January 16th, 2014

pinhole camera

Austin Zoo

Today I had a fantastic experience spending the afternoon with a mature and very handsome Bengal Tiger.  Wow! Amazing! I went to the little Austin zoo.  I'd never been to it because we always go to the large modern San Antonio zoo when we go to zoos.  But I had the day off and it was sunny.  The Austin zoo is really a ranch that started specializing in rescue animals.  So many of the animals are old or injured or both.  They have lions rescued from little circuses.  I drew an elderly lion named Caesar.  He was rescued from a junkyard in Arkansas where he'd been injured and never taken to a vet.

The tiger sat very still close to my side of the grassy area behind a fence. I felt his feline energy and tensile strength even while he was past his tiger prime.  He got up and limped to a fresh cow femur in his compound and tossed it around a bit before he sat down to start gnawing on it.

While I was there all the lions in the zoo started roaring.  It was AWESOME!
I may go back tomorrow and see if I can draw the tiger and find out his name and his story.  Some of the signs on the fences tell where the animal was rescued.  It's a small-town private animal sanctuary, which needs more money.  Austin doesn't have a real zoo.  But from what I've read the Austin Zoo has improved in animal habitat every year.  Smaller compounds for the big cats mean you can end up sitting enjoying the springy sunshine for a spell 6 feet away from a full grown tiger like I was today.  I'm still feeling the vibes.