David found an experience entitled “Afternoon Tea with the Tigers” which consisted of a tour of the big cats at Paradise Wildlife Park followed by afternoon tea at Tiger Treetops. We’d visited Paradise last year and had been enchanted by the Pallas Cats and the white lion cubs so thought it might be nice to go back there and re-acquaint ourselves with the cats.
Although the experience was for the afternoon only, we were allowed to visit the park at any time during the day so we decided to go down early and have a quick look around before the experience commenced.
Naturally, I migrated immediately to the red pandas.
As I was photographing the red pandas, I could hear high pitched squeaking coming from next door so I decided to go and investigate. The source of the squeaks were some incredibly cute asian small-clawed otters. There were too many for me to count and trying to decide which one to photograph was a nightmare as they were all doing such cute things.
As part of the experience, we met Rocky, the hybrid Amur tiger. Rocky was feeling a bit lonely as he had fallen out with his friend, Narnia the white tiger. As a result, the two cats were kept in separate enclosures. Obviously this was not ideal for either tigers so arrangements were already underway for Narnia to move to WHF and for Indy to relocate from WHF to Paradise Wildlife Park. Indy is no stranger to to Paradise Wildlife Park as she used to reside there and is great friends with Rocky. Moving her back seemed to be the most sensible thing to do. She is also the tiger on the banners as you approach the park.
The white lions of Paradise Wildlife Park are one of their star attractions. Kya and her daughter Izulu are the only remaining lions at the park after Thabo, the dominant male passed away over the Christmas holidays and Thembo was moved to Wildlife Heritage Foundation. The last time I had seen Izulu and Thembo, they had been cute little lion cubs. Moving Thembo was unavoidable, especially when he was trying to mate with his mother and sister! Mother and daughter were on stunning form and I look forward to seeing Thembo when I next visit WHF.