Pat a Cheetah? Why not?

Being a tragic National Geographic Nerd when I was a kid, and going through phases of being a zoologist as well as a marine biologist- I’ve always wanted to have a hands on experience with animals. The Pet a Cheetah experience was my chance to fulfill the inner geek and get up close and personal with one of the most rare animals in the world and I literally jumped at the chance.

Oh yeah baby

The National Zoo was so friendly and personable, allowing you to get really close to other animals such as 3 massive brown bears and 2 incredibly rare snow leopards without the crowds of Taronga. It was so peaceful wandering around the Zoo and looking and admiring animals who were not stressed but also seemed to have a close bond with their trainers. By the time the moment arrived to pat the beloved cheetah, how excited was I that we would not only be patting 1- but 3 cheetahs in total.

Why are you NOT patting me?

How was it? Mind Blowing. From the moment we walked into the pen with the 2 trainers, the 3 cheetahs who were basking in the shade instantly started purring and waving their tails. In fact one was so insistent we skip the other 2 and come straight to her she purred the loudest the whole time! Due to the heat they really just lay there and allowed us to pat and stroke them all over. The feeling was one of stroking a cross between steel wool carpet and a faux fur jacket.

Pat pat pat

The cats were sooo content that they closed their eyes and seemed to drift off to sleep- only stopping purring when we stopped patting to chat to the keepers and giving us evils and accusatory stares as to WHY the patting had stopped. The keepers were incredibly knowledgeable and were happy to answer any questions regarding the cheetahs as well as other animals in their care. After the 15 minutes was up we sadly left the pen- I would have been happy to stay all day under the trees with the Cheetahs, but unfortunately it was time to go. Totally worthwhile and learnt so much- including that I’m apparently allergic to Cheetahs (!) Thank God for Telfast.

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One Comment

  1. Kirk
    Posted June 29, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Did this a few months back as a Valentines gift for my partner. It is an experience never to be forgotten.

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