There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...

-Lord Byron

Definition of Walkabout :

a short period of wandering as an occasional interruption of regular work
Showing posts with label cheetahs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cheetahs. Show all posts

11 May 2015

Walking in the bush with Lillian

Lillian is a young female, rescued in the African bush from poachers by those that work to protect the precious animals of Africa.

Her eyes gleam with wild animal fervor as we approach.
We are told how to approach, stroking the tail, under the chin, scratching the belly like a beloved household dog. The tenuous muscles underneath the fur twitch at our touch. The breathing strong and steady.
Wild in the truest sense of the word, yet she is also loving and playful. Lillian licks my bald head and my hand with her coarse tongue. I shudder with delight.

We go walking through the bush. The cheetah's stop and prick up their ears as they hear something beyond the grove of nearby trees. Their instincts are pure, and we have to hold onto them tightly so they don't give in to the urge to run off and explore, hunt....kill.
Their is nothing quite like the feeling of holding onto a creature in which you know you have no control over, letting go your fear and trusting in the pure animal instinct.

10 May 2015

the speed of a cheetah

Since we didn't see any big cats while on our Botswana safari ( our guide told us that they live in another part of the park), the group decided to check out a local place in Zambia called Mukuni Big Five. The brochure claimed it to be a free range sanctuary for young cheetahs and lions.

Set on top of a hill over looking Livingstone town, I wondered what the day would entail.
After a brief introduction over morning tea we are told about the animals placed here. Injured or abandoned in the wild from poachers, Mukuni Big Five raises them in a safe environment, with the goal of rehabilitating them back into the wild.

Our first experience is to witness the speed of the cheetah, the world's fastest land mammal. We are taken out to what appears to be a wooden hitching post for horses, only squared. As we enter, one of the guys brings out a young cheetah.
A toy that appears to look like a small animal is put onto a string. We are asked if we are ready, then seconds later, the toy is released, and the young cheetah races past us chasing it.

The first time all I see is dust, the animal is so fast. Luckily, the animals love racing, so we get to see them run around us multiple times.
It was an amazing start, but what comes next blew my mind. For now though, witness the speed and grace of the cheetahs at Mukuni.