Our Behind the Scenes tour with Marlice included lots of visits to animals.
First we saw the resident tame jackal walk across the yard
We watched the big baboons for a while, as they were being fed. One staff member was watching over two females, to protect them from bullying during feeding time. Then, Jamie entered the enclosure with the baby baboons. Cute, tame but naughty. Sheila pulled off Jamie's glasses and peed on her pants!
Meerkats and Mongooses were next
Of course Wayne and Jamie had to jump into the enclosure with the porcupine!
What a cutie. It wound around people's legs like a cat.
Then, on to the
Marlice warned Jamie that getting in with the wart hogs would be a dirty business, but she was undeterred. Three wart hogs full of mud clambered over Jamie and nibbled at her clothes. It wasn't dirty; it was filthy! It took three washes to get those clothes clean!!! But it was certainly worth it to see Jamie's continuous giggling.
I earlier described the three cheetahs we visited as 'hand-raised'. We visited them again with Marlice and learned that she got them when they were 3 days old and fit in her hand. I asked if they were raised right in her house, as we'd been told. She said "actually, right in my bed!", with her boisterous, infectious laugh. Jamie just loved revisiting these cheetahs we had met before: Kiki, Aisha, and Iku. Aisha came and lay down right beside her, to get tickled under her chin and stayed there for perhaps 10 minutes. Marlice said that Aisha was usually very standoffish with people, so it was unusual to see her gravitating to Jamie like that.
Thus endeth our close encounters with animals so I leave with a last selection of photos.
Jamie with Aisha and Iku:
Jamie with Aisha, the allegedly aloof one: