Born overnight on the 26th and 27th of September, 2015 to Makali and Fintan were four white lion cubs – all boys, as it turned out later to some dismay.
For without any perceptible warning Vitali suddenly rolled over and leaped to his feet, emitting an ear-splitting roar directed squarely at me, mere feet away from him. Yes, there was a fence and a railing between us but this isn’t information one tends to process in the nanosecond a tiger turns to roar at him.
[Jamarcus] was a precocious young lad from the very beginning and always seemed to be in view. In fact, he was almost too precocious because I needed him to be farther away from the fence to be able to blur it out, whereas he often came over to see the people whenever anyone was stopping by. It was pretty difficult to be frustrated with anything that cute and that close by.
On September 16, 2015 my friends Karen, Tom, and I were just that lucky and happened upon a rather industrious Ward, out in his pond area, enthusiastically going to town on a fresh log that the Keepers had put in the exhibit for him and/or his sister.
Rey’s arrival didn’t make a particularly large splash to most people, but it had a profound effect on me in quite a few ways, some of which are, sadly, not particularly happy ones. I’ll try to keep the “angst” to a bare minimum in this post, but it does make for a compelling story.
I walked around to the viewing window at the north side of the enclosure and watched this big fuzzy goofball trot towards me, then walk away more slowly, then turn and trot a bit faster back toward the window again. I got the feeling this was a show he was putting on exclusively for me, because I was the only one there and he seemed to lock eyes with me each time he began to canter. It was quite an experience!
Finally I was able to get a glimpse – and a photo! – of a tiny beak protruding just above the rim of the nest as the adult swallow deposited its treasure into the waiting mouth.