Thursday, April 22, 2010

White Lions

Last Saturday Sr. Mehlte took Sarah, Kelly, Sr. Janice (an American SND), and I to see white lions. White lions are caused by a recessive gene and are indigenous to South Africa. This "reserve" first started breeding white lions in the 1970's when there were only a handful left in the wild. I was a little disappointed that this was more of a zoo than an actual reserve or game park. There are usually two or three lions kept in a fenced hectacre of land. We were able to drive through the enclosures in a special safari vehicle and we were only about three feet from the lions. One of the lions had recently given birth and there were four day old cubs hiding in a bush. After the tour we met two five month old cubs that had been hand raised. As soon as we walked in one of the cubs goes straight to Kelly and tries to clamp his jaw around her knee. The guide just told us to slap it's nose if it did things like that and it would stop. Pretty soon we were petting the cubs and it was like playing with overgrown puppies. They would roll around and they liked to chew on my shoes. At one point a cub was rolling around and it playfully put its paw on my leg. Unfortunately their claws were so sharp it cut my leg, but it all works out because I can now tell people I was nearly mauled by lions. The lion cubs were so sweet and it was fun playing with them.

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