Slice of Life Challenge #Day 22
What a memory gift this slice is, brought to mind by someone recently mentioning something to do with cheetahs! Suddenly I recalled my one and only encounter with these gorgeous creatures that wasn’t in a book or photo or on a TV screen.
A few years ago one of our daughters was working in South Africa and we went to visit her, along with our other two daughters. Of course wild life abounds in Africa, but a highlight for me was the chance to go to a sanctuary for cheetahs and other smaller wild cats. The sanctuary keeps some fairly tame animals in large separate enclosures. This helps to raise funds for their care and the money is also used to release others back into the wild.
We could get up close to the cheetahs and they were undoubtedly the star attraction. There were three, including two brothers that were very used to being handled. Our guide had hand reared them himself and provided many interesting details. He also advised us how to approach and touch them if we wanted to.
I discovered that a cheetah purrs and the sound it makes is like a small truck! It was almost surreal being able to stroke these elegant and incredibly sinuous creatures. The way they move and walk just hints at the surreal speed and strength pulsating beneath their skin.
Their movements were lithe and effortless as they strolled around their enclosure and interacted with their small group of admirers. I have always marvelled at the symmetry of their markings.
To me they are a lot more regal than the traditional king of the beasts!
A caracal catching his dinner in mid air.
They have spectacular jumping ability and amazing ears, but they are not so visitor friendly!
The servals were also fairly approachable and about the size of a large cat. They spend a lot of time up in trees.
It was an afternoon of unforgettable moments, spent up close and personal with one of my favourite animals and some of its relatives.