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One of the Pride in South Africa

Author -  Jesse Voice

One of the Pride in South Africa

 

Jesse Save the Lions IWH 1.jpg


One of the owners, took us out with 3 rangers and 12 lions aged between 1 and 2 years on a walk. We each carried a stick as these lions had been trained to treat the stick as a barrier they cannot cross so if one approached us too close we can put the stick in between us and they’ll know not to attack us. We walked along the road into the bush with the lions running all around us. They would stop and climb trees and Colin would throw chickens for them to eat or put them on the end of a long stick and lure them higher up the tree with it.


Jesse Save the Lions IWH 2.jpg


The lions often stood around in a pack and start growling asking for chickens but being very well behaved. The rangers walked us all the way in to a watering hole where the lions jumped in and splashed about chasing each other and fighting for chickens. As we approached we had seen two giraffes and one of the lions gave chase deep into the bush eventually being lured back out by Tafuma’s whistling. We all stood and watched them frolic and play and then Tafuma had us line up and spit a bead of antelope poop as far as we could. Elinor ended up winning that much to her delight.


Jesse Save the Lions IWH 3.jpg

 

We walked back with Alex the lion right in the middle of our formation - he would often stop and Colin would have to tell him to keep moving. On our way back we looked in the big lion enclosure for the newborn cub - after walking the perimeter Colin spotted it lying next to a log and even with full zoom it looked like a little yellow rock.

Elinor and I spent the rest of the morning in with the Devils and when we left we were invited to join Gill, Julie and Coral for some cheetah feeding. We went in with the one year old cheetahs and while they were eating Gill got each of us to sit beside them and pat them while they ate so she could take some photos of us, then we laid down behind them for more photos while they rested after their meal.

Jesse Save the Lions IWH 6.jpg

In the afternoon we switched to the hyenas where it was actually only one hyena as the big one had been taken to the vet for a check up. Our little hyena, Grey Knee as we call her because she’s got a grey patch of fur where her knee would be, was happy to see us and she lay with us until the first tour group arrived when she ran for the rocks (which seems to be a regular occurrence). Once the tourists left she came back out to play with us, falling asleep while we relaxed in the sun.

Jesse Save the Lions IWH 5.jpg

She woke up after about half an hour and went mental trying to bite everything so we tried to distract her with her chew toy but she kept coming back for shoelaces, Elinor’s book and hat, and our legs. We left her to calm down while we prepared her milk - the cubs haven’t been drinking much lately so we were stoked when Grey Knee drank two whole bottles of milk. She’ll be right!
Cheetah Wrangling

It was easy to get up today - we had been assigned cheetahs. For days now we had fawned over the little cheetah cubs kept in an enclosure that we pass multiple times a day to go and have our meals or return to our rooms. “Cub cub cub cub.” Today we were finally allowed to go inside and play with them! Alan the Scottish “cheetah whisperer” guided us into their pen and we patted them as he got to know us by asking all about our lives and telling us about his. We sat down and one of them loved me and sat in my lap for a long time while I patted it and took selfies with it.

Their names were Fast and Furious and I believe the one who took to me was Furious as she tried to bite me a few times but her teeth were too small to hurt me! We played with their favourite toy and had them running back and forth and jumping around just like little kittens. We went to see the six month old cubs after that who were just as cute and only a little bit bigger. The young cubs had gorged themselves on milk so they had already grown a lot in their 8 weeks. Alan took us around all the enclosures and left us in with the caracal for an hour where we dismantled their existing house by pulling all the straw out of it and reducing it back to its wooden frame. We pulled most of the straw and wire framing out before we suspected that there was a bee hive amongst it and decided to finish up. I had a rash all over my arms that was red and itchy from the straw.

Should’ve worn long sleeves in that hot sun. William came and fetched us and we helped Alan and Helga catch some of the cheetahs that needed to have de-flea medicine put on them to stop ticks and one of them had ticks that had caused some painful rashes and they had worn out pads on their feet so Alan carefully maneuvered them into a small cage where William and Helga held sticks to block their teeth and claws and spray the tick spray on the rashes and put the de-flea medicine (large dog variety) on their necks and above their tail. I had to put the de-flea medicine on the pregnant cheetah while Elinor got to hold a tail through the cage.

We broke for lunch and then joined back up for feeding time at 2pm. Alan had a bucket and a bag full of chicken and chicken pieces, he led us back in to the enclosure walkway and had us each throw a chicken in to the cages on the left hand side. He led us on a terrifying walk inside one of the right hand enclosures where two cheetahs were hissing and spitting at us and scaring the life out of us. Mike was meant to go first but he was too scared so I went and slowly crept in towards these wild animals. After what seemed like walking a mile but was actually only about ten metres, Alan scared them off to the back of the enclosure and had us lie down on our stomachs on the ground with our cameras ready.


Jesse Save the Lions IWH 10.jpg


He dropped a chicken leg about 30cm in front of us and we all filmed as the cheetahs charged in and grabbed them out from in front of us. Terrifying is putting it lightly. He did this numerous times and we were scared every time the cheetahs made eye contact with us as they snatched their chicken pieces. A family came through on a tour and they stood behind us as another cheetah was lured out of its enclosure and fed right in front of us. We threw some more chickens in to the younger ones and we were done for the day.

Blog by Jesse Voice, Christchurch, NZ.

One of the Pride in South Africa

One of the Pride in South Africa

 

Jesse Save the Lions IWH 1.jpg


One of the owners, took us out with 3 rangers and 12 lions aged between 1 and 2 years on a walk. We each carried a stick as these lions had been trained to treat the stick as a barrier they cannot cross so if one approached us too close we can put the stick in between us and they’ll know not to attack us. We walked along the road into the bush with the lions running all around us. They would stop and climb trees and Colin would throw chickens for them to eat or put them on the end of a long stick and lure them higher up the tree with it.


Jesse Save the Lions IWH 2.jpg


The lions often stood around in a pack and start growling asking for chickens but being very well behaved. The rangers walked us all the way in to a watering hole where the lions jumped in and splashed about chasing each other and fighting for chickens. As we approached we had seen two giraffes and one of the lions gave chase deep into the bush eventually being lured back out by Tafuma’s whistling. We all stood and watched them frolic and play and then Tafuma had us line up and spit a bead of antelope poop as far as we could. Elinor ended up winning that much to her delight.


Jesse Save the Lions IWH 3.jpg

 

We walked back with Alex the lion right in the middle of our formation - he would often stop and Colin would have to tell him to keep moving. On our way back we looked in the big lion enclosure for the newborn cub - after walking the perimeter Colin spotted it lying next to a log and even with full zoom it looked like a little yellow rock.

Elinor and I spent the rest of the morning in with the Devils and when we left we were invited to join Gill, Julie and Coral for some cheetah feeding. We went in with the one year old cheetahs and while they were eating Gill got each of us to sit beside them and pat them while they ate so she could take some photos of us, then we laid down behind them for more photos while they rested after their meal.

Jesse Save the Lions IWH 6.jpg

In the afternoon we switched to the hyenas where it was actually only one hyena as the big one had been taken to the vet for a check up. Our little hyena, Grey Knee as we call her because she’s got a grey patch of fur where her knee would be, was happy to see us and she lay with us until the first tour group arrived when she ran for the rocks (which seems to be a regular occurrence). Once the tourists left she came back out to play with us, falling asleep while we relaxed in the sun.

Jesse Save the Lions IWH 5.jpg

She woke up after about half an hour and went mental trying to bite everything so we tried to distract her with her chew toy but she kept coming back for shoelaces, Elinor’s book and hat, and our legs. We left her to calm down while we prepared her milk - the cubs haven’t been drinking much lately so we were stoked when Grey Knee drank two whole bottles of milk. She’ll be right!
Cheetah Wrangling

It was easy to get up today - we had been assigned cheetahs. For days now we had fawned over the little cheetah cubs kept in an enclosure that we pass multiple times a day to go and have our meals or return to our rooms. “Cub cub cub cub.” Today we were finally allowed to go inside and play with them! Alan the Scottish “cheetah whisperer” guided us into their pen and we patted them as he got to know us by asking all about our lives and telling us about his. We sat down and one of them loved me and sat in my lap for a long time while I patted it and took selfies with it.

Their names were Fast and Furious and I believe the one who took to me was Furious as she tried to bite me a few times but her teeth were too small to hurt me! We played with their favourite toy and had them running back and forth and jumping around just like little kittens. We went to see the six month old cubs after that who were just as cute and only a little bit bigger. The young cubs had gorged themselves on milk so they had already grown a lot in their 8 weeks. Alan took us around all the enclosures and left us in with the caracal for an hour where we dismantled their existing house by pulling all the straw out of it and reducing it back to its wooden frame. We pulled most of the straw and wire framing out before we suspected that there was a bee hive amongst it and decided to finish up. I had a rash all over my arms that was red and itchy from the straw.

Should’ve worn long sleeves in that hot sun. William came and fetched us and we helped Alan and Helga catch some of the cheetahs that needed to have de-flea medicine put on them to stop ticks and one of them had ticks that had caused some painful rashes and they had worn out pads on their feet so Alan carefully maneuvered them into a small cage where William and Helga held sticks to block their teeth and claws and spray the tick spray on the rashes and put the de-flea medicine (large dog variety) on their necks and above their tail. I had to put the de-flea medicine on the pregnant cheetah while Elinor got to hold a tail through the cage.

We broke for lunch and then joined back up for feeding time at 2pm. Alan had a bucket and a bag full of chicken and chicken pieces, he led us back in to the enclosure walkway and had us each throw a chicken in to the cages on the left hand side. He led us on a terrifying walk inside one of the right hand enclosures where two cheetahs were hissing and spitting at us and scaring the life out of us. Mike was meant to go first but he was too scared so I went and slowly crept in towards these wild animals. After what seemed like walking a mile but was actually only about ten metres, Alan scared them off to the back of the enclosure and had us lie down on our stomachs on the ground with our cameras ready.


Jesse Save the Lions IWH 10.jpg


He dropped a chicken leg about 30cm in front of us and we all filmed as the cheetahs charged in and grabbed them out from in front of us. Terrifying is putting it lightly. He did this numerous times and we were scared every time the cheetahs made eye contact with us as they snatched their chicken pieces. A family came through on a tour and they stood behind us as another cheetah was lured out of its enclosure and fed right in front of us. We threw some more chickens in to the younger ones and we were done for the day.

Blog by Jesse Voice, Christchurch, NZ.

One of the Pride in South Africa

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