Friday, April 14, 2006

Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge

Carol (my sister), Darryl (brother-in-law), Sarah (Carol and Darryl’s almost 3 year old granddaughter), Ed and I headed north of Tyler to the Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge. The refuge mainly rescues tigers but also has a few lions and 3 leopards. The animals have come from a variety of sources — private owners, a circus (a tiger had stage fright and couldn’t perform his tricks in front of an audience), Michael Jackson (his trainer was in an accident and could no longer take care of the 2 tigers), a wildlife safari park that closed, etc. Visitors to the refuge are given a tour introducing each cat along with a brief history of their lives. In the office we visited with a 6 week old tiger cub that the refuge is taking care of for another refuge — very cute. On the tour, our group was standing outside of a cage when the cat roared and stood upright at the fence ---- he doesn’t like people very much and wanted to let us know. While we were stopped by a large pen with 2 tigers in it, Sarah bent down and put her two stuffed animals under the outer fence (there was at least 10 feet between the outer fence and the cage). The tigers got very exciting thinking there were 3 “nice toys” to play with. This made us realize just how dangerous large cats can be even though they are adorable as cubs. I couldn’t believe it when our guide told us that it is legal to own a large cat in over 30 states.

We stopped at Tyler State Park for a nice picnic lunch and walk around the lake. It reminded me of the Ontario provincial parks where we have camped.

One of the tigers. The steel container is full of water as the tigers enjoy playing in water.

One of the lions.

The two juvenile tigers that were excited to see Sarah and her stuffies.

Which one is the real tiger cub?

The lake at Tyler State Park.

Princess in training, Rule 7; get your servants to carry you and your royal carrage whenever possible to insure comfortable ride.

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