When my barber Tony gave me a haircut on Saturday, I asked for his suggestions about interesting things to do. His best one was to visit the Wild Animal Sanctuary (http://wildanimalsanctuary.org/ ). I had read about it in the local newspaper a couple of years ago, but it had completely slipped my mind.
Today was a beautiful day to go, so I went. The sanctuary is one hour straight east of Boulder out on the high plains. While they welcome visitors, they make a point that it is a sanctuary and not a zoo.
The sanctuary is currently home to more than 155 lions, tigers, bears, jaguars, leopards, mountain lions, lynx, bobcats, servals, wolves, and other wild animals that they have rescued. Most of them were pets that people kept — until the pets got too big for them to handle.
This morning I got there just as it opened at 9 a.m. and stayed for an hour and one-half. I took great pleasure in watching these big wild animals.
I wasn’t sure if they welcomed photography, so I entered the sanctuary the first time with my little Sony camera, figuring that they wouldn’t notice it. Some of the leopards were close, and the Sony captured them well:
No one else was taking pictures. But that was only because I was the only human in the place.
But when I didn’t see any signs prohibiting pictures, I went back to my SUV for my big new camera. Being by nature and experience somewhat of a pessimist about new equipment, I was amazed that I figured out how the camera worked, how to adjust the settings, and how to import the pictures into my desktop computer.
I never saw so many tigers! I took 53 pictures with my new Canon EOS D50 camera while I was there, most of them of tigers.
This pair of lions were quite far away. So I was especially glad to have my new telephoto lens.
As Dorothy said in The Wizard of Oz, “Lions, tigers, and bears! Oh, my!