While I generally think (and share with most people I meet) Oklahoma is a bleak and depressing stretch of land to have to drive through, today we found that there are some cool spots there, nevertheless.
We’d seen billboards for miles advertising a wild animal refuge, but we didn’t really pay attention. Until we got to exit 64 and Fuzzy said, “Wanna see the tigers?” I never even seriously considered going. But hey, the man loves big cats, and I like them too, so we went. We spent $18 (2 adult tickets plus a bag of food “for any of the monkeys and bears with pvc pipes, and the geese), and we spent a good 2 hours wandering around the GW Exotic Animal Refuge, coming two feet from lions, tigers, lemurs, wolves, chimps, baboons, cougars and bears. The bears and monkeys with feeding tubes were eager to play – tapping on the pipes for “more” or flirting with us. We used half the bag of sweet cereal on them, then wandered back to see the wolf hybrids (half-dog pets who were taken after they ate a Pekingese dog – owners were given the option of death or refuge. The geese were milling around near the enclosure where the goats and deer and sheep where hanging out, and they pretty much demanded the rest of the bag, following us and chittering loudly. One was injured in the wild and is missing half his top bill, and we gave him extra – he had to turn his head sideways to retrieve it.
The lions and tigers were very cool too – so many – mostly male. We’ve made plans to visit again when it’s cooler.
Feeding the bear was the highlight of my day. She met my eyes, and basically kept saying, “more please” and tapping on the pipe the way my dog taps on my arm or leg when he wants more treat.
We’re now in El Dorado, KS, and it’s bedtime.
1:37 AM CDT: Couldn’t sleep. Edited this to fix stupid link that went crazy. This is why I shouldn’t post when I’m tired.