We stayed at the Arcadia Bed and Breakfast on Sunday and met the Elders at the Shell station in town. We caravanned in a group with Elder Belnap in the lead. It was a good thing we had someone to follow. We had tried two times before to get to the park but we had never even got close, as we discovered when we headed out.
Shortly after arriving and checking in, the fun began. The ten of us divided into two groups. Our group went into the enclosure with the three month old lion and tiger cubs and the other group went in with the four month old lion cubs.
The young cubs seemed to be a bit tired and not to sure of these strangers. The Tigers loved to be petted and scratched but the lions would spit at us if we made any sudden movements. Slow and patient was the only way to approach them. We enjoyed looking at the cubs and hearing them purr as we rubbed and scratched their backs or as they wondered around their enclosure.
These little cubs were in a cage right by the our month old cubs. We did not go in to see them and I am not sure how old they were but they sure were cute to look at.
These little cubs were the smallest yet. As we walked back towards the entrance of the park we saw a tub that was partly cover with a cloth. We were told to be very quiet and just peek in. This is what we saw.
Next we saw a mating pair of white tigers. They were amazingly beautiful and very large. Our guide informed us that even though both mother and father are white they could produce either white or orange tiger cubs. They are not true albino tigers but are white tigers.
The men drove the truck right into the enclosure with the lions and started throwing dead chickens in every direction. The lions and tiger attacked the birds as if they had not eaten in a very long time but looking at them made me sure they were well fed and probably just being very greedy. They fought for chickens that another lion had when there were plenty of chickens for all of them.
Things settled down a bit as the lions started devouring their food, so we took pictures. This is an amazing group of missionaries as have been all the groups that we have worked with. We feel it a great honor and privilege to work with the missionaries. They are truly amazing young men with tremendous testimonies and talents. They teach us so much and rescue us when we are lost or do not know where the members live. They help us with our seminary and institute responsibilities and keep us busy and young.
This lion was by far the biggest and most fierce lion of them all. The guide said if they allowed this lion to stay with the other lions he would for sure become the alpha male. They do not allow this because if the lions form a pride the alpha lion would either kill the other lions or chase them off, They just keep the lions separate in controlled groups. There were a few time this lion charged if someone got a bit to close to his enclosure, This only one of this males lionesses. He will be allowed to produce many cubs.
There are a few other animals at the compound, This is the resident leopard. He is a very beautiful animal. I do not get tired of seeing all these different animals. I am grateful to my mother for teaching me an appreciation for God's creations. I have enjoyed getting up close and personal with so many of the African animals since I have been her. Elder Edington enjoys them almost as much as I do,