This day was just filled with goodness and fun. While it looks like these tigers are sedated (and wouldn’t that be sensible, not nice, but sensible), the handlers assured us that they are not sedated. They have been lovingly handled daily since their birth. And it just so happens that tigers sleep 18 hours a day. Every now and then the trainers would tickle their faces with some dry grass to make them wake up for the pictures. Mostly they slept through our displays of love and awe.
You can see all the expected emotions in our faces. Nervous? Yes, a little. Mostly we were amazed and excited at being this close to animals that we’ve admired since, well, likely since our first elementary school projects were researched.
The handlers exhibited extreme caution. We were not allowed to be near the tiger’s heads, no sudden movements, when you pet them do it with a firm hand, no tickling action. Ya, like I planning on doing a little “cootchie-coo” with the big cats.
I did have one moment when one of the mid-sized tigers was awake. I was petting him and he turned and looked me right in the eyes. The handler said “oh oh oh!” Not in a really fearful way, but it did feel like everything stood still for one very special moment.
Honour and I also had the opportunity to play with the babies. Is there a baby animal that isn’t cute? These were the most fun. We didn’t have to be so stiff and slow moving. You can hear the handler in the video making an assortment of noises. I assume this is to train it to not be surprised or frightened by sudden noises. All the trainers seemed to be so kind with the tigers.
The only thing there was to possibly feel bad about today was that we were likely disturbing someone’s nap. My kids can attest to the fact that I do hate to have a nap disturbed.