Sunday, June 28, 2009
T&D Cats of the World, Penns Creek, PA
I don’t go to things like zoos or circuses because I don’t want to support taking animals from the wild so that I can have the pleasure of seeing them. In cages. Out of their natural habitat. Obviously not living the way nature intended them to live.
But T&Ds is different. They rescue these animals from idiots who think having monkeys, lions, tigers and bears for pets is cool, until they realize monkeys, lions, tigers and bears are wild animals not intended for home keeping. Some of their animals are from zoos, an aged tiger couple, exhausted from constant human interruption, retired to T&Ds –where visitors and hours are more limited and obtrusive than a public zoos. Some of the animals came from other places, those set up to entertain people with a wild animal tour that wasn’t profitable.
For whatever reason they are there, these animals are now trapped in a caged life. But T&Ds mission is not to run a profitable zoo, rather they use these animals as a tool to teach people why wild animals should be kept wild, and to bear witness to what happens to those animals when they are taken from the wild and find themselves unwanted and homeless.
It is because of this mission, and their excellent care (thanks to the owners and countless volunteers and donations) of the animals, that I found myself able to enjoy seeing these amazing animals up close and personal.
Because it was a cool breezy day the animals were very active. But my camera battery died ½ way through the walking tour, thus I missed photos of the lions playing like kittens, the bear who followed us hoping for a treat, posing, doing bear type tricks and grumbles very similar to my dog Mo when he wants biscuits.
The tiger in the pool was cooling off before taking a leap at his tiger friend, playing a wild game of chase, the second tiger took a turn cooling down, and then peeking over so carefully over the edge of the tank to stalk his fellow tiger prey. They were a joy to watch and I was glad to see, despite their lack of real freedom, their pleasure with one another.