Indelible memories

Our travels opened opportunities to create some amazing memories with our children. This past week, one such gift came in the form of an encounter I’m not sure any of us will forget: holding month-old tiger cubs at the Vallarta zoo.

Once in a lifetime

Once in a lifetime
Their bellies full after guzzling down bottles of formula, the cubs were undeniably adorable. For almost ten minutes, the children held them mostly on their laps as they rolled, played, and generally acted like the cute babies that they are. It was a little overwhelming just to watch the interaction. I can’t imagine doing anything like this back in the States.
It was a zoo like no other we’ve seen. Visitors carry bags of food with carrots, peanuts, bread, and other snacks inside for feeding the animals. Printed on the side of the bag are guidance for which type of food to feed which type of animal. It it really incredible to have a giraffe sneak up on you looking for treats (they have the softest cheeks!), or a camel surprise you by poking way over his enclosure to see what you have to offer. Then there are the hippos.
Vallarta Zoo
It’s more than a little sad… hippos begging for carrots? Isn’t this one of the most dangerous animals in Africa? It doesn’t seem right. I’m pretty sure I should feel worse about this, but it’s hard to let that overcome the wonder of the close-encounter experiences for all of us. From having our fingers held by little capuchins, to being goosed by a giraffe, I can’t regret our visit for a moment- and I’d like to think the children’s memories of the cubs will only enhance their sensitivity to the wonders of the world around them.

Vallarta Zoo

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5 Responses to Indelible memories

  1. erika nagy December 29, 2009 at 6:54 am #

    Wow, really? I mean yes, I get how you are thinking about the zoo itself, but WHAT AN AMAZING experience for you and the kids! I am so happy to see the pics and read your updates. You guys are an inspiration!

  2. Seven C's December 29, 2009 at 7:13 am #

    Just too fantastic! We will talk to you all more when we are down there about being able to visit there one day while we are there!
    Super cool!

  3. Just a Minute December 29, 2009 at 8:32 am #

    It’s simply amazing. I too abhor seeing animals degraded or poorly cared for…..But, I have to say that it looks like a pretty nice zoo from your pics. So, take the gift, don’t feel bad, be grateful for the experience, A good zoo engages love for the animals, and it sure looks like it was very successful.

  4. missb December 29, 2009 at 1:02 pm #

    Thank you so much for this, I am in Puerto Vallarta now and looking for new experiences and will certainly check out the zoo.

    If you can let me know any tips on getting crewing experience in Vallarta I’d be really grateful

  5. Behan December 29, 2009 at 10:05 pm #

    Laura & Erika, thanks for getting me over my little guilty hurdle. It was nothing short of amazing! Tim, this will have to be on your agenda.

    missb, drop me an email to sv-totem(at)hotmail(dot)com re: crewing experience.

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