The newer part of this one is going to be free range - which I applaud.

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  33. What beautiful creatures! Nature produces such loveliness. Man could not create such a hairstyle (furstyle?) as the lion has naturally. I love that the lioness has a ball to play with. And that she brought it so close that you could get those pictures. Did you ever feel like you were the ones being watched, not the other way around?

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    1. jenny_o: The animals were certainly watching us intently. Which makes sense. I would hate to see a person attempting to wear a lion's mane - which looks so right on them.

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  34. OMG!!! That huge cat is a beauty!! It is so amazing that you were able to take these gorgeous photos!! <3 - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

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    1. Gingi Freeman: We were so very lucky. And privileged.

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  35. I really loved the way you captured this beautiful photo story !
    now i know that such huge cats also like to play with balls .
    though animals in cages make me sad for a while .
    Blessings!

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    1. baili: Thank you. I am not surprised that big cats like to play - and I too find animals in cages sad. Very sad.

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  36. That head is massive! It's quite a beautiful place for a zoo. I'm glad you got to go on such an adventure.

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    1. Strayer: Her feet were huge too. It is a lovely spot, and very, very close to home.

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  37. Beautiful creatures and you are ever so lucky to be so close.

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    1. Margaret-whiteangel: We knew, and felt very, very privileged.

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  38. A private zoo/park right in the city where you live, how cool is that? So lucky to experience this up close. Both the cats and that luxurious looking bedroom suite :)

    As usual your photos are gorgeous, and I too love that the guides/keepers have names for their charges.

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    1. Nilanjana Bose: Thank you. It is such a wonderful addition to the city.

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  39. I am just blown away by this reserve. What a wonderful idea. I don't think we've got anything like this in the United States. The closest I've heard of is Best Friends, which is basically a domesticated animals rescue, dogs, cats, horses, etc.
    The white lions are beautiful.
    So glad you got to do this.

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    1. Sandra Cox: A number of our zoos have what they call 'roar and snore' experiences where you can stay overnight. This one takes it to a whole new level. And yes, I am so glad that we went. And himself is too.

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    2. You did good. What a perfect gift. How about if you adopt me and take me next time?
      Ha.

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    3. Sandra Cox: Your birthday is so close to ours that it would seem only fair that you share it with us.

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    4. Sandra Cox: We will work on it next year.

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  40. Yes, I was hoping for more, especially to see big cats and all the other beautiful and mighty critters roaming about. This is some adventure you went on, and thank you for sharing it with us!

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    1. Karen S.: Thank you. More to come yet. I took a LOT of photos.

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  41. What a magical place. I wonder if Mishka plays with that ball she retrieved?

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    1. mshatch: I hope so. It was no mean effort to retrieve it from the water and must have been heavy.

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  42. What a wonderful post you made for us! I'm touched

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    1. Cloudia: Thank you. We had a wonderful time. A really wonderful time.

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  43. Those lions are absolutely beautiful! On the one hand, it's sad to see wild animals in captivity, but on the other hand, Mishka does look happy. And it makes a huge difference when the caretakers genuinely care about the animals.

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    1. Susan: Lovely to see you here. I hope your surgery went really, really well. I agree with you about the care factor. It is wonderful to see. If you get the chance, look at the preceding post. I think it is something you would have loved too.

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    2. Susan: I am glad you did, and glad you liked it.

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  44. I've never seen beautiful, white lions like that. Mishka looks like a sweet, reliable best friend.

    Thank you, EC.

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    1. Rawknrobyn: She does look gorgeous doesn't she. And while I would love to have her as a friend I would be cautious.

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  45. These cats are fortunate to have the freedom of the park to roam free and play bless them. Looking at the last pictures, we're lucky to take our freedom as humans for granted. So many creatures can't and I guess this is what their world looks like. Thanks for the unique perspective EC

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    1. Spacer Guy: Freedom is an illusion and a dream for too many. I am grateful for what I have and mourn for those who don't. Whatever their species.

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  46. I was so glad to see the animals roaming. What a fantastic zoo. I never go to ones with cages because my heart breaks when I do.

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    1. cleemckenzie: This zoo has some cages, but they are fortunately few and far between. And it's newest area will, when completed have even less. I share your broken heart.

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  47. Such beautiful photos and such lovely creatures.

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    1. Mason Canyon: Both of us have a huge weakness for the big cats.

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  48. Amazing you close photos! Thanks for sharing! have a fantastic week!

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    1. Kelleyn Rothaermel: Welcome and thank you. I hope you have a fabulous week too.

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  49. What a super experience you had. The memories will stay for a long time. Toronto Zoo had 4 little boy white lion cubs born September 2015, they are called Hank, Harrison, Gus, and Oliver! They are going to a lion reserve in Quebec later this year. Have a look here: http://www.torontozoo.com/lioncubs/

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    1. Shammickite: The cubs are enchanting and their father Fintan sooooo patient. Loved the cub chewing on his tail. Thank you.

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  50. No I don't like seeing animals in cages but if they choose to be there, that's different. I love the close up shots you got. What an experience!

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    1. LL Cool Joe: Mishka's choice made all the difference for me. And yes, it was an amazing experience.

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  51. You certainly got some amazing shots. I prefer animals to have a choice and it sounds like these animals do. What an out of this world experience you had!
    ~Jess

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    1. DMS ~ Jess: Mishka certainly had a choice, and we felt honoured and privileged that she came to check us out.

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  52. Kitty!!!

    Also: fantastic shots per usual.

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    1. Robert Bennett: Wouldn't you love to be able to give that cat a rub behind the ears? And a scrootch between her eyes too.

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    1. The Happy Whisk: Thank you. It was an incredible zoo visit.

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  54. Wonderful photos of really magnificent animals! Thank you, EC, for sharing this experience.

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    1. Carol: Thank you. I have a huge weakness for the big cats and was so grateful to have seen Mishka and Jake.

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  55. Happy BDay, EC. Hope its the best one ever!

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    1. Sandra Cox: It was quiet but lovely. Thank you.

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    2. I'm glad:)
      Wishing you every day to be as lovely as your bday.
      That sanctuary looks like a wonderful home for those cats.

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    3. Sandra Cox: I think it is. I hope it is. And thank you.

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  56. Far better to have a relaxed lion than a tense one. Happy birthday, EC! So glad to have you in this world.

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    1. John Wiswell: In my next life I would like to be a relaxed cat. I had thought house cat, but a lion (or a tiger) would be fine.

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  57. Well first, thanks for coming by The Marmelade Gypsy to visit and leaving such a lovely comment! Sandra is so nice to highlight different bloggers.

    And now, the main comment -- WOW! Mischka is so beautiful. Holding her ball, she reminded me of my own cat, only she's not nearly so big! I would dearly love to see this in person.

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    1. Jeanie: Welcome and thank you. Jazz sees himself as a black panther. And is sure he could take Mishka and Jake on. The keepers told us that the snow leopards (smaller than the other big cats) feel the same way. Small cat syndrome?

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  58. She's beautiful. Maybe she wanted someone to play with her.

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    1. M Pax: And wouldn't that be a privilege...

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  59. Happy Birthday EC! Celebrating quietly is good too. Really neat shots of this gorgeous animal. Thank you for visiting and leaving your sweet comment. Happy New Year!

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    1. Denise inVa: Thank you. And a healthy Happy New Year to you and Gregg.

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  60. Gorgeous animals, but the first one doesn't look like a Jake to me.

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    1. Jenny Baranick: I doubt I would have called him Jake either. I am not sure about Mishka either, but she at least knew her name, and acknowledged it when the guides/keepers spoke to her.

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  61. Showed my kids this one (they're sitting right next to me). We all agreed, this is a very cool thing! Awesome that you shared it with us, and I like that they call them by name too. :)

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    1. mail4rosey: I am in complete agreement with you and your kids. And glad that you enjoyed it.

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  62. What a fantastic experience, Mishka certainly is a beautiful animal. I hate the idea of caged animals so it is reassuring to be told that she seemed to be content.

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    1. Share my Garden: Welcome and thank you. Mishka could have stayed by the water, under the trees, or in her den. She chose the small enclosed area. I think she was content. She looked content and I really hope she was.

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  63. Lovely lovely lovely! White lions - I had no idea that there are white lions. They seem to have a spacious and beautiful enclosure, and if she chooses to be behind the bars it's okay for them, I guess. They're beautiful animals. A huge difference to the sad zoo in Sacramento with a rather small space for the big cats and completely behind bars. Big sigh.

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    1. Carola Bartz: White lions are tawny lions - with a recessive gene dominant. Beautiful with it. And yes, choosing to be in that enclosure surprised me - but it was her choice.

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