Monday, July 07, 2008

Tiger Kingdom

When a friend suggests that you should take your family to a place where you can pet tigers, you shouldn't think aboaut the potential danger. You should just go, because when are you going to have the chance to pet one again? It's not like you're going to happen upon on in the wild.

We drove about 1/2 hour with eight kids aged 2-8 piled in the back of a rented car, and two dads trailing behind on motor bikes. We took a bit of a detour but finally found the Tiger Kingdom. We happened to have with us the three men in our company arguably most likely to be able to talk their way into a bargain, so they negotiated a better price while the kids talked about how they were going to pet all the tigers. We also looked at pictures they were displaying on a screen of people cuddling tiger cubs and laying casually on reclining tigers. It all looked promising.

We were given 15 minutes in a cage with two young tiger cubs, 3 months old. They were both the size of a small lap dog. Two cages, four sleeping cubs, and eight children. They were hesitant at first, but soon most of the kids were enjoying touching the cubs. We tried to get them to sit in on laps, but that woke them all up and they preferred wandering around their cages and playing with empty water bottles to sitting on laps.

After the kids' time, Erik and Travis got some time in the big boy's cage. Those tigers were obviously adults, but still quite small compared to some breeds I've seen (like the white tigers at the Singapore Zoo). If they ever got fiesty, the handlers were there with small sticks to bop them on the nose.

So now we can say we've petted tigers - who can say that? See our flickr account for pics.

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