August 21st, 2014
When I was a junior high school student, I decided that my email address would be firstname.lastname@example.org because I believed orang-utans and wolves were the most soulful and awe-inspiring animals. I had a chance to interact with orang-utans when I was in Malaysia a few years ago, and have been waiting for the chance to meet a wolf since then.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I was having my first tour at Cheetah Experience and saw two Canadian wolves wagging their tails. Shakira and Nikita accepted me into their pack minutes after I had been introduced to them. I have to say they are not as sweet as my own dogs, but that is because we have known one another for less than two weeks. Nonetheless, they are definitely sweeter than many companion dogs, especially the small ones.
About an hour after I had had one of the most wonderful moments in my life, I found myself drowning in a pool of blood, disgust and fear. As all the animals in my house are vegetarians/vegans, the last time I touched a dead chicken was half a decade ago. I stared at the ice-cold body without a face for I can’t remember how long, before I picked up the scissors and did what everyone else was doing.
I am going to miss Tickles and the way she insists on cleaning my ears four times a night. Also thankful for the nights on which Gabriel, Faith and Eden kept me warm. Cheetah Experience rocks!
Helen – China
July 16th, 2014
People say your home is where your heart is, and my heart definitely lies here at Cheetah Experience. Ever since I heard about Cheetah Experience, I knew I wanted to come here. What I didn’t know was how much I would love it here or how quickly time flies when you are doing something you love or how long I would want to stay. I have met so many amazing people who are so accepting, kind, and compassionate. I have met animals here with so many different personalities and unique characteristics. The people and animals at Cheetah Experience are part of my family now, and families stick together. With my animal family I’ve walked leopards, caracals, and cheetahs; I’ve received kisses from cheetahs, servals, caracals, leopards, wolves, and even meerkats; I’ve had sleepovers with cheetahs and a baby leopard; I’ve made new friends with all these animals. With my human friends, I’ve gone on random adventures, I’ve had a picnic in the lion house, I’ve gone to the cinema, I’ve made stick bread at a Braai, and I’ve made friends that will last a lifetime. Although I must leave in a week, I know that I will be back. And next time I will plan my trip accordingly. I will stay much longer than seven weeks, and I will once again be reunited with my home and my second family. The memories and friendships I have made here will always stay with me. My Cheetah Experience family is my second home.
Kelsey – USA
July 15th, 2014
At this time last year, I came to Cheetah Experience for the very first time. It was an amazing experience. What amazed me the most is how the animals very quickly recognise each individual person and will joyfully come to greet them every morning. It is impossible to describe the feeling you get when an enormous male lion sees you from afar, gets up, makes kitten-like sounds and rushes to greet you. Sometimes – when you’re lucky – he will even give you a lovely (yet a little slobbery) kiss through the fence. J
When I decided to come back to CE this year, I was especially excited to see my favourite animals all grown up. I was also very curious to see if any of them would remember me. I think some of them do (I received two beautiful lion kisses the very first time I came to the fence), some don’t (last years’ younger cubs) and with others it is still not clear whether they do or do not. However, the one thing that hasn’t changed is the way these animals react when they see familiar and even new faces. They are enthusiastic about getting to know you. They trust and love you very quickly.
Is an enclosure the ideal place for a lion, a leopard or a cheetah? Of course not, they all deserve to roam free in their natural habitat, and that is what we are all trying to accomplish one day for them. But in the meantime, I think the animals of Cheetah Experience love and respect humans because everyone here loves and respects them as well. The well-being of these animals is always the first priority. The very dedicated staff and the volunteers enrich the lives of these animals as best as they can every day, any way they can. It is beautiful to see how trusting, appreciative and loving the animals of Cheetah Experience are.
Chantale – Canada