Corporate jets are rarely painted in interesting schemes so, when they are, you notice them. This one showed at at Boeing Field with a puma on the tail. A bit of research when back home suggests it is a project between Jay Z and the sport gear manufacturer Puma. I think it is to help out athletes that are sponsored by them. The registration is apparently a reference to Jay Z himself. I have no idea who was on it on this occasion. Maybe Sean was onboard?
Cougar Mountain Zoo is a small zoo located on the east side of Lake Washington in an area named, wait for it, Cougar Mountain. While it is not a big facility, it does have an interesting variety of creatures in nice habitats and we ended up spending a lot more time there than we thought would be the case. I shall have a variety of creatures to share in some upcoming posts but, given the name of the location and the zoo, it would be churlish to start with any other than the cougars.
They have an enclosure that is one of the first things you come across when you enter. However, they are not always terribly keen on showing off. When we first got there, one of them was lying deep within a small cave and didn’t seem interested in coming out. However, over time they did stretch their legs and come to check things out. Two things really got their attention. One was they knew some feeding was coming soon so they were alert for where the food would ultimately be coming from. The other was some small children that ran around. The cats were eying the kids intently. I assume, if the fencing hadn’t been there, some tasty snacks would have been had by these guys.
Big cats do looks very cool I think. When they are taking it easy, they still look like they are in control and when they get active, you do feel that they could take care of anything that comes their way. The cougar has an intense looking face too. More to come from this place in some upcoming posts.
Nancy came across a place recently called the Exotic Feline Rescue Center. Located near Terre Haute in Indiana, this is a facility that takes care of large cats that have been mistreated or are no longer able to be looked after where they are. They have over 300 large cats, a large proportion of which are tigers but also with many cougars, some lions and a smaller number of a variety of other cat. They do not breed the animals, nor do they trade in them. Instead, they are available to provide a home to cats that need it to allow them to live out their lives in comfort.
We arranged a trip for a few days to include a visit to the Center. They provide tours to visitors. The tour covers one part of the Center and will get you close to approximately 100 of the resident cats. This is not a zoo. The tour is escorted and you are very close to the enclosures. However, if you touch the enclosures, your visit will be over. The cats are the other side of the fencing and any bits of you going through the fence are easily chomped! You get a great close experience but you mustn’t abuse the opportunity.
Being close means the animals really do react to you. The lions will roar if they hear Harleys revving up, keep an eye out if a tiger turns away from you because it is probably about to spray you and, while the fences are there, they can get a little excitable. I was squatting down taking a picture of one of the tigers when it decided to charge towards me and jump up at the fence. It certainly got my attention!
The tour we took was led by the guy who started the whole place. He was very friendly and keen to explain how it worked and how they kept everything running. On our tour were a few people who have been there several times. if we were closer, I would certainly visit frequently. The pace was such that it was easy to take pictures as we went around so these shots will give you a good feel for what we saw there.
The place was great. The work they do is very important and the tales they tell of how some of the animals came to be there are quite appalling. They are always in need of donations so, if you are looking for something to support, you could certainly do worse than these folks. Well done for all they have done and good luck in keeping it all going.