Many thanks to my dear friends at FOUR PAWS for the wonderful tiger pictures for my diary entry for June. The pictures are all from LIONSROCK, the FOUR PAWS Big Cat Sanctuary in Bethlehem, South Africa.
This is exactly how I picture Leonid, the Tiger. Powerful, beautiful, and somewhat menacing. One can easily imagine that he gave special agent James Bear something to think about (and a messed up dinner jacket ;-).
For maximum enjoyment view tiger pictures slide show on a large monitor and activate full screen mode.
Copyright for all tiger pictures is by © VIER PFOTEN (FOUR PAWS) | Mihai Vasile. Again many thanks!
June 4th, 2015 - The Zoo Raid, Part One
Beartram and I are really glad that Leonid is watching our tools and gliders. Last night some unidentified furry creatures (UFCs) tried to pry open our storage shed. Leonid, who was resting nearby in the small cave at the foot of the large rock we launch our bear-a-gliders from, heard some noises, and got up and started roaring a bit. Well, those are his own words, that he "started roaring a bit". Fact is that both Beartram and I, who were snoring in our caves in nearby Bear Junction, woke up from the racket Leonid made. We instantly had the same thought - that someone was after our gliders - and we ran down the main road, met at the beginning of the track into the forest, and set off towards the meadow and our shed. There was not really much time to be afraid, but I guess we were both a little nervous, and when some large creature came running towards us at full speed we both jumped clear off the track and let the animals - as it turned out to be - pass by, rather than jump into their way and confront them.
And that was probably a smart thing to do. Because when we arrived at the shed, Leonid was inspecting the door and said that he thought it looked to him as if some professional burglars had been at work. There were some lock picking tools left on the ground, and a pry bar. The burglars must have been quite careful and stealthy in their approach, because Leonid had not noticed anything until they were trying to open the door of the shed. The tiger said he would have liked to go after the burglars, but had not wanted to leave the shed alone in case the burglars had brought an accomplice who was waiting just for the shed to be unprotected.
"Listen," continued Leonid, "that brings me to something I have been thinking about for a while. It's not that I dislike you bear creatures, I think you are very entertaining in your way. But I miss my buddies from the zoo. There was a kangaroo that I used to talk to, and we always thought about one day taking off together and leaving the zoo behind. But when I escaped there was such a riot in the whole zoo with everybody running everywhere and trying to restore order, that I had to leave by myself and leave Jane Kangaroo behind. But now, as it seems clear that you will need more protection for your shed and your park - and I really cannot be around at all times - I have a very clear idea of how to solve all problems. There is really only one thing we need to do: Go to that blasted zoo and get Jane Kangaroo out of her cage. I am sure she will be very glad to join us."
Zoo Raid, Part Two
I am so glad I am not a human. They scare sooo easily! And they seem fragile, too. Plus, of course, they are ugly. I mean no fur worth mentioning, and that sad excuse for a snout they have. I wonder how they can find each other attractive. Mama Bear always says we must treat all living creatures with respect, and that the lord knows best, and that he will have had some reason for putting humans on the planet. I pointed out to Mama Bear that the lord also created mosquitoes, and she looked thoughtful and admitted that I do have a point there. "The lord sometimes does work in mysterious ways," she said. "Because those humans really make a pest of themselves, putting other animals in cages, and generally making a mess of the planet."
But I wanted to write of our trip to the zoo to get Leonid's friend out of her cage. When we got to the zoo, it was decided that I should take a look if the coast was clear, and see if Jane Kangaroo was still in her usual cage. I was not too happy about this, I just felt too inexperienced for this type of reconnaissance. But Leonid insisted that I was the fastest runner, and that he himself rather wanted to keep an eye on Joe and Heinrich. Officially we had brought those two characters for their lock picking skills, but I suspect that Leonid did not trust them to not steal our gliders and tools while we were gone. At first Joe and Heinrich did not want to come, but Leonid was very persuasive, and they soon accepted their fate.
I took off towards the zoo, and since Leonid had described the place very well I got near the cage with Jane Kangaroo in it without any problems. But when I was only a few yards from the cage I encountered a bench with a human on it who had his back towards me. I didn't know what to do, and decided to give him a friendly pat on the shoulder and motion to him to take off. I hadn't quite reach the bench before I stepped on a twig, and the human turned around to see what had caused that noise. He looked at me as if he was seeing a ghost or something and ran off, screaming wildly. I didn't lose any time and made for the cage with Jane Kangaroo. But as soon as I reached the cage I found myself flying backwards, because that idiot of a kangaroo did not think or ask before kicking me in the stomach, probably thinking I was a human and thus a legitimate target for an attack. By the time I had collected my wits again the guard had woken up pretty much everybody in the zoo, and so I decided to get back to base camp and talk with Leonid and Beartram about what to do next.
Beartram and I were all for leaving immediately, but Leonid would not hear of it. He said that once those humans had stopped the search for any escaped animals and settled down again it would be an ideal point for another try, because after one false alarm a lot of people would probably not be willing to engage in another fruitless search.
To be continued...