I’ll never forget the fateful day I went to the Out of Africa Wildlife Park – twenty years ago.
Between the inspirational stories, the albino baby tigers, the baby lion that wouldn’t stop biting the sore bottom of a surprisingly unperturbed worker (who testified that their teeth really are quite sharp!), the jokes introducing “my fifth wife Bobby,” and the live shows where real people were playing with very real wild animals, there was an amazing amount of information to digest. It was a fun filled day with lots of action. Once you hear a whole pride of lions roaring at dusk, you’ll likely never forget it. Once you see with your own eyes a very large Siberian tiger roaring at its keeper who is in the cage with it – without any weapons – and then you see that same tiger sucking on the thumb of the keeper’s wife, you’ll never be satisfied with a regular day at the zoo again!
Above everything else, the one thing that really stuck out in my mind was what the owner of the park taught us about wild animals – how they think, how we can live in harmony with them, and how to befriend them – the picture says it all. I saw Steve Irwin profess love towards the creatures he taunted but I never saw them return his affection like this lion – and no, this is not photoshopped. I watched them walk alongside the keeper and his wife – huge untamed lions who treated him like a companion.
I couldn’t recommend this place enough – for children and adults alike. Check it out for yourself: Out of Africa Wildlife Park.