Vanishing Species Wildlife

Dream Dream Dream...

This weekend was sorta fun.. I went to Sawgrass and then helped feed the property on Saturday and then went back to Sawgrass again on Sunday. They planned to bring Montana or Sierra out, but the weather was kind of iffy, so I didn't get to see them. Awww, I bet they're getting big!

On Friday I saw the movie Born Free for the first time ever. I felt it was odd for a cat person such as myself to not see this 1966 film until now, but it turns out lots of people haven't seen it. This must be corrected immediately; it's a must see, especially if you like lions, or big cats in general...

Speaking of movies, I slapped this together today. It basically shows Junior, doing what cats do best. }:)

Link: Saturday's Pictures

Spotty cougar-cubs are precious!

Well, the adorable spotted fuzzball you see at the left is Sierra. She was out at Sawgrass today, along with Ann-Marie, Junior's sister and littermate.

Sierra is around four weeks old, and really enjoyed the day, sleeping on a warm heating pad most of the time and getting fed milk from a bottle several times. I wish I could take her home! Alas, maybe someday I'll have the necessary credentials to do so.

After Sawgrass I went to the property. Tiffany was being a sweetie today, chuffing up a storm. I hope she gets a new cage-mate soon; she must get lonely in there. That's why I give her extra-special attention.

Well, today's pictures are all here, feel free to enjoy!

So... Freakin'... Adorable...

Well, I finally got to meet Bada-Bing's cubs! There are three of them, and they are the most adorable spotty-cougar-cubs you've ever seen in your entire life! I'll even offer a money-back guarantee!

We seperate cougars from their mother when they are around this age (two weeks) so that they can be socialized to people and become handleable as adults. These three little guys were in this laundry basket, and were squirming around and squeaking a lot! I even took some video of them and posted it, so take a look. You can hear the squeaking really well in part of the video.

Click here to see all the photos I took. Note that cougars have spots when they are cubs; the spots vanish when they mature.

Other than that, I had a nice morning at sawgrass and helped a bit at the property. We fed whole chickens today; you gotta love how effortlessly the tigers can pull a chicken through a small feedhole...


I helped clean up and feed at the property this afternoon, then went over to the house (where they keep the small animals and cubs) hoping to see Badabing's new cubs (three of them!), but they were off at a show.

Arrrrgh! I hope I get to see them tomorrow. I want to take some video of them, and possibly some photos too. I bet those cougar cubs are SO adorable!

I did get to see Taj, Cheech, and Chong though. I took some video of Taj prancing around on a leash and getting dunked in the pool; that was hilarious. I'll probably post the video soon, when I get it cut down and compressed into something less than 1.4GB.

Tomorrow: Sawgrass in the morning, hopefully a visit to see the new cubs at lunch and property in the afternoon!

Then next weekend: TROPICAL HAMBOREE! Whoohoo!

An okay weekend, though uneventful...

A fun weekend, though nothing really ground-breaking happened. }:)

On Saturday a friend introduced me to this show on NBC called "LAX", and let me copy a bunch of episodes he had downloaded. An excellent program, I must say. It's basically a drama that's based at Los Angeles International Airport, where the main characters have to deal with lots of bizarre situations. I've already seen two episodes and plan to watch one a night until I've gone through the ones I have. Downloaded episodes are a wonderful way of catching up when you're introduced to a new show; too bad the network executives hate it so much. They just gained a viewer because of someone letting my copy the eps! Not to mention you folks who are probably reading this now and may want to check out the show as a result... [UPDATE: I found out LAX was cancelled. Dangit! Of course, this is partially NBC's fault... Why put a decent show opposite another VERY popular show (in this case, ABC's Lost)? Are they smoking something? Arrgh.]

Spent Sunday morning at Sawgrass and I helped feed the tigers and cougars at the VSW property in the afternoon. A few tour groups came through at Sawgrass, but there were some great quiet moments when I was able to interact with Junior. He was his usual sleepy-yet-purry self.

The meat of the day at the property was ribs and pork; Nicholas the big male tiger was extremely food-aggressive and wouldn't let Diana (his cagemate) eat, so I had to have another volunteer distract Nikky with food at the other end of the cage while I fed Di the pork!

Nikky's roar has to be heard to be believed. You can probably hear it a few blocks away, and it rattles right through you when you're near him. I'm sure glad that fence is seperating him from me when he's in that food-aggressive mood!

No pictures today; I wasn't really that up to it, having acquired a headache by the time I was done at the property. Just wanted to get some aspirin and go home...

Ahh well, back to work tomorrow.

Soaked to the bone...

I headed out to Sawgrass this morning and was happy to see Mickey, a cougar I hadn't met before. He's full grown at 2.5 years and weighs over 200lbs, but was one of the sweetest kitties I've ever met. He just sat there and let me pet him and rubbed his head against me a few times, purring a little. He doesn't purr quite as much as Junior, and he's not quite as friendly with me, but still amazing considering his size and the fact that he's never met me before.

I was then called to go to the property to help out there a bit with some cleanup, but it had started pouring rain by that point, making work a bit difficult. I also helped feed some, and had a cute face-to-face chuff exchange with Tiffany. Unfortunately I had to leave early, which was especially annoying because the weather had actually started clearing up at the time!

Ahh well, getting soaked to the bone was worth it for getting to meet Mickey and chuffin' with Tiff. }:)

No pictures today; my camera ain't waterproof!

Taj is getting big!

Taj, the tiger cub I held when he was only hours old, is getting huge! He's already about four months old and is becoming quite a terror. I tried to take him on a leash and it was a rather stressful experience, because he's quite hyper and just wants to play.

He is an only cub, and thus has no playmates his age to use up his energy on, so he uses it up on us. It is important to teach them not to bite and claw at this age, because when they grow up, biting and clawing can result in annoying things like lost limbs, broken bones, torn skin, and so on.

Overall, it was fun to play with him. He kept trying to walk around me, tying me up in the leash and then attacking my ankle. I must have said "no bite!" about 300 times in all. Later on he calmed down a little and let me pet him. I wish I could spend more time with the little guy.

Other than that, not much of an eventful day. I got some pictures of Nat hamming it up at the property, and Junior being a cutie at Sawgrass. He was really tired and groggy in the morning, but perked up later in the day. Today wasn't a good day for pictures, the lighting was just all wrong at the property with the sun shining in randomly and ruining otherwise perfect shots. It was already dark by the time I saw Taj, so I had to use flash, and flash photos never look all that good unless you have an umbrella system.

Here's today's pictures, including those of Taj

Darlene is leaving...

Well, Darlene, one of the tigers at the property, is leaving tomorrow or Monday. She is going to the Palmdale facility which is way out of driving range for me to visit regularly. Major, major suckage for me, but she will have a bigger enclosure to prance around in, so I'm glad she will be a happy tigerkitty afterall.

She has been more affectionate than usual lately, as I mentioned in a previous post; chuffing a lot and letting me scritch her chin through the fence. She actually places her head in a way I can scratch her chin without even putting my finger past the fence (which I'm not qualified to do yet) It's as if she knows she gets extra scritches from the junior volunteers by doing this!
Tiffany, whom you can see at the right, is making what we call a "stinky-face". Basically, cats sometimes do this when trying to make out a scent; it exposes more of the air to the organ in the roof of their mouth that "tastes" the scent.

Some of the cougars on the property have come down with something; they will be seeing a vet soon and I'm a bit concerned about them, particularly my favorite, Mystique.

So in a way, it was a bit of a sad day, but I still got some decent pictures, including the ones inlined in this post. }:)

Click here for today's pictures

A panther slept in my lap!

It was a rather cold day at Sawgrass Recreational Park today, and due to this, not as busy as I expected. A couple of tour groups did come in, but not the massive after-xmas influx.

Junior was there, and was being rather frisky at first. A bit later when he calmed down, though, I sat down on the ground next to his "box", and he came over to me and climbed into my lap! He curled a bit sideways (he doesn't really fit in my lap, being over 90lbs already) and fell asleep.

He slept for 20 minutes in my lap, and kept me warm, too. He was purring on and off and he ocassionally turned around a bit and shifted positions. Unfortunately, my right foot started to fall asleep and hurt, so I had to get up. Awww...

Later on I visited the property and did the usual chopping-up-chicken and feeding the kitties. After that work was done, I sat right in front of the fence to Darlene's enclosure (a full grown tiger), and she came up to me and started chuffing and rubbing into the fence. At one point, my face was so close to hers, I could feel her breath on my face when she chuffed. It was definitely a "one with nature" moment. I stayed there for a few minutes, scritching Darlene and Tiffany through the fence. I sometimes wish I could get an invulnerability powerup in real life, so I could go in there and tussle with the tigers without risk of getting hurt. }:)

No photos at the property, but I took some at Sawgrass.

Link: A few photos at Sawgrass

Short day at Sawgrass, but cool photos!

I went to Sawgrass today; it's a half day since it's Christmas Eve and everyone just wants to go home. But I'm glad I did, as I got to meet a panther I hadn't met before, AND I got some cool photos in the process!

My friend Brian asked me to take some pictures of him with the panther, which is why there's so many of them.

Here are the photos,

and of course...

Here's my favorite of the day.

Happy Holidays!

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