As a benefit of being enrolled in Columbia Virtual Academy (a public school homeschooling option), we get to participate in some field trips (that they pay for) throughout the year. We signed up this year to go to "Cat Tails," which is a small little zoo that houses only some big cats and as we found out a couple of bears also. They had lots of statues of big cats around the park and Josiah wasted no time climbing on them for a photo opportunity!
This is his action pose on the bucking black panther. We learned some interesting things about the bigger cats on this trip. One thing is that a lot of people have this "idea" that they can have them as pets and then discover at some point that "wow these are wild animals and they aren't good pets." To those people, I say, "DUH!!!" So a lot of those "pets" end up at this zoo, so they can be properly cared for. One of the oldest black panthers there they call "Thunder" because she was born in a thunder storm and barely survived. They told us a funny story about when they used to put her on a leash and walk her around the park. She is also called "Princess" or many times "Beautiful Princess," and a person was pointing at the flowers in her cage and commented on how "beautiful" they were. Later after Princess was back in her cage, she destroyed all the flowers because she didn't like that someone/something else was being referred to as beautiful besides her. Josiah thought this story was really funny and retold it later to his advisory teacher for CVA.
Most of the cats were put in separate cages, but these tigers were siblings and they tried putting them together at a young age to see how they would do as they grew up. Normally adult cats are loners and do not like to be around other adult cats. One of the tigers was VERY agitated that this man with this huge camera on a tripod was taking pictures of them. We got to hear lots of loud growls and see some fierce cat behavior because of it too. Thankfully, that "scare-dy cat" was behind the fence!
I think Josiah had a good time at the event, though it was QUITE cold on the tour. I think it was in the 40's that day as I recall. We were both chilled to the bone afterward and hopped in the car and went to get our lunch at McDonald's afterward. It was nice Mommy and son date for sure though and it was nice to do something with just him!