Saturday 14 September 2013

This is why you have to sign waivers...

"Don't eat the tourists, Juba," Meshack kept saying at Emdoneni, the cheetahencounter place, once we were all in the enclosure ready to "hug and pet" them. We'd done the African wild cats, just like Alice back home, and the caracals with their tufted ears, and been enchanted by how they all purred and leaned in for ear scratchies. Then we went to meet the cheetahs.

Moyah was lovely, rolling sensuously and loving being stroked (the black spots softer than the yellow fur) but then, just like a cat, suddenly had enough and stalked off. So we went to Juba, below, who nuzzled the ladies and licked them with his raspy tongue - but then it was the turn of the big Afrikaans man with the warts, who none of the other cats had warmed to.
He patted the cheetah a bit nervously and it was fine until suddenly Juba batted at his face and, cheetahs' claws being unretractable (second useful cheetah fact of the day) his skin was punctured, and the blood flowed freely. He was lucky though, because as he leaned forward to get up, Juba had another go, but didn't connect. It would have been easy as for the jugular to be slashed.

Back outside, Meshack said 15-20 tourists had had "accidents" in the last year. Waivers, eh. 

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