Thursday, November 6, 2008
Lions and Tigers and Bears (oh my!)
The Mendoza zoo was a once in a life time experience. We were experiencing animals four feet from where we were standing, not like San Diego Zoo where you have a hard time even making out the animals in their cages. We were thinking this was great just to take pictures of the lions and tigers almost within arms reach, when we came across the zoo caretakers along the path. Jim spoke with them for awhile and the next thing we know they are our personal guides, allowing us to pet the mountain lion named Marcas, pet the bengal tiger, feed the monkeys popsicles, and feed the elephants. The mountain lion is their favorite and they even go into his cage to feed him he is so tame. The others are not as tame, and one even hissed and leaped at me hitting the chain link. Took two years off my life. The bengal tiger we were able to pet only while sitting and not looking at them, or they won't come near. Everywhere we went we could see the liability and danger to the public, yet the caretakers said nothing bad had happened in the 105 years it has been open. Obviously the teenagers in Mendoza are not like the ones in the states, who look for ways to get around the rules. All in all, we would say that the zoo experience tops anything we have done here in Argentina.