Monday, January 11, 2010

king of Harnas

Yesterday I went out on the guest tour. We ride in a big "safari" style truck and visit the outer enclosures where the older animals live (most of whom were raised here from babies) while volunteers feed them their daily food. It's a great 3-hour experience coming face to face with leopards, lions, cheetahs, baboons, caracals, African wild dogs and so on--and the guide gives so much interesting and important information as you drive and watch. It's more of an educational experience rather than like visiting a zoo. Guests come away with a new understanding of the plight of many of these creatures.

I love going just to catch up on how everyone's doing. It's great fun to see old friends and new additions.

One of the most impressive sights is Sher Khan, the biggest and most fierce of the lions (although he'll soon be caught in size by Zion, one of the lions who was a cub when I came here three years ago). Sher Khan was once a small, cuddly cub, but he's 8 or 9 now, and as male lions become mature, they grow more aggressive and can't be approached anymore by people--even the ones who raised him. (The females often stay relatively tame.)

I'm going to include a video of Sher Khan's behavior as we stopped and approached his fence. You'll see him kicking up dirt--that' s sign of aggression and marking his territory. You'll also see that the fence between me and him looks small and fragile, but be aware that there are electric currents running through it that deter him from rushing the fence.

It's quite a sight. Enjoy it!

1 comment:

  1. So, just help me here. The king of Harnas is caged (ok, behind an electrified fence) because ... it keeps him safe, yes?