Friday, March 26, 2010

Animal Orphanage

I've talked a lot about the lions, cheetahs, and other more exciting animals here at Harnas, but there are baby animals everywhere--of every kind. Harnas is recognized as one of the few official orphanages for animals, and Marieta has certainly earned that recognition.

At any given time, there are babies of many species. Right now we have two baby lambs--Lily and Lambert. That's me in the picture (on a rainy day) feeding Lambert a bottle. His umbilical cord is still attached to him, but it's hard to see. The other one, Lily, struggled for a few days. She got milk in her lungs, and in a heroic move, Frikkie put Lily's whole face in his mouth and sucked everything out of her lungs. Not pretty, but it did the trick, and now Lily is improving. Animals come first--despite what some people might describe as a gross-out action.

We've also got some baby chicks, baby cows and horses, baby springboks--and many other antelope-type animals like kudu, eland, oryx, baby mongooses (so cute, but with razor teeth), crocodiles, and baby warthogs. I'll include a video of those last creatures--one of the weirdest but most interesting animals around--I think George Lucas looked at warthogs before he created the famous bar scene in Star Wars. And finally, of course, baby baboons. I'll include one picture of playtime in Barbara's clothes hamper--with diaper on and pacifier attached.

It's hard to find an ugly baby animal. I think they've evolved this way to make sure that their mothers say, "Ohhhh! How cute! I think I'll dedicate my life to taking care of you!" Makes sense to me.

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