Lions and Tigers and Randy Elephants? OH MY

Saturday, 9 April 2011
April 3rd was Mother’s Day here in England, and to celebrate Luke and I took Lindsay (mum), Ian (stepdad), and Bob (granddad) to West Midlands Safari Park. It was a great day out, full of a LOT of laughs. On the drive up I was ridiculed for my fear of camels that developed on my last visit to the Safari Park, but when a 9’ animal comes and sticks his head in the window of the car (for which his head takes up the entire width of the window I think it is entirely justified. Lindsay was trying to feed a baby camel (which was still 6’ tall) when a larger camel decided it wanted the food. Instead of feeding the animal to get rid of it, Lindsay panicked and hid her head on my shoulder which of course made the camel stick it’s head only further inside the vehicle. Ian and Luke were crying with laughter in the front seats as I confronted my fears and tried to help Lindsay get the camel out. In her hurry to close the window on it she actually trapped the poor thing’s muzzle in the window! Luke continued laughing into a curious camel popped his head into his window which made Luke jump and stall the car. We all went away with a new found desire to stay away from camels, except for Ian who just found the whole experience hilarious.

One of the smaller of the scary camels!

Baby Gazelle/Deer animals, so cute!

Ian feeding one of cute little deer.

It wasn’t just the camels who gave us some laughs. We were able to watch a rather clever African Wild Dog makes it’s bid for freedom by trying to run directly into the Lion’s den.  It took the ranger several minutes of chasing it around in her Landrover to finally get the AWD back on it’s turf. I thought the African Wild Dogs really cute in a scruffy “I could kill you if I wanted to” sort of way, although I was alone in the car of thinking so. In the Lion’s den we were able to witness some of the youngsters playing a game of hide and seek amongst the bushes. I was reminded of Simba and Nala, the playful cubs of The Lion King fame, they really do play like that. Adorable! Not all big cat fights were just friendly playing. Two White Tigers got into a bit of a tiff after the female was surprise attacked from behind by the male. I can confidently say the male because he was twice the size of her. She didn’t like the surprise very much and gave him a swipe which of course turned into a bit of a skirmish.

An African Wild Dog

Young male lion starting hide and go seek.

It wasn’t all lovers’ spats, for the grand finale of our safari we met two very amorous elephants. This was my second time at West Midlands Safari Park, my second time seeing the elephants, and my second time witnessing them getting it on. Considering that last time I came it was in summer and now it is spring I can only assume that these are just two very randy elephants. I couldn’t believe I was watching these elephants a second time around and can now with confidence make a nature programme describing elephant courtship habits, David Attenbourgh watch out!  I’ll spare the full details of the events, after all a picture is worth a thousand words.

Elephant Courtship, notice the male elephant's spare trunk!



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