On one of our trips to South Africa, my husband and I decided to take our girls to the Lion Park so that they could meet with the “king of the jungle”. The park is just outside of Fourways in Johannesburg and it did not take us long to drive there. As we entered the gates after paying, we came across the following sign:
“Should we go visit the baby lions?” I asked my girls. “Yes!” they chorused with enthusiasm. I wasn’t too sure what “touch a cub” referred to but if it meant that we could see cubs up close, I was eager to find out. A little bit further on, we found out that we could enter the enclosure where the cubs were kept – but we had to understand that the cubs were wild animals and not the little kittens we would play with at home.
We decided to enter. When would we get this chance again to actually touch a lion – even though it was a little one? We came really close to the cubs. So close that I could take pictures without using the zoom on my camera.
We were told we could touch the cubs. After a little hesitation, one by one my family and I did so. My youngest was a bit nervous to reach out; but eventually, when she saw that we had come to no harm, she reached out to touch the rough-feeling fur of the young animal.
There were quite a few cubs in the enclosure. We did not touch them all – only the ones that the handlers encouraged us to. I am guessing that the cubs all get their turn as there were quite a few visitors to the lion park that day.
Looking at the cubs close-up, they look even more like bigger versions of kittens.
I enjoyed the experience of being so close to them. It was a close view of nature’s wild animals that one does not often see.
One of the handlers was playing with a cub, showing us that maybe they are just bigger versions of kittens.
Alas we could not play with the cubs like this. But it was a wonderful experience being able to touch them and see them up close.
Have you ever touched a lion cub?
(This post was written especially for Sonel, a South African blogger who shows beautiful photographs taken in her home country. Hope you enjoyed the photos Sonel 🙂 )