Well, we finally had a chance to see the animals that Africa is famous for,… at least some of them. I will try to get another (more serious) post up in a day or two but for now, this post is dedicated to my grandchildren and anyone else who wants to see some not so wild animals.
This past week we were able to visit a park just outside of Johannesburg and see the animals that are no where to be found (but should be) in the DRC. If any of you are wondering where they went, the book “King Leopold’s Ghost”, might answer some of your questions. (I had to stop part of the way through.) Anyway, on with happy things! On the afternoon of our last day of the Mission President’s Seminar, we were able to spend some time with the other couples, getting to know the not so wild side of Africa. We drove through the park, with our windows open, snapping pictures as we went. It was fun!
There were two types of lions. The kind most of us picture when we think of lions, is like the one above. Isn’t he beautiful?! And he really does remind me of Link, our Leonberger at home. For those of you who don’t know who Lincoln is, he is one of our dogs/sons that we had to leave in our daughter’s care, while we are here in the DRC. Leonbergers are a rare dog breed originating in Germany, that were bred to resemble lions, and in the coloring and the mane at least,… they do! There were three or four males, along with some females and they were not in the least concerned about us in the van.
This one here, as well as the pictures below, are white lions. We were fortunate that all of the lions were so close. They were laying on the road actually, and in no hurry to get up and let us pass. They are certainly not “free” to roam whereever they choose, but they seemed happy enough.
These guys made me think of the movie “Lion King”, though they are wild dogs and not hyenas. They are really not the most attractive animals but it is more the way they act, than look. I felt like they might just jump in the van window, given the chance.
This red rhino was quite a distance away from us, but was still fun to see.
Okay, I can’t remember what this is called but I really like his horns!
These giraffes were so beautiful and obviously used to people. They came right over to the fence to get the leaves we were offering them. The feel of that long grey tongue reminded me of a cow’s tongue, just not quite so spiky.
These little three month old cubs were fast asleep when we entered their enclosure. There were three white lion cubs and one white tiger cub, all cuddled up together. This little guy was the bravest and wanted to play with Brent. The tiger cub was frightened and didn’t want anything to do with us…. at first!
Brent said he could just imagine what those big paws would be capable of doing, but the claws he said, were not near as sharp as our cats at home.
In short, that may be the only time we will be able to see these beautiful animals while we are here in Africa and I do appreciate it. Wild Africa? Not really, but it was fun! You can’t help but feel a little sad that there are none of these animals in our mission, but Hey!…We get to see another kind of wild Africa almost everday, back in the DRC.