Sleeping with the Animals
Yesterday, E. and I were cranky. See, the night before we didn't sleep more than an hour or so. The lion kept us up. Roaring and panting, every 20 minutes or so. Remind me never to sleep near lions again.
The morning elephant visit was cool though--I had no idea what elephant skin was like--like leather that breathes. I fed "Butch" an entire bag of fruit--skins and all. Very aggressive snout he had. What an amazing animal to see up close. We also had visits by a baby Hyena (very much like a puppy) and a Servile--which is a big cat (bigger than a house cat, smaller than a leopard), cousin to the Ocelot with pretty apricot and black markings.
For E.'s big birthday I took him somewhere different. Very different--maybe too much so, though it was an experience we won't quickly forget. I initially went in the hopes that we could hold a monkey. We didn't, but a Capuchin monkey flirty madly with us and I would have liked to have spent more time with him.
We saw tigers and a bored kangeroo and some kind of giant rodent that looks like a mini kangeroo but isn't, and leopards and old toothless lions. It was almost like a Fellini movie.
The establishment is a place where "working" animals live. These animals star in films and TV. They're treated well, and it functions something like a zoo and a ranch put together. It's an odd place where the staff clearly likes animals more than humans, and where, though the safari tent we stayed in was cool--the staff clearly couldn't have cared less about our comfort. ("here's your breakfast" said the girl in the morning, swinging our basket of food at us like we were the animals, then lovingly patting the elephant at her side).
Still, it's only 20 minutes from Monterey, which is where we had dinner. I'm purposely not advertising for it here, though, as I don't know if I would recommend it unless you're truly, truly adventurous. What the tour should really advertise is: "Find out how it feels to be treated like an animal!" Nah, I'm exaggerating.
If I can figure out how to download photos from my phone, I will.