Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Day On The Wild Side !!!

WARNING!    WARNING!!   WARNING!!!   Lots of pictures of beautiful babies follow!!!  You probably know that Patty, Dan and I are all about the cats ... no matter what kind!!  Since the West Coast Game park is just south of us in Bandon Oregon, it was a mandatory stop upon arrival in Coos Bay.  This is a Caracal (Kara-Call) or desert lynx from Africa.  He's about 5 months old and the most beautiful "kitty" I've ever seen.  To make it even better, we got to pet and play with him for about 30 minutes while the baby tiger ate his lunch.  He's actually tuned in to a peacock in this image.
For a measly $14.50 we obtained entrance to this walk through safari/petting zoo.  It happened that on this day they have ALL the babies available for personal interaction and pictures, five to be exact.
Watch where you step ... there are lots of little bombs around the premises from the pigmy goats, deer and llamas.  For 50 cents you can pick up an ice cream cone full of goodies to feed them.
This is baby Bonnie ... a black bear cub getting a treat of evaporated milk and water.  
She was a sweetie, but as you can tell, I wasn't quite as brave as I am later on with Bob.  Her playmate is another black bear, brown in color, who name is .... you guessed it, Clyde!!
There were two ferrets, cute as buttons, along with a white skunk.  Course the skunk didn't get quite the action the two ferrets did!!!
We learned that ferrets don't have a backbone ... but cartilage, allowing them to roll up into a small ball, as well as get through small cracks to tear up your cupboards and dressers!!
First time ever I've seen a lion play with the toys provided for their entertainment.  Although the cages aren't the biggest ever, the animals appear very healthy and well kept.  This is a breeding facility that produces babies for other facilities and zoos.
She's got her eyes on one of about 40 goats and deer that roam the property.

Kitty love!!!  This pair of lynx were mutually grooming each other.  Notice the white spot on the lower female's ear?  All of the cats here have that white spot that I never noticed before.  The keepers said it helps protect them in the wild ... whoever may be sneaking up on them from behind, will see these white spots and think it is the animals eyes, thus scaring them off.  
Whispering sweet nothings in his ear ......
This is Todd ... the baby fox.  Handled by a dog trainer with a big degree, he knows several tricks and is very well behaved.  I wish he would have a talk with Cooper!!  Soft and smooth as silk ... he was a sweetheart.

All of the big guys outside were sleeping in the sun.  Dinner time comes after 5:00pm when all visitors have left.  These two are working up their appetites for steak, ground turkey and beef, along with some special dog food and vitamins.  

This is Harley, just hanging out.  His bride, a black leopard, is pregnant and VERY cranky!!  These are the guys that drag their kill to the top of the trees for dining privacy.  
And here's one special kitty ... Bob the Bobcat!!!  Also a baby, he loves to play and interact with people.  He's about the size of my Jack Russell Jessie Belle.
He was raised at home by one of the employees here, along with the Caracal, who became his best friend.  
Bob and Dan .....
Bob and Patty .....
Bob and ME!!!  He's like a big kitty ... crawled on to my lap and snuggled while I scratched his back.  I can easily see why people want to keep them as pets, but please don't.  They really are wild animals.
Bob and his "mom"/handler!!  About twelve pounds here, he will grow to 30+.  Achieving adulthood in about 18 months, he has a new cradle robber ... I mean bride ... waiting in the wings.
This 3 month old bengal tiger was as big as a large dog.  He was all about playing ... although we were allowed in to pet and play with him, the handler kept him moving, so our interaction was minimal.  Most of the images came out blurry ... he's VERY fast!!  
At last he laid down for all of 15 seconds!  Those paws are as large as my hands!!  By the time he's 5 months old, he won't be allowed out with the public.  Even at this young age, you can see the "animal" in him
Mostly he practiced his attack mode ... leaping and grabbing with his claws.  With baby teeth and a full belly, he wasn't doing much damage.  
THIS is the elegant Caracal ... he does have a name, but it's not Bob or Tom ... it was something I couldn't pronounce.  Talk about a gorgeous animal.  About the same size as Bob, he looks like your everyday house cat.  With long legs, big paws and ears that can pick up the slightest sound, this guy is made for hunting.

If not on a leash, he would have cleaned up on the peacock just to the right.  
Well there's no way to top that beauty, except maybe for Patty to find the fabric she has been looking for at Forget-Me-Knots Quilt Store in Bandon.  This store has the right idea ... two chairs and a table full of Guns and Ammo magazines!! 
We headed back to Coos Bay to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day at Wendys   ....  you didn't know???  It's never too late to celebrate!!  Of course Dan was the only one that actually got a cheeseburger, but no matter ... everyone celebrates in their own way!!!

This morning we are off for California.  I'm eager to get home with all the goodies I purchased, but sad to see the trip coming to an end.  Time to start planning my next jaunt to Southern California and Arizona.

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