Friday, December 17, 2004

Private moment with a black panther

Oh, how I love the Belize Zoo! When Dagmar and her little boy Rafael said that they were going, I wasn't sure if I wanted to join them as we were there only a month ago. But of course, you're dealing with unpredictable animals, so each time will be different. And it was!

The first hour or so, we were the only people there and we enjoyed some real "private" moments with the animals. I hung over the enclosure of the baby Tapir (Belize's endangered "mountain cow") & started to tickle it behind it's ears. It was loving it! Eyes closed, twisting it's head and afterwards licking my hand. Oh, it was sweet.

A large white hawk tried to grab Lucas. Obviously, it couldn't get out of the enclosure, so it just flew into that (this hawk always seems to have it's eyes on Lucas)

And, the best thing of all was that the black Panther (or is it a black Jaguar?) was lying at the front of the enclosure. It is usually quite shy and I have never seen it come close to the front before. Anyway, he/she posed wonderfully for our pictures and then got it's eye on Lucas' bouncy ball. It started chasing it, the way a little kitten will chase a ball around the house. We had so much fun with this Panther, it was wonderful. We rolled the ball along the enclosure and he/she would chase it (Lucas wasn't happy with this at all). I even held it against the fence, so he/she could sniff it and try to have a little nibble. Dagmar and I both fell in love, we really felt like taking this magnificent creature home with us.

What a brilliant day!

If you want to see more Belize Zoo pictures, check out our fabulous online picture gallery.